When the Refs Lose Sight of the Game

Lately, hockey referees tend to be the center of attention during games for all of the wrong reasons.

Now I’ve been to my fair share of hockey games and by fair share I mean that I spend 5 out of 7 days watching some level of hockey. I will start out by adding that most AHL and NHL refs do a hell of a job and seem to have fans stand by their calls. But when it comes to high school level hockey its a whole different game. But I shouldn’t even call it a hockey game when referees seem to let it turn into a wrestling match.

You will never have a “perfect ref” you will always deal with consistency or the lack of for that matter. What is most bothersome about this is when referees seem to let specific things like elbows flying, crosschecking and tripping become an alright thing to happen during a hockey game because no calls are being made. So if the players get away with it once, the behavior continues and can only worsen. You can blame it on favoritism or you can blame it on being lazy, but what do you blame it on when a kid gets taken off from an injury due to poor reffing?

The game I attended tonight was a tragedy. Two kids taken out of the ice with an injury and other ones getting blown into the boards and no calls being made? That’s where I see a problem and that’s where this so called game of hockey isn’t such a game anymore. The fact that referees don’t take their job seriously enough to protect the players from being seriously injured raises a big red flag. You can scream at the refs all you want as a fan, but the game and the wellness of the players lies with them.

I wont sit here and pretend like I wasn’t one of those people sitting back and being quiet tonight. Because hell yeah I was that sister screaming in the stands at the refs because if my brother was about to get taken off the ice during an injury my sass pants would be on like crazy.

If you’re a coach and teach your kids to play dirty, then that’s a shame because overall you are teaching them nothing.

If you’re a referee, remember how important your job is. Remember the safety of the players injuries lie with you and the calls you make. Make those calls, save those injuries from happening.

I hope bad officiating never plays a part int he outcome of the game. But the Bay City Wolves took a 5-0 win tonight and proved that you don’t need to “play dirty” to walk away with the win. Sportsmanship and class act at its finest.

You almost have to think to yourself, will it take a kid getting taken off on a stretcher for a ref to finally make a call and open up their eyes?! I hope none of you ever witness the type of hockey I had to witness tonight and that referees will continue to step up their game.

“I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out.” -Rodney Dangerfield


About ashleyvanochten

Intern for ESPN 100.9
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2 Responses to When the Refs Lose Sight of the Game

  1. Nancy VanOchten says:

    Good job Ashley; your right, the officials should take control of the game; instead, we witnessed a game getting out of control. We all know hockey consists of hitting but when a high school student throws a punch and the officials let it go, something is wrong with the officiating.


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