As I write this, I’m at Ted Reeve Arena, the rink in my neighbourhood. My son’s team, the Penguins, is playing Ted Reeve Thunder. If we lose, that’s the end of the season, pretty much.
Sitting here, I’m reminded of this story. It’s been on the minds of lots of coaches, players and parents, this week.
The fact that it involves the Penguins and Ted Reeve teams isn’t the only reason. I’m preoccupied with it because my son, Son One, should be playing tonight. But the doctor won’t let him.
About three weeks ago, at a tournament in London, my son was driven into the boards, hard, by a player who used his knee to do it. My son was carried off the ice and couldn’t walk.
He hasn’t played since. Yesterday, I took him to the doctor, and was told that the damage may be significant. Tomorrow, we’re trying to get him an MRI.
It isn’t how we figured the season would end. Why did it happen to our son, and other sons?
Well, other people have their reasons for the bad stuff that happens in amateur hockey. Us? We attribute lousy refs. In the GTHL, we have an abundance of crummy officials. They’re terrible. They’re the dregs.
Kids will continue to get hurt if we continue to have refs who don’t know what they’re doing. To me, to us, it’s that simple.
The kid who ended my kid’s season didn’t get a penalty. And he did it right in front of a ref.
Want kids to be safer when they play? Get better officials.
Oh, and one other thing: it’s just a game. It isn’t worth kids getting hurt.
UPDATE: We won! Not dead yet!