At the end of the rink you can always find one parent standing alone. He stands and cheers for his son and always has something to say towards the referee. He is an outcast by the rest of the parents who sit together cheering the team. He is always the loudest and makes the rudest comments towards other players, coaches, and especially the referee. In his mind, the referee is to blame for the poor play of the game and the coach is holding his son back.
The game of hockey in Canada is a way of life. Children are raised in an environment that shows the success of the Canadian hockey player just like themselves. By seeing their favorite Canadian players dominating the NHL, they begin to develop a dream of one day accomplishing such a feet. This dream may be unrealistic for some youth but it gives the player something to strive for. Dreaming of ones future and goals allows the child to have fun with the game.
The dream however does not stop with the child and will eventually cause the child to lose the "fun" in the game. Many parents begin to believe their child is the next "great one" and therefore develop the delusion that the NHL will be the meal ticket for the family. These parents often will stand at a pee wee house-league game and taunt the coaches and referees because they are the ones holding their child back from realizing the parents dream for their child. Parents take the game so serious and take all the fun out of the game.
While refereeing you often encounter a parent of such an opinion. Some parents will come into the referee's dressing room and verbally and physically attack the referee. The question these parents should ask themselves is "Was it really the fault of the referee?" Parents should not blame the referee and should instead concentrate on their child. "Did my child have fun today and try his best?" should be the first question in a parents mind.
There are however many possible solutions to the parent problem. There is often the idea of not allowing parents to come to their child's game. This is often presented as a way of relieving the pressure from the child and also the young referees. This however may not be the best solution for the child. The child enjoys their parent being at the rink, for the most part, while the game is going on. If the player accomplishes something within the game, they want the parent to be there to share in the experience.
The real solution is to educate the parents. The referee is also someone's child and is not on the rink to make the teams lose. They are trying, at the best of their ability, to make the game run smoothly and fairly for all involved. Of course the referee is going to miss a call or allow a stick infraction here and there, but for the most part they are just trying to help the game. The perspective of these parents would change if they stood for one minute in referees skates. They would see and feel the perspective of a referee. To be verbally assaulted without cause is not a pleasant feeling. Many referees cannot deal with pressure and will quit because parents have taken the fun out of the game.
The corruption of the sport stems directly from the parents. The love of the game is not only taken away from the child, but also those involved within the game. Coaches, referees and the players should not be treated as they are in the rink. If this occurred within the workplace, the parents would be arrested and taken to jail.
Leave the love of the game in tact and allow the children to play, just that, the game.