As of today, parents in Ontario will be taking a $12 “respect in sport” program in order to sign their kids up for hockey this season.
Hockey families in other provinces have already been using this program in an attempt to rid rinks of over-zealous parents.
The program aims to teach parents about not putting excessive pressure on their kids playing. It works to create better environments in rink and to help make the game stay enjoyable for the kids.
This initiative also requires coaches and officials to take the course as well.
Some parents speculate the program is more political than productive.
“I doubt this weeds out the crazy parents or coaches. People are who they are and are tough to change,” a former minor league coach says. “It’s irrelevant of the parents or coaches learning. Once there is a player of notice involved people change.”
The father of three boys, who played junior level hockey and spent time with Hockey Canada, is adamant that it comes down to people remembering that the game is for the kids.
“Watching parents of players, who now play in the NHL, taken out of rinks by security and making no impact on how they act the next game leaves me skeptical of a $12 program,” he says.