Hockey and screaming parents goes together. This is where you get all the stories of parents getting into fights with other parents over their kids games, or parents yelling at the refs for bad calls or something.

NOTE: The refs have the HARDEST job on the ice, they never get thanks, just get yelled at all the time for calls either team doesn’t agree with. You hardly ever hear ‘that was a well ref’d game tonight’.  I personally would NEVER be a ref because of the flack you get just for being there, for me its not worth the 15 bucks or whatever they get for a game.

We played a game saturday night in a Christian league no less and guys were pushing, chirping, one even got kicked out of the game and is suspended for 3. Now, this isn’t really much different than my old church hockey league in Ontario.

I don’t doubt that from the start these are well meaning guys, but when the heats on, the true character comes out. Its kinda a pet peeve of mine that I’ve grown to hate over the years. Its not worth it to start swearing, making fun of the refs and to call the other teams players stupid.

How many times have you been to a hockey game and the coach, or in absence of a coach, yells at his players to shut-up and just play the game? That happened on saturday on the other team. I always think, boy, if these refs aren’t christian, what do they think of christians? Granted, many of the players simply are not christian, thats part of a league like this, you get the core who attend church in some form or function, various levels of commitment to the church and Christ, and then just others who come out to play through invite or relation. The honourable purpose of course to bring them out and to see other christians loving Jesus and realize we’re not all that different as humans… and true enough they learn we’re not all that different! Swearing, bickering, yelling at the refs, pretending we want to fight but shying away (excuse for not fighting is cause well.. we’re showing christian love right? Really, you wouldn’t even pretend to want to fight in a rec league cause you’d get beat up :P). Anywho…

I remember so many of our minor hockey league games, actually mine weren’t too bad, Craig on our team would stand up for Elaine, the only girl on our team and get into a fight, or simply get into a fight just cause thats who he was.  My mom was out to those ones, she would yell and complain when a bad call was made, hers though were more legitimate, but, talk back none the less. In one of Matts (my brother) games, my dad actually got kicked out of the game for yelling at the refs. Sure, there may have been a bad call there but… to be kicked out of your kids game? Now thats the only time my dad got kicked out, he isn’t normally like that but he can get fired up.

I don’t recall myself ever being kicked out of a game, I’ve gotten into fights though, I totally get fired up and a few times I’ve just lost it, like really lost it 🙂 Of course, when I lose it, its for a good reason right?! I was wronged, I can see 100% clearly and I’m just exacting revenge…

The age old question of whether ‘christians’ in ‘christian’ hockey leagues should even get penalties is a much argued topic… is there ever a good penalty?? if you save a goal by tripping a guy, thats a good penalty? In hockey, it would be considered that but as christians is it? You would hear arguments on both sides about that one. Personally as a sport, sometimes I think there are places for penalties, the point is that you’re not going after the person, simply taking away a scoring chance. Sure its against the hockey rules but it may save your team the game right? So its valid? But I digress…

The second part of all this is that kids see parents doing this and start it themselves, emulating parents, chirping, getting upset, … its just a game right?

I find kids and parents just say stuff under their breathe that is simply not needed, tearing down refs, swearing on the bench as christians where apparently its ‘OK’, calling the refs idiots for what they perceive as a bad call. Its really embarrassing to me when I see people doing it. I get that you’re fired up, frustrated, adrenalin is flowing and all but we need to have the will power and strength to draw a line that says ‘I’m going to honour God in ALL things – and that means when I’m on the bench with all my buddies and no one else can hear and its in the heat of the moment.

This is really probably one of the more untalked about things since hockey is often a place for boys to be boys, with no one else to see or hear. God is watching though.

I get angry, sure I hate it when a bad call (as I see it) is made, I get frustrated, slam my stick, punch the glass to let out steam but the last thing i’m gonna do is talk back to the ref. He isn’t going to change his mind is he???? Nope, so whats the point? Figure out what the ref is calling and just don’t do it!

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