Opinions

Way to go, Paul

How parents are ruining the fun for everyone

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It may not be the fairest solution, but banning parents from their kids’ hockey games is still the best option available.

After a video of a York, Pa. hockey dad shattering the glass at his daughter’s hockey game went viral, the question of how to keep players and refs safe from raging parents stole headlines.

The father hit the glass with his wedding ring, apparently breaking both the glass and his ring, while shouting obscenities at someone on the ice. Another spectator sarcastically shouts, “Way to go, Paul.”

Not only does broken glass represent a hazard to anyone in the area, but the kids had to stop playing after the temper tantrum, effectively ruining the game for everyone.

This is far from the first time a parent has endangered young people at a sporting event.

These situations have become common enough that one minor hockey league in B.C., the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association (VIAHA), is considering banning parents from all of its arenas for a weekend of games as a warning.

If the warning doesn’t work, the association might continue with the ban.

In a Globe and Mail article about the potential banning, the president of the VIAHA cited a recent example in which two parents went after three refs.

The refs, just teenagers, locked themselves in a locker room while the two parents tried to kick down the door.

The same Globe and Mail article cites another incident that happened earlier in January, in North Vancouver, in which a parent was kicked out after threatening his son’s teammate – a nine-year-old.

In light of these situations, parents should simply be banned. While the parents who cause these problems are surely a minority, and a ban would be completely unfair for those parents who don’t throw tantrums, it isn’t about them.

It’s about the kids.

These are sporting events for children, and they are the ones who need to be the focus of any decision to make arenas safe and friendly.

Parents are the least necessary people in the arena. The players are necessary, the refs are necessary, and the coaches are necessary, but parents provide only moral support, if anything.

If too many parents are a threat to the safety of people who are integral to the game, like players and refs, then the obvious answer is to kick them out.

In addition to that, the parents are adults, while the players and refs are typically children or teenagers.

It seems clear that we should cater to the children and their safety over the wants of the adults, especially when the adults are the ones causing the problems.

It’s absurd that a grown man slammed his hand into the glass hard enough to break his wedding ring and shatter the glass. Just as absurd as two grown men chasing three teenagers into a locker room and trying to kick down the door.

We need to remove the chance of these events from happening. The safety of the refs and players takes precedence over the wants and anger of the parents.

Ban the parents.

Let the kids play.

 

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