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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ref who worked tourney cites serious abuse

Posted: 02/18/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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RACIAL slurs, physical abuse, name-calling and an intimidating atmosphere of hostility.

All this for just $25 a game.

That's what a referee says he endured while working to keep order on the ice this weekend at an unsanctioned hockey tournament at the Southdale Community Centre.

"I reffed 13 games of this tournament and have never been more shaken before," said Zach Gauvin, 18. "The parents, coaches and players abused me as if I was their chew toy," he said.

"It was probably one of the most traumatizing experiences I've ever had as a referee. It was just not a fun weekend."

Gauvin wrote a lengthy email to the Free Press and was interviewed Monday about his experiences officiating at the Southeast Aboriginal Tournament.

The tournament is not regulated or sanctioned by Hockey Manitoba or Hockey Winnipeg, according to Southdale officials.

In a video posted on YouTube, a referee goes to break up a potential scrap between players and falls to the ice on top of a 12-year-old boy.

Gauvin defended his colleague, saying his view is he simply lost his balance putting a stop to the scrap and fell over onto the player.

The coach had no right to leave the bench, said Gauvin.

In the games he officiated, Gauvin said he was subjected to racial slurs, "bodychecked" by a young spectator as he left the ice and "almost jumped" in the parking lot. He had to be escorted out by security when it was time to go home, he said.

Because of the unsanctioned nature of the tournament, any sanctions he was able to hand out only lasted for one game.

-- Turner

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2014 0

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