Hockey Edmonton has suspended more than five parents for the remainder of the season following “unacceptable incidents.”

In an email by Hockey Edmonton president Mark Doram to league parents, Doram described the latest incident started by a group of parents “so emotionally engaged in the game that the referees were afraid for their safety.”

“One group of officials felt threatened and stayed in the referee room,” Doram told CTV Edmonton. [They] locked the referee room until police arrived in order to escort them to their vehicles.”


Stefan Brown, the chair of the North Zone Referees Committee, told CTV News that screaming at officials does not help their performance.

“They don’t want to come to the arena to be abused on a daily basis when things go array.” Brown said. “I think parents need to realize it’s just a game and officials are part of the game. It’s not productive yelling and screaming at the officials.”

Doram told parents that these incidents give credence to the “typical hockey parent” belief.

“This type of behavior not only puts a black eye on our sport but puts you in the spotlight as well,” Doram wrote in the email.

Parents who get suspended are not allowed inside arenas. They have to drop their player off and wait in the parking lot until the game is finished.

Doram told parents Hockey Edmonton “[loses] a number of Officials every year because of threats made by parents and coaching staff towards them. We can’t afford to lose these folks; they are integral part of our game. 

Brown believes that suspending parents will help reduce the number of unacceptable incidents in youth hockey.

“I think it sends a clear message that these sorts of behaviour are unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.”

With files from Angela Jung