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Armstrong vs Mars incident


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28 minutes ago, sutton said:

Crickets after the disciplinary hearing last night.  Anyone hear anything at all?

Really makes you wonder if anything will be done to not announce anything with all the attention this story has

This board has been doing a good job of keeping it going. Multiple news stations talked about the fact that the PIHL was having closed door meetings last night.  Hopefully they are putting in calls to them to find out where it's at.

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I just read a really good story about Robin Lehner. He has really taken it upon himself to be a leader in speaking out about how athletes are treated in sports. He is incredibly remarkable. However, there was a sense of weariness in some of his responses. A sense that he does not want to be the spokesperson for all of this, that sometimes, he would just like to play hockey. I get that.

I have been thinking a lot about this, about how, in this day and age, these things continue to happen. This thread has asked good questions...why didn't x, y, or z stop the behavior while it was going on? What can we do to prevent it in the future? How do we empower people and how do we change a negative and harmful part of hockey culture, that the majority of people agree is bad, yet it persists?

Well...how many times have you got up during a game to try and halt bad behavior? 

Not often, I guarantee it. The Robin Lehners of the world are rare.

And then, if you did, how successful were you? What kind of response did you receive?

I've been there. It's really hard to be the lone voice in the locker room, the stands, or on the bench. I've argued with the jack wagon on my beer league team for using racial or ethnic slurs that they excused as acceptable 'hockey chirps'. At the time, my voice was the only only speaking out. 

Later, people would PM me to tell me they agreed with me. They didn't want to make waves at the time, but wanted me to know that they weren't racist or sexist...but somehow, the jack wagon didn't hear that. 

This is a very powerful way that sexual predators and bullies continue on their merry way. We see this over and over and over. 

I complained once a few years ago at a rink when a parent was clearly threatening to hurt a ref. It's odd how things are set up at places...there is no clear responsibility. I was told...not our event...call the police. Well, I am not the one being threatened...the police would want the ref to call. In the moment, I didn't know what to do with that response.

Troubling.

I've sat in stands with obnoxious parents...I posted here recently about it. Sometimes I complain, sometimes not.

Because it is really hard to be that person who speaks up, and so discouraging when no one backs you up PUBLICLY. What that feels like, what the jack wagon sees as well...IS THAT EVERYONE AGREES WITH HIM.

it's scary and uncomfortable to confront people. We've seen that echoed by the people in charge in this matter. 'Afraid of what they might do next.' Imagine, if it is scary to stand up to the person, how much harder it is for the target of the abuse.

So...two things. Responsibility for action needs to be clear, whatever that course of action is, well communicated to clubs and parents, consistent across rinks, and enforced. Everyone needs to know what to do to respond. We don't want parents to have to start yelling at each other or kids during games, because we don't want to have fights break out. We don't want vrefs and coaches to have to stop. (But maybe sometimes, we do and we want them to know they have to.)

There are clubs and schools who handle this well. There are people given the responsibility for parent control in the stands. Expectations are clearly communicated. And if you behave bad, you won't be allowed to attend.

As someone who has always been outspoken but has become shy about doing it of late..it is so much easier to speak and take action when you know other people have your back. It's really hard to be the Robin Lehners of the world. You get tired of always being the one to speak out. Sometimes, you give up. It is exhausting and emotionally draining.

So I ask...if you can't do it yourself, because I know how hard it is to do...then make sure you get the backs of those who do. Don't support their victims in secret. The behavior is much more likely to stop when the perpetrator knows that no one is going to tolerate it. 

Our governing bodies need to help figure out/establish who to empower to stop the behavior.

But It starts with all of us. The ground swell of support is good. We can demand a strong response and change through our club's representatives in our governing bodies if we are dissatisfied with PIHL's response. We can make sure our teams, benches and stands aren't a part of the problem.

it's going to take all of us. Keep shining a light on it. Make it so the bad person is not hidden so he can move on to his next victim. Hold the light if you can't be the one turning it on.

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7 minutes ago, Saucey said:

So...two things. Responsibility for action needs to be clear, whatever that course of action is, well communicated to clubs and parents, consistent across rinks, and enforced. Everyone needs to know what to do to respond. We don't want parents to have to start yelling at each other or kids during games, because we don't want to have fights break out. We don't want vrefs and coaches to have to stop. (But maybe sometimes, we do and we want them to know they have to.)

According to USA hockey who sanctions this game it is on the Referees and the coaches.

This is form the Zero Tolerance Policy in the USA Hockey Rulebook

Parents/Spectators

Parents are expected to be a positive role model by treating all players, coaches, officials and fellow spectators with respect and support.

