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Let's Raise the Bar

By Jack Weinberg, 02/06/24, 7:30AM CST


I would like to talk about an opportunity that we are missing in youth hockey.

We, as parents, coaches and administrators are not helping players to become all that they can be. What do we want from the game, what should we expect and what should we demand?

As Chairman of the Suspension and Review committee, I am seeing participants at a difficult time. Players and coaches suspended, parents unaware of what is happening and coaches and board members struggling to navigate all the of the requirements of their position.

It appears that what we accept as normal behavior on the youth ice rink is anything but acceptable anywhere else in life. Parents, players coaches and referees swearing at each other, calling each other out with racial, ethnic and sexual slurs without a moment’s hesitation. In addition, our players are fighting and injuring each other at an exponential rate. We have experienced more kicking and stick swinging incidents than I have ever seen.

We must stop it now; we must change the culture of our game today. All of us must demand better of ourselves and each other. As adults, it is our obligation to help these youth players use hockey not just to play a game but to grow up and become good adult citizens. Be respectful of authority, themselves, opponents, and the game itself. They need to learn how to succeed as human beings that have a moral compass and empathy for others.

There are invaluable life lessons to be learned by being involved in a sport that will hold all of its participants to a higher standard. Stop and think what each of us can do to make better people, not just better players.