SMHA is proud to be introducing a new initiative to make the experience of refereeing minor hockey better for our young officials and to increase retention of our officials. The key for this initiative to work is for the adults - parents, coaches and fans - to stop yelling at referees who are doing their best on the ice just like the kids playing the game.
SMHA encourages the use of its online Officials Evaluation form. This is a far more constructive method of helping officials to improve. Yelling at them just encourages them to quit.
Excerpt from the Green Arm Band FAQ document linked below:
What is the green armband initiative? All SMHA officials age 15 and under are required to wear a green armband as a means to identify them as a junior official. The wearing of the armband is to highlight the age of the official regardless of the level of hockey that they are working.
Officials age 15 & under in our Interlock MHA partner communities, Clavet, Delisle, Martensville and Warman will also be wearing green arm bands and are part of this initiative.
As part of this initiative, there will also be increased sanctions against team officials and spectators that are penalized for abuse or harassment of officials.
Why are we implementing the green armband initiative in SMHA hockey? This initiative is being implemented because it is the right thing to do. The children brave enough to step up to officiate hockey should not be subject to abuse of any kind while trying to do their job. It is not tolerated at any other workplace and will not be tolerated on the ice at hockey games in Saskatoon and area. ** DO NOT YELL AT THE OFFICIALS
Abuse and harassment of officials continues to be an issue for officials. While the vast majority of coaches, team officials, and parents treat officials with respect, there are still issues that need to be addressed. Introducing the green armband will highlight for participants that abuse and harassment of officials continues to be a problem in our games, especially for junior officials.
Greater than 50% of all SMHA officials are age 15 & under. They are the lifeblood of our minor hockey officiating program. It is important that the hockey community works together to protect the physical and psychological well-being of these young officials.
Requiring junior officials to wear a green armband will identify to all participants that the official working the game is age 15 or younger. The wearing of a green armband is a reflection of the official’s age and NOT of their skill level as an official.
When does the green armband initiative officially take effect? The initiative will officially begin November 15, 2023 with all impacted officials required to wear the green armband no later than December 15, 2023 or whenever they receive their green armband, whichever comes first.