New behaviour guidelines for Quebec hockey parents aim to keep action on the ice

Some parents of minor hockey players say Quebec’s new guidelines as to how they should behave is a positive step, but wonder if they will be enforced.

Guidelines set out roles, responsibilities for parents, team and arena personnel, officials

The province has teamed up with Quebec's minor hockey federation to create guidelines that prevent bad behaviour by parents. (CBC)

Some parents of minor hockey players say Quebec's new behavioural guidelines are a step in the right direction, but wonder if they will be enforced.

The new, 43-page booklet is a collaborative effort between Quebec's minor hockey federation, the province and a citizen mediation group called Équijustice.

The guidelines set out the roles and responsibilities for parents, team and arena personnel, officials, league administrators and fans who wish to intervene when an aggressive situation risks getting out of control. 

"It will definitely help sensitize the public as to what is acceptable behaviour in an arena," said Hockey Québec director Paul Ménard.

Some of the unacceptable behaviours listed in the booklet are:

  • Lack of respect.
  • Violence.
  • Intimidation.
  • Threats.
  • Assault.

If parents tell a child to fight another player, for instance, the guidelines suggest they be confronted, placed into a mediation process and then brought in front of a disciplinary committee.

Paolo Di Mattia's son plays hockey in Saint-Leonard, and he said that considering the team is made up of 10-year-olds, the stakes aren't high enough for anyone to be aggressive.

"Most kids won't make it to the NHL, so [parents] should just relax and enjoy the game," Mattia said.

But the hockey dad is wondering whether the new guidelines will be enforced, because he knows that "parents get very passionate."

Paolo Di Mattia said it's disappointing to see parents fight in front of the young players. (CBC)

Ménard said he knows parent behaviour won't change overnight, but he expects people to fall in line soon.

The guide will be sent immediately to all minor hockey associations across the province.

With files from Kate McKenna and The Canadian Press

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