Ringette referee upset about nasty post-game note
WARNING: This story contains an expletive
Patrick Dean has been on an on-ice ringette official for almost three decades, the past 12 of those seasons have been spent in P.E.I.
He says during his career, he's been on the receiving end of criticism from parents, both on and off the ice.
He says someone recently went too far.
After leaving the ice, he said he found a note left on the officials' room door that said he and another official had ruined the game. The note used an expletive and called the game "an embarrassment."
"I got angry," Dean said. "I'm out there for the safety of the players, the safety of the game and to promote the game, and to have something like this happen is unacceptable."
The incident was reported in writing by Dean to Ringette PEI, which has since launched an investigation. Dean doesn't know who left the note.
"We obviously take it very seriously. The incident that we're investigating right now we're taking very seriously, but I think this is an isolated incident rather than a culture within our sport," said Ringette PEI executive director Valerie Vuillemot.
Dean said he was involved in another incident this year, one in which he also filed a complaint. It's since been resolved.
He said he has also witnessed other instances this season where some parents have been verbally abusive to the on-ice officials.
Ringette PEI confirmed it has looked into two instances this season involving complaints from on-ice officials.
A code of conduct was put in place in 2014 by Ringette PEI, Vuillemot said, and it's always being revised and updated as necessary.
"I think any time people are being verbally abusive to an official is a problem, but do I think it's our prime concern? No," she said.
Ringette PEI also works closely with clubs across the province promoting fair play and treatment of officials, Vuillemot added.
Hoping to bring awareness
"I think we're like any other sport ... We have a few parents that are unfortunately loud and maybe don't exercise common sense, but I think for the most part I think we do the best we can," she said.
Dean recently turned to social media to draw attention to the issue.
"I'm hoping to bring more awareness to it," Dean said. "A lot of the times, the officials just tend to walk away from the game instead of saying something."
Dean said he wants the best for the game. "I know I'm not going to call a perfect game, but I'm out here for the good of the sport. I want to see the officials and the game and the players evolve into the best they can be."