Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bench Clearing Brawl at HS Hockey Game- TPC Advises on the Issue

MoChassid recently wrote an article on a local High School Semi Final Hockey game between HAFTR and Maagen David, where with 90 seconds left, trailing 2-0, one of the players on Maagen David made an aggressive hit on one of the HAFTR players and a bench clearing brawl, including SOME PARENTS, took place.
Keep in mind, this is a no hitting league and a player that is involved in a fight in any shape or form is automatically suspended for at least the next game.

Here's the problem. The next game in this case is the Championship Game. It is also the last game of many of the players, the High School Seniors. The question is what does the league do and more importantly what do the respective schools do.

In my response to MoC, I wrote:
The problem here is HAFTR was not the instigator, so no matter how wrong it was to retaliate, they are basically being penalized for being the victim of a team taking a cheap shot when the game was decided.
The bigger issue here is the fact that parents were involved. I don't know about the situation, but if your facts are correct, the bigger chinuch issue is what do we do with the parents. It's one thing for kids to get out of control in an emotional, physical game such as hockey (being a former HS player nothing is more important in a kids life than winning that Championship and emotions do take over-rightfully or wrongfully).
What is the parents excuse and what price do they pay? What lessons are they teaching their kids?
There is more to the question and comment.

First off, assuming the league takes a hard line and suspends the players involved and basically giving the Championship to DRS (they won their other Semi Final Game). DRS gets screwed by not being given the chance to win it on the "ice". HAFTR gets screwed because they were just retaliating (albeit wrongfully) to a cheap shot to one of their players (no matter how wrong it is, there is still some good here in the standing up for your teammate). Maagen David gets off scott free because being on the losing end they have no game to be suspended for. This leads to my main point and because I was personally involved in a similar situation 20 somewhat years ago, I know exactly the psyche of Maagen David (no lose situation, frustration, etc). In my opinion, First thinsg first. I would let HAFTR play DRS at full strength. I would then have the school meet out a punishment for each of the players involved. The punishment would coincide with the more important problem here, the parents who actually got involved. We'll get back to the punishment in a minute.

Watching my son and nephew in various Little League and other competitive sporting events, I noticed a major trend that needs to be dealt with in a major way. This is nothing new to most who watch the news, but I can tell you the source. I see parents getting way to involved in the kids events, to the point where parents on opposing squads are viciously arguing with each other (sometimes these guys are good friends, neighbors and sit next to each other in shul on Shabbos). You get a lot of language from the parents that would in no way, shape or form be tolerated from their kids. These parents, most of whom I know from High School and College were generally NOT the guys that were "players" but rather mediocre athletes at best and are now living their "fantasies" through their kids. The guys I competed against (and sometimes still do) generally want their kids to learn the game, play to the best of their abilities and just enjoy the sport. They don't need to have their kids being pressured to win at all costs for them. I see this as a huge problem amongst the kids being put in pressure situations where they might be just 6-8 years old and the main objective is for them to learn a sport and it's virtues rather than complete some dream a father wasn't able to achieve on his own. This usually leads to the kid hating the sport, the father, etc. This also leads to what happened between HAFTR and Maagen David.

The parents involved in this brawl must pay a lot more than the kids, who are basically, as I wrote earlier, acting out on emotion in possibly their last ever High School game in a very emotional and physical game. While I agree it is wrong, it is to an extent understandable. The parents have no excuses.

Back to the punishment. I would suspend the players involved for the first 3 games of next season for HAFTR and 5 for Maagen David for being the instigator.
For the remainder of the school year, ALL the Seniors, their parents and the parents and kids of all the remainder involved (i.e. if a sophomore was involved in the brawl, he and his parents or if some parent was involved and his kid wasn't or wasn't even on the team, he and his kid) would enter into an after school counseling/ learning program twice a week for the remainder of the school year. There would be no excuse of "I have to work and I can't make it" or "I have no one to watch the kids" etc. If this is the case the school would provide the babysitter. The program could start at an hour late enough to give the parents ample time to get home, or even do it on a Sunday night. This way all three will make a major sacrifice and need to be held accountable for their actions.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Back to the punishment. I would suspend the players involved for the first 3 games of next season for HAFTR and 5 for Maagen David for being the instigator.
For the remainder of the school year, ALL the Seniors, their parents and the parents and kids of all the remainder involved (i.e. if a sophomore was involved in the brawl, he and his parents or if some parent was involved and his kid wasn't or wasn't even on the team, he and his kid) would enter into an after school counseling/ learning program twice a week for the remainder of the school year. There would be no excuse of "I have to work and I can't make it" or "I have no one to watch the kids" etc. If this is the case the school would provide the babysitter. The program could start at an hour late enough to give the parents ample time to get home, or even do it on a Sunday night. This way all three will make a major sacrifice and need to be held accountable for their actions.

Never going to happen- 5 games is 1/2 the season and these parents will never agree to such extensive counseling- if any- and the schools will be too scared to even suggest it.

ThePeoplesChamp said...

Anon

Two things
1- I know 5 games is half the season. That's exactly why I suggested it. This will prevent this from happening in the future.

2- I don't care what the parents think. That's my point. they need to step up and show an example for their kids and how to act. It doesn't have to be "classic counseling". It could be a Series on Midos or Shiurim of some sort. And if they don't like it, the kids don't get to graduate/move to the next grade. If addressed properly, the parents could embrace it and they can all make a Kiddush Hashem out of what is obviously the opposite.

Jason A. said...

A suggestion i overheard was to allow HAFTR to play, but they would not be allowed to wear anything. Additionally, they would have to wear a sign on there back saying 'Im a dousche...'