We have been advised by OMHA representatives that there has been a noticeable increase in reported incidents involving spectator abuse of on-ice officials this season. In some centres it has reached the point where games are being cancelled because on-ice officials have had enough, and are simply refusing to work. To compound the problem this is the time of year where the demand for officials is at its peak. No officials, no game!
Most hockey fans will recognize that it is not humanly possible for even the best and most experienced referee to make the right call on every single rule violation which occurs during the course of a game. Be honest- when was the last time your kid played a mistake-free shift, let alone a whole game? Want to talk about biased officiating? Is it really plausible that the primary mission in life for everyone in a striped shirt is to somehow tilt the outcome in favour of the other team? If you believe that maybe your kid really is fast- tracking to super stardom in the NHL.
Regrettably, what concerns the OMHA and should concern everyone involved in minor hockey, is that the incidents we're encountering go well beyond some occasional moaning about missed calls or "homer refs". It is regrettable as well that once again the thoughtless actions of a very small minority reflect on the vast majority of minor hockey supporters who only want to see a great game played well and officiated in the vast majority of instances in a fair and equitable manner.
Experience suggests that Stouffville fans are generally fair-minded and great supporters of the Game. We simply ask that you maintain that tradition, support our teams win or lose, and avoid the harassment or abuse of officials (and opposing teams) which is creating some of the adverse consequences described above.