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What’s wrong with youth hockey


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My oldest is 18 and off playing hockey now so I have been through this once already.  I'm now starting over coaching my youngest, 4 years old, in his first year of Mini Mites.  I can say I have a tota

If this AA pee wee thing and AA bantam thing is going to stick (it will), then two tiered high school hockey has to happen.  It just does.  Dickinson/Williston/Grafton having their kids play at a lowe

Takes me 36 years to get a state title and my daughter gets one her first year of coaching as her U12 A West Fargo Stampede team beat Mandan 5-2 today for the ship 

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Here is the news story on the incident.  

LINK

Hockey and sports in general mirror society today.  There are extremes on both ends.  While there are people like this out there and crazy does happen I don't think it reflects or defines the sport.  There are a ton of good people involved in hockey doing things the right way, players, parents, coaches, and referees .  These days the ugly incidents and knuckleheads can make national headlines in minutes given the reach of social media and make everybody look bad.

This guy will never coach again.  His club fired him and he's probably already on the Safesport banned list.  He's probably got bigger problems as I am guessing he will do time in jail for assault, as he should.

The most disturbing thing to me in that really messed up deal is some of the kids stick tapping during and after the fight.  Incredible.

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8 hours ago, BarnWinterSportsEngelstad said:

What's Wrong with Youth HOCKEY you say?

Heard this one like 20 years ago.
A few Hockey Moms from North Dakota to Maine are developing the same mind set that many Soccer Moms across America have?
 

If you think its just moms you are pushing a fools paradise.

Parents and the pursuit of vicariously won glory is #1.

Lots of problems, and its tougher to pick out the positives than ever before...

Bad coaches are still a major issue.

Lat weekend I watched a coach, a grown mature man.... taunt the kids on the other team like a drunken cheeleeder every time his team scored a goal, woooping and hollaring dancing, gesturing. 

You'd have sworn he just got a tray of feee shots at his favorite blue oyster bar the way he carried on.

I may send the video to the twittersphere... It should ruin the mans coaching career but. it wont, cause winning is the most important thing to too many people.

 

Suffice it to say, youth sports are facing a multi-headed demon these days.

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I may be off topic if you guys are strictly speaking about actions towards refs, but youth teams will  develop a mob-like mentality if they dont have a decent coach.  Kids viewpoints can change (during gameplay) to where the opposing team is evil - no longer human almost, as they are too young to really have any perspective on life and they get caught up in their emotions.  Kids also see old time hockey fights and play games like NHL Hits and they want to do the same thing, because its fun.  Like other kids, youth hockey players are still learning right from wrong.  Crazy hockey parents egging them on from the stands doesnt help either, but it all comes down to having accountability from parents and coaches, and if there isn't any things like this happen. 

Some fighting between youth teems should be expected, but not accepted, imo.  There are always just bad apples as well - I played with one in hs that got arrested for assaulting a ref during a game in Fargo.  Kid was just wired wrong.

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Long and shorts it’s parents

hockey should be part of the school system

too many kids missing school because of games when you travel from SE ND to NW ND for weekend series.

their was a we are better than you where I came from when it came to hockey Vs. basketball and hockey didn’t follow NDHSA rules when it came to discipline for school infractions, grades, drinking ect. And if you didn’t drive a suburban you weren’t in the club.

maybe that has changed now since I’ve been away from it for 20 years now.

 

 

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It is definitely the parents.  I’ve encountered truly dirty teams at 10U AAA where kids are literally trying to hurt other players.  Kicking guys when down, spearing, cross checks to back of neck below the helmet.  It’s awful. 
 

there are people out there that believe it’s assault on skates rather than hockey.  I have no problem with some good, hard-nosed physical play; but intent to hurt is learned and wrong.

I’ve lost my cool a few times as papa bear when I’ve watched teams and players intentionally target and try hurt skill players.

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I coached/taught at a school where every year before the school year started we'd have an all seasons coaches meeting to talk about new rules, but mostly handling unruly parents, kids, situations etc.  No kidding, I had a school administrator's kid on one of the teams I coached and that school administrator LITERALLY did all the things he talked about "bad parents doing" in that meeting.  The longest three seasons of my coaching career were spent dealing with this kid (definition of team cancer) and his dad stopping by my classroom just about every morning during the season for a "talk about how things were going".  Looking back, I probably could have gotten him fired, but was too young to really want to stir the pot at all.  

