I’m trying my hardest to think right now but I really don’t think there is a worse possible way you could ever spend a weekend than reffing any sort of youth sports. And out of all the youth sports to ref, I have to imagine that hockey would be the absolute worst of them all. Parents are crazy in any sports but when it comes to hockey, they’re just a different breed. Maybe it’s because the games for youth hockey typically start at 6am and you’re stuck sitting in a building filled with ice and boots that have metal blades attached to the bottom of them. So it’s early, you’re cold, and pretty much every piece of equipment could be used as weaponry. Combine all those factor together with the fact that hockey parents are already crazy to begin with, and you’re doomed from the moment you drop the puck if you’re a ref.
Now in this specific scenario here? It sounds as if the ref didn’t necessarily do himself any favors. Obviously we’d need the full story to come out for context and we’d need to get that story from both sides of the incident. But if you respond in any sort of physical way to a 10-year-old, chances are that you’re going to have a giant group of hockey parents ready to beat the shit out of you. Even if that kid is a little twerp for slashing you. But in that instance, maybe just try to tell yourself that the kid is going to grow up to be a drain on society and ignore it. Kick the kid out of the game, just chalk it up to the fact that he probably has shitty parents, and move on from the situation without having a bunch of coaches and parents storm onto the ice to fight you. And eventually still trying to fight you off the ice as well.
The moral of the story here, though, is why would you ever want to ref youth sports? At the very best, you’re getting screamed at by a bunch of alcoholic parents who think that a game in a 10-year-old 3v3 tournament has as much on the line as game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. At the very worst, you have coaches and parents storming onto the ice to fight you. And then somewhere in the middle, you have to get slashed by a little kid and just walk away from it without retaliating. None of those situations seem as ideal as just staying home and relaxing on your couch so…yeah. Maybe just don’t ref anymore and let the teams try to figure it out on their own.