Parents of minor hockey players in Newfoundland and Labrador will now have to take a mandatory education program about appropriate behaviour at the rink.

Hockey NL said at least one parent must complete the online program or the child cannot register to play.

President Jack Lee said the idea is to get a handle on squabbles in the stands and reduce abuse aimed at officials.  

"We just want to make sure that people are educated to the fact that this is a game — this is a fun game the kids play for activity," Lee said Friday.

"You know your child is on the ice, your parents are in the stand. Sometimes people get involved — sometimes too much. So we're trying to say look, settle down, relax, have some fun with your kid playing hockey."

Lee said abusive fans and parents are not a major issue facing Hockey NL.

"There is a need to educate people because we did have some incidents in the last little while." 

This is the third year for the education program.

Last year, the program was only mandatory for parents of new players, but this year it is required for parents of all children.