When it comes down to the cub, papa and mama bear don't care about their own actions until its too late.

Why anyone would want to get into officiating now with the crap they put up with is beyond me.  It takes 5 minutes on youtube watching parents vs. officials videos to dissuade anyone from wanting to wear black and white and blow the whistle during games.      

 

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Hockey and basketball and most other youth sports in general would be much better off if the club and AAU teams went by the wayside and were brought back into the schools.   The intense specialization ruins kids athleticism and has led to a significant increase in injuries while contributing to horrible behavior by players and parents. 

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It would also help if the team/parents stood up to and didn't tolerate the behavior being discussed.  From my experience, when it's one of your own that's the problem, it's fairly unusual for the wrong-doer to be put in his place by the other parents.  A little more self policing would be nice.

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3 hours ago, Walsh Hall said:

It would also help if the team/parents stood up to and didn't tolerate the behavior being discussed.  From my experience, when it's one of your own that's the problem, it's fairly unusual for the wrong-doer to be put in his place by the other parents.  A little more self policing would be nice.

This. I won’t tolerate any bad behavior by my players. Team meeting before season starts every year and I stress it over and over. I’ve had no issues this year but one when one of my players said the F word in the penalty box. He sat the rest of the game. We played a team a couple weeks ago that I could not believe the things they were saying. I have 3 girls on my team and it was disgusting. Coach did nothing about it. F bombs left and right while in the penalty box too. They were reported but doubt anything will be done about it. Sad 

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3 hours ago, sioux rube said:

This. I won’t tolerate any bad behavior by my players. Team meeting before season starts every year and I stress it over and over. I’ve had no issues this year but one when one of my players said the F word in the penalty box. He sat the rest of the game. We played a team a couple weeks ago that I could not believe the things they were saying. I have 3 girls on my team and it was disgusting. Coach did nothing about it. F bombs left and right while in the penalty box too. They were reported but doubt anything will be done about it. Sad 

youd bench a kid for an f bomb?

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Hockey players were the worst little humans I have ever been around when I refereed hockey. It only got worse when I did higher levels of hockey up to AAA. They were the most mouthy and disrespectful bunch of kids I have even been around. Been around many different sports and nothing was like hockey.
 

Funny thing is that same things goes for their parents! Who do you think these kids learned this from!?!?! Honestly I feel bad for the parents on how they embarrass themselves. If I was a coach I would probably be fired because I would not allow my parents to act disrespectful in the rink. Politics rule in youth hockey, if your not connected good luck!

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14 hours ago, sioux rube said:

This. I won’t tolerate any bad behavior by my players. Team meeting before season starts every year and I stress it over and over. I’ve had no issues this year but one when one of my players said the F word in the penalty box. He sat the rest of the game. We played a team a couple weeks ago that I could not believe the things they were saying. I have 3 girls on my team and it was disgusting. Coach did nothing about it. F bombs left and right while in the penalty box too. They were reported but doubt anything will be done about it. Sad 

Good for you! These kids need to learn discipline and respect. We need more coaches with a moral backbone!

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Are we sure it isn't ... all of us?
Have we as a society lost all decorum and just become "loudest gets their way and I'll smack you if I don't get mine"? 

I know of an outstanding math teacher who quit the profession because of the kids and the parents and the administration. All have fallen into "loudest wins" and they could no longer tolerate it and what it was doing to the kids trying to be civil and act with decorum. 

I won't tell you how and why I quit officiating ice hockey (but when I think about it the scar throbs). 

 

We all (my hand in air too) could do well exercising more prudence, justice, temperance, and courage. 

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1 hour ago, Sioux>Bison said:

Good for you! These kids need to learn discipline and respect. We need more coaches with a moral backbone!

So many coaches out there that just look the other way. Sad 

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I was told by a player that in the late 1980s you could "bomb"-away (if it was not directly aimed at an opponent or official), but there was one word that was an instance "deuce" and feel much shame.

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16 minutes ago, The Sicatoka said:

I was told by a player that in the late 1980s you could "bomb"-away (if it was not directly aimed at an opponent or official), but there was one word that was an instance "deuce" and feel much shame.

