Referees have to put up with a lot, including verbal abuse from players, fans, and coaches. They shouldn’t have to be afraid of things escalating to physical violence, which is exactly what happened in Stittsville on Wednesday night.

A West Ottawa hockey team’s trainer has been suspended for attacking a 19-year-old referee after a game.

An altercation broke out between opposing players during the post-game handshake line. The referee handed out misconduct penalties and sent the teams to their respective locker rooms. Once the game sheet was published, the West Ottawa team’s trainer went to confront the official.

“My understanding is there was some pushing and shoving,” said Stittsville Minor Hockey Association president Tim Sheehan. “They ended up putting each other in some sort of head lock.”

Dozens of parents surrounded the two and soon broke up the fight, Sheehan added.

The referee did suffer some “scrapes on his face” and a cut on his eye. His glasses were also broken in the fight, Sheehan said.

From the CBC:

 

The trainer has been suspended for seven days, pending further investigation.  There is no disciplinary action being taken against the referee.

Hockey leagues are having a hard enough time keeping referees.  Hopefully they take a firm stance on this case and show that they’re committed to defending the safety of their officials.