MONTREAL, QC - As a direct response to one of the Molson Open Ice recommendations, the Canadian Hockey Association introduced the Shared Respect Initiative on Thursday.
The CHA Shared Respect Initiative is designed to make the game more fun for all participants, specifically targeting the problem of abuse of officials. It is a direct result of recommendation #8 at the Molson Open Ice Summit: Initiate a public campaign on positive values of hockey and having respect for all participants, rules and the game itself.
"It's a great concern for the CHA when anyone drops out of hockey," said Bob Nicholson, President of the CHA. "In the case of officials, we are losing some 10,000 officials each season, and most of them are citing verbal abuse as the major factor. Hockey has to be a fun experience for all involved in hockey, including officials."
Through the CHA Shared Respect Initiative, posters will be distributed to all 3500 arenas in Canada, encouraging arena staff to display these posters in lobbies and dressing rooms.
"The goal is to have officials working in a positive environment," said Maurice Roy, Referee-in-Chief at the CHA. "Most officials who leave the game are first and second year officials. By removing the abuse factor, young officials will remain involved and develop the skills they need to be an official for many years."
The Shared Respect Initiative is geared towards all participants of the game: players, coaches, officials and parents with a goal of education and fun for everyone.