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I've been there and am still doing that, I think it's an amazing part time job for kids. Your kids will have a flexible schedule, learn responsibility, communication skills, how to handle being in a position of authority while making a pretty decent hourly wage. That said, I learned some valuable lessons with my oldest that have served me well for my other kids.
First, if you live an area with a strong presence in the Valley League, have them spend their first year working there while they develop their skills. My oldest spent most of his first year doing FED/PHL games and it was rough. In general terms, VHL does a much better job with new officials than any other assignors my oldest worked with. Usually with VHL they'll only work Mite & Squirts until they have proven they can handle more, will generally be assigned games with a more experienced official and the parents tend to be more sane at the younger ages. (Downside, they don't make as much.)
Second, as long as I'm driving I usually come in to watch the last 5 minutes of a game. Most parents wait until the game ends to really go after an official so I want to make sure I'm there to "deal" with anything that arises. I never speak, I don't call attention to myself, etc. but the one time a parent tried to chase my son into the officials room, I was there to help deescalate the situation.
There are probably 100 other things I could cover but if you follow the first bit of advice, chances are minimal the second won't matter and you can figure out the rest of it as you go through year one.
Last bit of advice, once you register them, pay the fees, make sure you sign them up for a seminar that starts before the hockey season begins and have them take & pass their open book test before the seminar. You would be amazed at the number of kids who attend the seminar but never take the test. I think a kid taking a test in August is a pretty decent barometer of his or her actual interest in the job.
re-read your entry. This is not normal- especially not for a part time weekend job.
My son can’t wait to ref but I also feel like I have to be there in case any parents get crazy. And then I think I really don’t need that sh... Parents, get it together. Seriously.
My kid played in that 8U game. Ref tossed a coach a few mins into the game and had enough and walked off the ice mid 1st period. Game was almost cancelled until a ref in the next rink over jumped in last second to take over.
If you encourage your kid to ref then you should be charged with child abuse !
They have continually asked my kid since he was 14 to ref and ump. No kid, or adult for that matter, should be subjected to the abuse from parents and coaches who think a bad call totally derailed their kids development.
I have done it. Refuse to go back and not an amount of money in the world could get me to ref again.
8 u parents screaming about a kid one inch off sides.
8 u parents screaming “trip” every time a kids stick touches a kids leg and they fall down because they can’t skate yet.
16 parents of single A players screaming about everything like the game at that level matters.
Parents have ruined every aspect of youth hockey !