My boys were always involved in Minor Hockey. They loved it. I loved parts of it, but I also hated parts of it. My boys are now 20 and 21 so I haven't been involved for a few years, and I can't say that I miss it at all.
The tales I heard tonight reminded me of the minor hockey madness that I hated. DH just got back from officiating an end of season minor hockey tournament in a community a few hours away and he was telling me about the wonderful time he had. It's such a pleasure to have parents and kids and coaches swearing and uttering threats at you. Not! Not a pleasure, that is, but that is exactly what he had to put up with, and that is exactly what I don't miss about minor hockey.
I don't understand why there is so much minor hockey madness. What does it accomplish? Absolutely nothing. Well, that's not really true. It does accomplish something. It teaches kids to disrespect authority and to let loose with whatever emotions they might be feeling at the moment without any thought for how it might affect someone else. It doesn't have to be that way. If the coaches and parents would set the example of good behaviour and insist that the kids act the same, there wouldn't be such minor hockey madness.
One of our boys was into hockey big time and it did crazy things to him, but he didn't get away with it. There were many, many times, when he was quite young, that I made him sit out games and practices for his behaviour and attitude. I would not allow him to return until he apologized to the team. I had coaches and parents tell me I was crazy because it was a part of hockey. My son wasn't impressed with me at the time but recently we chatted about how it helped him develop character. He still loves his hockey, and he still has to fight to keep control, but he knows how important it is to do so. He's learned to be aware of when he is starting to slip into the hockey madness and he's learned how to walk away, and still hold his head high.
It's not easy to stand against the crowd and stand for what's right but if more of us did it those that do what is wrong would eventually find it harder to do what is wrong and we might finally get rid of the Minor Hockey madness. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to enjoy watching your children play hockey and have everybody leave the game feeling proud of the way that every body acted?