Do not blame the refs. There is a ref shortage in New England, that is a fact. A majority are older and won't be around forever. Less younger refs getting certified because none of them want to put up with the abusive parents and coaches who think they know everything (you don't). Can't wait to hear the crying when little Johnny's games have only 1 ref because there aren't enough of them to go around. Especially at the younger age groups and the lower levels of play. Stop blaming them and shake their hands and thank them for being there in the first place so little Johnny can even play.
I am a parent of a kids that play elite hockey as well as a ref. Here is what I can tell you. The behavior of the parents is simply beyond ridiculous. It is embarrassing! What you need to remember is that most calls are spot on correct. Yes, we will miss a couple here or there but for the most part, the calls are right. The more you yell and scream, the easier it is to miss a call. I especially love the coaches that lose their minds on every call. Do you really think I will give you the benefit of the doubt in making a marginal call. Remember, I have a certain amount of discretion. As long as the kids are safe, I will hand out bench minors like Halloween candy to those rotten, entitled, snot-nosed litle *******s until you STFU.
Maybe the two previous ref posters can giveme clarification on a call recently.
HC is ejected (albeit a little prematurely, but I think I know why) then team is given a delay of game penatly for HC refusing to leave bench.
Now, can a parent who is not on the score sheet, come into bench to help coach ?
Now I know that the HC cant be in contact with his assistant via cellphone and coach, which also occurred, but whatever. Just looking for clarification on the parent coming to bench mid game, that is not registered as a coach.
"...the game shall continue provided there is adult supervision on the bench."
Sounds like anyone can jump over and fill in. The world might stop if the guy isn't a certified coach but how many of them qualify as 'adults' anyway?
There is no doubt that the current pool of refs is aging and moving away from the game, as well as young people not wanting to become officials. That said, the biggest problem is the rapid growth of registered teams at the youth level. Town hockey never went away, but all the "elite" "premier" "AAA""Select" programs added a second or third team (mostly filled out with players who also play for their town teams). This has created an environment where there are thousands of youth games every weekend, never mind juniors, college and high school (in a couple weeks).
I have been a coach, referee and hockey parent for over 20 years, and have had the opportunity to officiate college for the last 10. I have tried to encourage both my teenage son and daughter to referee and after a couple of years of going to seminars and doing some games, they now have no interest. Its really too bad more kids don't do it because there is no other place where a kid in high school or college can make $30-$50 an hour, get a workout and meet some good people.
When it comes to older officials, an even younger ones who have been exposed to higher levels of hockey, USA Hockey is the problem. They make it so time consuming to become an official. An all day seminar and 10-15 hours of online modules is enough to scare guys away from doing youth games. There is no incentive to being a Level 3 or 4 ref and despite there only being rule changes every 4 years, you still need to pay your $80-$100 and meet all the requirements i previously mentioned.
In the end it is the USA hockey, rink owners, programs owners who start extra teams and out of control parents and coaches who are responsible for the lack of referees or good officiating. And that is not to say that there aren't bad referee's but when you are screaming at a a young official in a squirt or peewee game because they missed a call then you have most likely contributed to a game going uncovered the next weekend or a lesser official showing up next time around.