Parents and players all have the end goal of entertainment through sport, but rivalries and heightened emotions can increase the instances of unfair play
Hockey Canada describes fair play as showing respect for the game and the participants. Respect can be shown in various ways some of which are listed below for players:
Put safety first ahead of the score of the game. If a player goes down that seems to be in pain call for help and clear the way for first aid to come through.
Allow for equal play opportunities. Try your best to share the puck and give tips to your team mates who need encouragement and skill development.
Competition can be healthy but verbal abuse does not help anything and only spreads negativity.
Mistakes are all part of the learning process of hockey. Mistakes should always be seen as future improvements and not as regrets.
Understand and appreciate that referees do not make the rules they are there so the game stays fair.
Treat your teammates and opposing teams as you would like to be treated.
Of course, children learn by example and here are some reasons why parents need to act fair
Adult behavior can be mimicked by children - yelling and screaming does nothing except spread more negativity.
Referees and officials are there for the safety of participants and should always be treated with respect.
Verbal or physical abuse is highly negative and can impact people of all ages. Abuse is not acceptable under any circumstance.
Never force a child to play they could end up resenting the game and missing out on the real fun.
Supporting your children is important during games and after no matter the outcome.
Applauding the opposing team shows good sportsmanship which can instill positive attitudes in children.
Do not let your expectations become overbearing on your child(ren)
At OHA, I had an opportunity to play with some of best players in the country and had coaches that pushed me to be my best, positioning me to play for the Penticton Vees and now the University of Denver.