November 2019


I find it hard to believe and very disappointing that I have to post this letter. Unfortunately those of us that do things the right way are also included in this and are guilty by association.

Recent events over the past few weeks not only have gained the attention of this Board, but that of MassHockey and USAHockey. 

I’m here to inform you that what has been deemed acceptable in society, is not acceptable nor will it be tolerated by this Conference. When a coach at an 8and Under game losses control and berates, and belittles a young referee to the point that he is “done with Refereeing” and his coaching staff along with the spectators join in, this is not acceptable behavior. When a coach at a 12and Under game shouts profanity at the referees this will not be tolerated. When a spectator tries to enter the opposing team’s bench this will not be tolerated.  

I’m embarrassed to have to remind all of us how to conduct ourselves at a hockey rink.

Respect the opposing team and their fans. Keep comments positive and cheer your kids on!

Respect the on ice and off ice officials.

Respect the Players benches, Coaches, Locker Rooms, and Referee Rooms.

Your actions, Positive or Negative have an incredible ripple effect. Remember not only are you representing your Child, but the Team, the Program, and Community.

We are adults and role models and we need to start getting back to what we should be and not what we are becoming. We are Fans, not Fanatics! 

When you arrive at a Rink, before you open the door, take a deep breathe, whatever is bothering you, leave it outside and remind yourself whatever the capacity of your role is, you are there for the children and not yourself. The same can be said for when you leave the Rink leave the game inside. Sometimes for a young youth hockey player the hardest part of the game is the ride home. Keep it positive, don’t dwell on the negative aspects of his/hers game but reinforce the upside of the game, keep the love of the game alive.

Please take a minute and read the Coaches Code of Conduct. Please read the Parents Code of Conduct.  


Joseph E Coulter


South Shore Conference