- Posts: 198
It is funny (or actually, not funny at all…). The highest level of hockey I ever worked was the ECHL, where I had an extremely brief cup of coffee, and worked several levels in between. The highest level of disrespect I have ever received from players was in NCAA Division III hockey, and it isn’t even close. The highest level of disrespect I ever received from coaches and fans was youth hockey by FAR! (other than the one off of having my tires slashed, side view mirrors broken off, and taillights smashed in the parking lot of a Waterloo Blackhawks game, but the USHL paid me back for that). I am also willing to put up with a lot more at higher levels of hockey but it was really never there. Sure there is yelling and screaming, arguments, chastising, etc. but they never crossed the line. Youth coaches and parents cross the line all the time, and get so far past it, they cant even see it anymore. For a $40 game fee!!
Hockey specifically has been headed in a strange direction the past two decades. I remember talking to some refs about doing our DIII MIAC football games and how they really look forward to them because the travel is easy, the kids are respectful and the coaches get it. Maybe that’s changed as well since 2001, but I just don’t get the attitude.
I think the only time coaching I ever really let a ref have it was during a JV hockey game where the physical stuff was just getting out of control and zero calls were being made. I did it between periods and out of sight of everyone… so not sure that it makes it better… but he did start calling everyone for their stickwork in the third period and things settled down. I once coached with a guy who before every game reminded the refs if any of his players cursed at them or the other team to just throw the flag or call a penalty — immediately draw the line — at least everyone then knew where it was.