ND Amateur Hockey Has A Stern Message For Parents
I am about to enter the final year of being a hockey parent. I've been there from the beginning, mini mites, mites, squirts, peewees, bantams, to my son entering his senior year of playing hockey for the Bismarck High Demons. Heck, I had my son skating at two years old. I was that Dad watering the backyard rink in 20 below weather. I've also coached North Dakota youth hockey for several years and when it comes to parent behavior at hockey games I've seen it all.
The North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association (NDAHA) had a rather stern message for hockey parents, players, and coaches recently. We have a referee shortage nationwide, including here in North Dakota, and "You're a big part of the problem." Many referees have opted not to come back because of the abuse they get from fans, players, and coaches over split-second decisions.
The letter to parents on the North Dakota Amateur Hockey website went on to say they took a quick trip down social media lane to find numerous disturbing incidents from hockey parents recently. Such as a young female referee quitting halfway through the game because of harassment. A referee needing a police escort after an 8U youth game. A parent coming on the ice to get at a referee during a game. A parent entering the scorer's box to berate another player for a penalty against their child.
Yeah, I've seen some pretty sad things over the years watching youth hockey. All sports have those kinds of parents, but hockey seems to really bring out the worst in some people. Why is that? All the money that's involved with the game? Parents thinking that Brad Berry from the University of North Dakota is about to give their kid a full ride to college? I'm not sure, but parents need to back off. No matter how many "pay to play" AAA all-star teams your kid gets to play on, it's still very, very unlikely he'll play beyond high school. In towns like Grand Forks, it's not even guaranteed your kid will make the high school team. Heck, even Mr. Hockey North Dakota for 2020-21 Chase Spicer from Grand Forks Central didn't go on to play hockey after high school.
Chill out and enjoy the moments watching your child from each and every hockey game you attend, because believe me, they go way too fast.
This video says it all hockey parents. Wake up and watch it.
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