British Columbia

Hockey parents must take 'Respect in Sport' course on Vancouver Island

Hockey parents on Vancouver Island will have to take a mandatory online course about "respect in sport" if they want their children to play next season.

5 parents were banned earlier this year for harassing opposing players

Hockey parents react to a call during a game in St. Louis Park, Minn. Friday, March 1, 2013. The Vancouver Island Hockey Association says parents must take a mandatory sportsmanship course if they want to enrol their kids next season. (Jeffrey Thompson/Minnesota Public Radio/AP)

Hockey parents on Vancouver Island will have to take a mandatory online course on sportsmanship if they want their children to play next season.

Parents must enrol in a 'Respect in Sport' course, which coaches and referees are already required to take. It's the latest move from amateur hockey officials on the Island to end abusive behaviour in the stands.

"It'll show you a video of a parent behaving badly and it'll ask you what you saw in that video clip .. It'll ask you, 'Yelling at the referee - that's OK. Yes or no?'" said Jim Humphrey, Vancouver Island Hockey Association President.

Earlier this year, the Vancouver Island Hockey Association banned five parents after verbally abusing opposing players.

In addition to the Respect in Sport course, parents will also be required to sign a code of conduct agreement.

While it is only a small minority of parents causing problems, Humphrey hopes these changes will help crack down on abusive behaviour in the stands.

"Every parent and or guardian will have to sign this, and once they sign it they'll have there on the form the consequences for them if they behave badly inside the rink," said Humphrey.

Poll: Should hockey parents have to take a course on respect in sport?

With files from Keith Vass

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