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This is an interesting topic to me, and I’ve very much enjoyed reading fightclub30’s perspective on officiating since he did the job at a relatively high level.
I’ve been thinking about giving refereeing a try in a few years when my daughter ages out of hockey and I’ll have a little more free time in the winter. The pay is nice, but my main motivation is to stay physically active and “give back” to the sport that I love.
Doing more research on what’s involved, and seeing fightclub30’s perspective is definitely giving me pause. You expect a certain level of poor treatment, but some of these stories are so over the top, it’s no wonder nobody wants the job.
Also, while I understand that referees have to “pay their dues”, I have no interest in starting at the very bottom (Mite/Squirt/8U/10U). I’ve played or coached hockey for 30+ years and know the rules of the game inside and out. I’m not some 15 year old who is still learning things. I’ve heard bad things about the Good Old Boys Club of being assigned games, and don’t want to deal with the political side of it.
Ironically we need people like you to work these games to hold coaches and spectators accountable. I don’t see a 16 year old kid penalizing a parent.
The bad behavior won’t stop until spectators are held accountable. The rule is there, it needs to be enforced.