In a recent viral video dubbed the Hockey Mom Clip, Gina O'Toole, a Boston-based hockey mom, steps onto the ice an effort to try and break up a fight between two junior hockey teams.
The Hockey Mom Clip hit the Internet on June 18 and has brought up the topic of sportsmanship, shoddy officiating, spectator code of conduct and fighting at the youth hockey level.
While everybody knows that fighting is huge part of the sport on the professional level, the junior hockey game between the Boston Raptors and Connecticut Tribe players apparently got a little too out of hand.
I've seen fights usually between one or two children and the refs usually step in immediately and break it up. That didn't happen, O'Toole said in an abcnews.com report. I just found myself opening the gate and walking onto the ice and saying, 'Hey, you need to get control of this game. What are you doing?'
She added that The ref turned around and he yelled at me and told me to get off the ice and I said, 'You need to do your job. What concerned me was the feeling of the blows to the back of the head and a child going down the ice of maybe a potential head injury.
On-ice rage has become an increasing concern in the sport of hockey and mainly in the NHL playoffs. Although it is often one of the biggest targets of criticism, the undeniable fact is that it is one of the main draws of the game.
While O'Toole makes it a point to say that the referee was not doing his job, there really aren't any rules that say he is supposed to break up fights.
Fighting, in the NHL at least, is governed by a common understanding between the players, coaches and officials that if a physical altercation breaks out, it will result in a variety of penalties enforced on the players involved.
The reason that referees do not immediately get involved is because they do not want to risk getting hurt. That's why most of the time when the players eventually fall to the ground, you'll see referees intervene.
But as many will probably argue, the referee in this situation should have probably done something sooner because at the youth league level, the players are so small that the ref wouldn't put his own safety on the line by stepping in to break up the fight.