Sometimes in our quest for the golden rings or the MVP award we lose sight of the important things. We abandon fair play and respect believing it matters more about winning at any cost.
Respect in hockey between players, parents, coaches, officials and facilities  is essential. Sportsmanship should be of paramount value to everyone involved in hockey. Each individual should be respectful of everyone’s position and to be a positive role model in our great game.
Players need to play hard but play fair. Remember it’s only a game. Player’s should be conscious of opponent’s safety as well as their own on the ice. Play safe and avoid injuring other players… remember the Golden Rule!
Parents should be able to go to the arena and support their children but not to the detriment of everyone else. They should not interfere with the coaches decisions. Parents should refrain from insulting officials and coaches, who are trying to do their very best within the game.
Coaches should instill sportsmanship and fair play within their teams. They need to understand the importance of their role in the game. Players look up to their coaches. Coaches should have a positive demeanor towards their players, officials and other parties associated with the game. It’s importance to avoid degrading or insulting with verbal remarks during the heat of battle. Players often feed off the negative actions of their coaches.
Hockey is about playing to your best abilities but there will always be rules. The officials on the ice deserve the respect of everyone in the arena including the players, coaches and parents. Remember the game cannot be played and supervised without these dedicated individuals. Referees, linesmen and the volunteer time / score keepers are such a valuable part of the hockey community. They must be treated with respect and consideration.
Even the arena managers and rink attendants deserve shared respect. They are responsible for keeping the arena facilities in good repair and maintaining good quality ice. Parents must instill in their children respect for the rink facilities including the stands and dressing room areas. If a player had a bad game, this is not a reason to break equipment or trash the dressing room. Players and coaches must respect that the rink attendants have schedules too. When one group is finished on the ice, it is respectful to make sure that practice teams are off the ice so that the ice can be cleaned on time for the next group.
Shared respect within the game of hockey requires good cooperation between all the major stakeholders – players, parents, coaches, officials and facilities. Shared respect will ensure that hockey will continue to be the greatest game on earth.