Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hockey madness must stop

  • Print

The three-year suspension of a couple for violent behaviour at a minor hockey game was more than justified, but it is not a complete response to the problem of parental misconduct.

It is relatively easy to manage isolated cases of aggression, quite another to deal with the systemic behaviour problems that have been an issue in minor hockey for decades.

It is long past time that Hockey Canada got serious, really serious, about the problem, which is harmful to children and the game itself.

Hockey Winnipeg and other associations in Canada have introduced respectful hockey policies, social-media-use policies and a mandatory online course to show parents how their behaviour affects others.

They're good starts, but there's no evidence so far they will alter the conduct of the worst offenders.

As experience shows, it only takes one or two hyperventilating parents to set off a mob mentality. That's when everyone goes feral in a cascading disaster that drags children, coaches and even referees into mad melees.

Let's also remember most hockey parents are decent people, except when they enter an arena where their kid is playing. We're not talking about controlling bad people, but about holding to account parents whose pathetic, fragile egos are linked to little Johnny's performance on the ice.

Hockey Consultants International, a group of professional hockey experts who provide individuals, teams, leagues and associations in Canada and the United States with a range of services, including how to deal with disrespectful behaviour, has produced extensive literature on the problem.

Among other things, it had considered a program that would have cracked down on parental misbehaviour with a system that ejected troublesome parents from games and gave their child a bench penalty, thus putting the game at risk.

Another solution could see parents banned from arenas during games for part of a season to test whether it actually benefits young players. It's clear more must be done to reverse a trend that is doing kids and hockey itself more harm than good.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 3, 2014 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

HSC ready for Ebola

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.
  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you get out and vote for a new mayor and council?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google