I called a penalty on a player in my early officiating days because he said "f3ck my life" after ringing the crossbar dead on.  Wasn't directed at anybody but himself, but I heard it, and USA hockey said zero tolerance on that.  I think the kid understood the penalty but his coach lost it on me.  I had to show him between periods in the rule book the profanity rule (used to be 601 E.), but it still turned into the coach riding me all game long about every little instance because his kid swore.  

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3 hours ago, The Sicatoka said:

I was told by a player that in the late 1980s you could "bomb"-away (if it was not directly aimed at an opponent or official), but there was one word that was an instance "deuce" and feel much shame.

Was it the same magic word featured in the movie Bull Durham?

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3 hours ago, Wilbur said:

I called a penalty on a player in my early officiating days because he said "f3ck my life" after ringing the crossbar dead on.  Wasn't directed at anybody but himself, but I heard it, and USA hockey said zero tolerance on that.  I think the kid understood the penalty but his coach lost it on me.  I had to show him between periods in the rule book the profanity rule (used to be 601 E.), but it still turned into the coach riding me all game long about every little instance because his kid swore.  

Only way to shut a coach up is to give him a bench penalty. Had a few of those in my lifetime but that was when I was much younger 

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On 2/17/2021 at 3:29 AM, BarnWinterSportsEngelstad said:

What's Wrong with Youth HOCKEY you say?

Heard this one like 20 years ago.
A few Hockey Moms from North Dakota to Maine are developing the same mind set that many Soccer Moms across America have?
 

In the last two days, all you posters here went Nuclear, back to the hockey mom.

Used to make fun of minivans, until one day woke up as a hockey mom.
Feels antsy if not outside each day.

Starts crock pot at home before leaves for the ice.
Karen haircut, baseball cap, make up & accessories look effortless, always on point.
Drives a sweet ass minivan or suburban.
Water! Multiple cases in vehicle.
Snacks! gluten free protein bars, organic orange slices, etc.
Barrels into the parking lot - finishing with brakes, a little slide, & a huge smile.
Can juggle multiple children and equipment with ease.
Oversized sun glasses; implies - sexy, mysterious and better than you.
Personalized coffee cup.
Game time: grunting, screaming, jumping, lip biting, deep heavy breathing.....
Bubbling rage toward referees - owns it.
Arriving home, crock pot ready; throws back a cocktail instead of throwing dinner together.
Always looks like a multitasking genius.

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On 2/17/2021 at 2:58 PM, dlsiouxfan said:

Hockey and basketball and most other youth sports in general would be much better off if the club and AAU teams went by the wayside and were brought back into the schools.   The intense specialization ruins kids athleticism and has led to a significant increase in injuries while contributing to horrible behavior by players and parents. 

USA Hockey does a pretty good job governing youth hockey except for the accountability portion concerning grades, conduct outside of the rink etc...  Sure organizations can impose rules concerning this matter but it's not as simple as one might think due to USA Hockey's bylaw #10.  In short to suspend a player for example grades or conduct, they must be offered a hearing first with parent/guardian, player, and designated club staff.  I see clubs that have grade policies in place but am not certain if they are following this rule.  I'm also not certain how often schools of NDHSAA sanctioned teams/participants check grades, weekly?  I think this would be quite difficult to do under USA Hockey on a weekly basis.  If a player's conduct and/or actions are deemed an immediate threat or of an extremely egregious nature they can be summarily suspended.   USA Hockey advises to only use this route in extreme circumstances.  

I do agree, there is more accountability in athletics sanctioned by schools, however let's take a look at a typical youth basketball season in ND.  It's relatively short compared to a youth hockey season.  Upon conclusion of the basketball season teams pop up all over the state.  Some even have tryouts.  I'm sure they  have coaches with zero coaching education, no sanctioning body, no safe-sport that I'm aware of, and so on.  It's basically a free-for-all !@#$ show, kind of like summer AAA hockey, except at least that's confined to a shorter amount of time due to a typical USA Hockey sanctioned youth hockey season. 

So I have to ask myself this question, if youth hockey was sanctioned through schools would the seasons be shorter allowing even more time for unsanctioned hockey?  I think that is exactly what would happen.    

 

         

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