The BluePrint Hockey it's
Instructors and it's Executive dedicates ourselves to promote and foster
hockey through progressive leadership and by ensuring that all organized
hockey programs are controlled and developed in the spirit of fair play
and in accordance to the prescribed standards, as directed by Hockey
Our mission statement:
Our mission is to build a foundation of skills for young players, by
providing a superior understanding of hockey for future
development of our young stars.
Hockey Rink Etiquette For Parents
Youth hockey is an
intense game on the ice, and sometimes it can be just as intense
off the ice.
There, we see
parents jawing at each other, at players, at coaches, at game officials.
The temperature is a little too high in the building, and some of us parents
can be a little
too tightly wound.
While we all say
it’s about “fun”, watching our own kids play can bring out the
worst instincts that we have.
We all want our sons
and daughters to play, to play hard, to play well, and — there’s
that phrase again— have fun. We want them to be well-coached, play on a
is competitive in their category, and benefit in a host of ways from being
involved in competitive athletics.
Yet we, as parents,
sometimes undercut how much fun our kids really have, and how
much they will actually benefit.
This happens by and
through our often toxic behaviour, especially during games.
of us don’t recognize our own negative behaviour. We only see
it in others!
So here is a primer,
a reminder, of little things that we can do at and around the rink this
fall and winter to make the new hockey season more pleasant for all
most importantly, for the kids.
15 things to
keep in mind while watching from the stands this winter:
Let the coaches’ coach.
If you are telling your son or daughter — or any other player
for that matter — to do something different from what their coach is
you create distraction and confusion.
It is very unnerving for
many young players to try and perform difficult tasks on the ice on
the spur of the moment when parents are yelling at them from the
sidelines. Let the
kids play. If they have been well coached, they should know what to do
on the ice. If they make a mistake,
chances are they will learn from it.
Do not discuss the play of
specific young players in front of other parents. How many
times do you hear comments such as, “I don’t know how that boy made this
team….” or “she’s
just not fast enough…”. Too many parents act as though their own child
is a ‘star’, and the problem is someone else’s kid.
Negative comments and attitudes are hurtful and
totally unnecessary and kill parent harmony, which is often essential to
youth team success.
Discourage such toxic
behaviour by listening patiently to any negative comments
that might be made, then address issues in a thoughtful, positive way.
Speak to the positive qualities of a player, family or
coach. It tends to make the outspoken critics
back off, at least temporarily.
Do your level best not to
complain about your son or daughter’s coaches to other
parents. Once that starts, it is like a disease that spreads. Before
you know it, parents are
talking constantly in a negative way behind a coach’s back. (As an
aside, if you have what you truly
feel is a legitimate beef with your child’s coach — either
regarding game strategy or playing time, arrange an appointment to meet
privately, away from the rink and other
Make only positive comments
from the stands. Be encouraging. Young athletes do
not need to be reminded constantly about their perceived errors or
mistakes. Their coaches will instruct them, either
during the game or between periods, and
during practices. You can often see a young player make that extra
effort when they hear encouraging words
from the stands about their hustle.
Avoid making any negative
comments about players on the other team. This should
be simple: we are talking about youngsters, not adults who are
being paid to
play professionally. I recall being at a ‘rep’ baseball game some
years ago, when a parent on one team loudly made
comments about errors made by a particular young player on
the other team. People on the other side of the diamond were stunned—
not to mention hurt and
angry, and rightfully so. Besides being tasteless and classless, these
kinds of comments can be hurtful to the
young person involved and to their family as well.
Try to keep interaction with
parents on the other team as healthy and positive as
possible. Who’s kidding whom? You want your child’s team to win. So
do they. But that
should not make us take leave of our senses, especially our common
Be courteous ‘till it hurts; avoid the ‘tit for tat’ syndrome.
Parents on the ‘other’ team
are not the enemy. Neither are the boys or girls on the
other team. We should work to check any negative feelings at the door
before we hit the arena.
What is the easiest thing to
do in the youth sports world? Criticize the referees. Oh,
there are times when calls are missed, absolutely. And that can,
directly affect the outcome of a contest. That said, by and large those
at youth hockey games are a) hardly over-compensated, and b) give it an
honest — and often quite
competent — effort. At worst, they usually at least try to be fair
On that note, outbursts from
parents on the sideline made toward the referees only signal
to our on children on the ice that they can blame the refs for anything
that goes wrong.
Learning early in life to make excuses and to blame others is not a
formula for success in sports
Yelling out comments such as
“Good call, ref” or “Thanks ref” may only serve to alienate
an official. The ref always assumes they made the proper call, that’s
why they made
it. Trying to show superficial support because the call went ‘your’ way
is simply annoying to the officials, and
to anyone within earshot.
The stands are for enjoying
watching your child play, and the companionship of
other parents— not for negative behaviour. If you want to coach, obtain
certification and then apply for a job.
We all feel things and are
apt to be tempted to say things to others — fellow
parents, officials, our own kids — in the ‘heat of the moment’. But we
don’t excuse athletes for doing
inappropriate things in the ‘heat of the moment’ (there are
penalties, suspensions, etc.) so we should apply similar standards to
our own behaviour
at the rink. Make yourself pause and quickly check yourself and ask:
Will I be proud of what I am about to say
or do when I reflect on it tomorrow?
The parking lot is not the
time to ‘fan the flames’. Whether it is a coach’s decision,
a referee’s call, a comment that was made, let it go. Don’t harass the
coach or an official or a
parent on the other team after the game is over. Go home, relax, and
unwind. Talk positively with your child. Many of us have made the
mistake of “chewing out” our own son
or daughter on the way home for perceived poor play. The ride home
is sometimes as important as the game itself. Make that time a good
memory for your son or daughter by discussing as
many positives as you can about him/her, their coach and