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SkiUMahLaw wrote:

He said maybe, then proceeded to give her girls HS games only on top of U-14 and U-12s.

A couple years ago, in the HS Elite League (Fall league before HS regular season starts) a female official was working games as a warm up. She was selected to work games as a referee in the Winter Olympics. There were several players who got the boot from games she worked for comments they made; Why don’t you go work women’s hockey, this game is way too fast for you, etc. etc. When she was a better official than they had seen in awhile, and would likely see all season. It is pretty depressing. Personally, I am a HORRIBLE women’s official. I get in a zone and think “Wow, that was a nice hit” a few seconds later “Why is everyone freaking out, that was a clean hit… oh…. right….”

My HS association has requirements to work higher level games, and while I get it, it is bizarre. Everyone wants officials with experience to get the high level games. But you need to actually work some high level games in order to get that experience. It is a chicken and egg scenario, or maybe its a catch-22.

Vegoe wrote:

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.

I don’t know what it is with many of the D-III hockey players, but there is zero sense of humor or self awareness. At the D-1 level, players apologize at TV stoppages for skating into you or firing the puck into you (as long as you were where you should be, and trying to get out of the way). D-III it is an immediate insult or personal attack. “you’re f-ing horrible ref” “I know, I am out here with you guys” “oh, go f yourself you piece of…” The mouths on these catholic school players who then all go and pray together at the end of a game… Did you not all just listen to yourselves for the last 2 hours???

I have no problem hearing it from a player or coach when it is warranted. I make mistakes, I am a human. But there is a huge difference between “that was a horse**** call.” and “you’re f***ing horse*** ref”. I have a pretty low tolerance for personal attacks. And you just don’t hear that at higher levels of hockey. Coaches and players get upset with calls, but it rarely becomes a personal attack. A PeeWee referee screws up an icing, and the personal attacks start flying.

I occasionally get to work with some younger officials, and I try to tell them what one supervisor told me “If you are getting paid $50 to work this game, then you need to deal with $50 of abuse, but not 1 cent more. But the nice thing is, you get to decide what $50 worth of abuse is.” So yeah, when I used to go work a men’s league game for $35 at 9:00 at night – I’ve got a pretty low bar for abuse. When I am got paid $275 to work a USHL game, I was willing to put up with a lot more, but rarely have to.

And one of the unfortunate things is, officials who get the reputation as those who kick out players and coaches, they stopped getting scheduled pretty quickly. Which results in nobody enforcing those rules, because they all want to work, and work better games. At the pre-game captains meetings (which at HS and D-3 are like talking to a box of rocks) I try to let them know that respect is a 2-way street – you have to give it to get it back. Then a captain, who has been nothing but whining at me all game, wonders why I won’t give him the time of day late in a close game for his “free time-out” to rest guys while he whines about something unrelated to anything.

Not all coaches and players are bad. I’ve been yelled at and listened and said “yeah, I probably missed one there.” or “I see what you’re saying, I saw it a little differently” and many are good if you hear them out and acknowledge their thoughts on a play and we can all move on. There are also coaches who ask me what a player said/did to get penalized and when I tell them, they tell me “I will take care of it.” Everyone has a bad night and sometimes I give a coach a heads up “Hey, number 8 needs to calm down for a bit, he is very close to getting penalized here.” Some coaches see what I am trying to do, some will even sit a guy a shift or 2, others give me the old “I can’t control them, what do you want me to do about it?”

It used to be a very small number of coaches who were a problem, but I think the problem is that small number has grown. And not only grown but also become more vocal in the process. So officials are being tasked with putting up with more and more while pay for games has risen only marginally in the last decade really.

My posts on this are getting way too long… I should go to bed for a bit. I have a ton of stories, but nobody needs to hear them all.

EDIT: I did get to wear a helmet cam in a USHL game – nobody wanted to talk to me that night. Maybe I should strap a GoPro to my helmet for youth and MSHSL games…

Trimmed some extraneous stuff out.