So you think Referees are BAD????

Imagine watching 12 players, two benches, the minor officials and some 50 to 100 parents in the stands all while skating as fast as the players with the fate of the game potentially in your hands?

Add to this 2 – 8 coaches SCREAMING at every perceived mistake and a few absolutely clueless parents adding their ignorant 2 cents worth.

And of course you are 13, 14 or 15.


I have seen a few games, referred hundreds perhaps thousands over about 30 years. I have refereed ex NHLers (a couple of whom were complete dicks) right down to Adults that literally did not know which way to face those games are fun. I am 50% coach and 50% referee.

Personally since I was about 15 I loved the dicks on the benches and in the stands and I loved standing in front of them chest out and kicking their 40 year old asses out of the game or arena.

But I was odd, arrogant and cocky, most kids are not.

WE CAN NEVER EVER yell at a referee EVEN when they make a “mistake”.

Why not:

  1. You obviously have never refereed.
  2. You are in the stands not in the proper position like the ref.
  3. The ref is likely a child or teenager or a young person trying their best often on the verge of tears and often in a state of terror.

Do you have any idea the turnover of refs each year.Considering that most refs exit after 1 year, how are we going to build a stable of learned referees?

Only the truly tough or greedy continue to ref and half of those become bitter and desensitized doing it only for the money, some of those do become actual bad referees.

I loved referring and every game I tried and worked hard.

I will never forget Ryan’s first game as a referee. He was a learned, 13 year old hockey player but during his first game as a ref (I made sure to work the box just to help him out) he was laughably, pathetic and this was a straight A kid.

He literally had no idea what to do despite having taken the test and passed!

Sadly Minor Hockey does way too little to teach referees. Of course he figured it out eventually and became a good referee, but refereeing is incredibly difficult it made even more difficult with Parents and Coaches YELLING at kids so please, please don’t.

Support the refs, cheer for them to tell them they did a good game, I sure do. Coaches, if a young Ref is struggling talk to them, HELP THEM and we will all see results.