The game will be stopped by game officials when parents/ spectators displaying inappropriate and disruptive behavior interfere with other spectators or the game. The game officials will identify violators to the coaches for the purpose of removing parents/spectators from the spectator’s viewing and game area. Once removed, play will resume. Lost time will not be replaced and violators may be subject to further disciplinary action by the local governing body.

This inappropriate and disruptive behavior shall include:

1)Use of obscene, profane or abusive language to anyone at any time.2)Taunting of players, coaches, officials or other spectators by means of baiting, ridiculing, threat of physical violence or physical violence.3)Throwing of any object in the spectators viewing area, players bench, penalty box or on ice surface, directed in any manner as to create a safety hazard.

USA Hockey strongly recommends that each local youth hockey registered team designate a volunteer to serve as a parent/spectator monitor during all team games. This monitor will, ideally, address inappropriate spectator behavior prior to the situation escalating to the point it has an impact on the game. This designated monitor shall have the full support of the youth hockey association and the arena management to remove any spectator in violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy

 

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Just now, Ref33 said:

According to USA hockey who sanctions this game it is on the Referees and the coaches.

This is form the Zero Tolerance Policy in the USA Hockey Rulebook

Parents/Spectators

Parents are expected to be a positive role model by treating all players, coaches, officials and fellow spectators with respect and support.

The game will be stopped by game officials when parents/ spectators displaying inappropriate and disruptive behavior interfere with other spectators or the game. The game officials will identify violators to the coaches for the purpose of removing parents/spectators from the spectator’s viewing and game area. Once removed, play will resume. Lost time will not be replaced and violators may be subject to further disciplinary action by the local governing body.

This inappropriate and disruptive behavior shall include:

1)Use of obscene, profane or abusive language to anyone at any time.2)Taunting of players, coaches, officials or other spectators by means of baiting, ridiculing, threat of physical violence or physical violence.3)Throwing of any object in the spectators viewing area, players bench, penalty box or on ice surface, directed in any manner as to create a safety hazard.

USA Hockey strongly recommends that each local youth hockey registered team designate a volunteer to serve as a parent/spectator monitor during all team games. This monitor will, ideally, address inappropriate spectator behavior prior to the situation escalating to the point it has an impact on the game. This designated monitor shall have the full support of the youth hockey association and the arena management to remove any spectator in violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy

 

Yeah...and then we hear...we can't get refs to come out as it is...etc. Asking the coaches and refs to do it is not enough. 

It is incredibly powerful to see it in action, however. New York empowered their refs after a basketball official was assaulted. I saw a 16 year old stop a game and refuse to drop the puck until the misbehaving parents left.

Talk about a Robin Lehner.

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Folks, both @Ref33 and @Saucey are right here, The officials on the ice, and off the ice, who were in the building explicitly have the responsibility - or at least the right - for responding to inappropriate behavior by spectators. See PIHL rule 9.2.  However, this behavior was tolerated by every single person in the arena, and @Saucey has listed a number of the reasons people would likely give if asked. That's one reason there are constables at the games, and a big question is why the security personnel at this game didn't just tell those kids to shut up. I saw a constable at a JV game I recently attended do just that with student section which was much less over the line than this one. The on-ice officials should have taken action, as should the off-ice, facility officials, PIHL coordinators, and security personnel, not to mention the home coaches (it's my understanding that the Mars coaches did complain). All of those people are at fault here, and some should have their positions reviewed, in my view.

Long and short, and the point that I believe @Saucey is making, is that this sort of thing won't stop until we as parents, coaches, and fans, refuse to tolerate it in our arenas (and, I'd add, our lives in general - these kids didn't learn that behavior in a vacuum). If someone stands up to a misbehaving fan, or fans, in the stands, don't turn away. We don't want fighting in our stands, but somebody has to be the adult out there. I called a guy out in the stands at a tournament a few years ago and ended up face to face with the guy, hands down, refusing to escalate, as he screamed at me until another parent from his group dragged him away. (I will admit to taking a picture of the guy as he staggered up to me so the cops would know who to arrest, and telling him that was why I took it.) It wasn't my intention to start trouble there, but to remind the guy that everyone else was trying to enjoy watching their kid play a hockey game. That was hard to do, and that kind of thing is ALWAYS hard to do, because you can't predict what will come of it. Now, I'm not normally the guy in the stands, but for my part I have spoken more than once to parents of players on my teams where the parent acted boorishly in the stands. We just don't tolerate that.

We all need to do better, and expect better, of ourselves, our kids, and each other. If this incident teaches us nothing else, it should teach us that we can't rely on the folks who are supposed to react to this sort of behavior. It'll need to start with all of us refusing to tolerate it.

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11 minutes ago, Lifelongbender said:

Folks, both @Ref33 and @Saucey are right here, The officials on the ice, and off the ice, who were in the building explicitly have the responsibility - or at least the right - for responding to inappropriate behavior by spectators. See PIHL rule 9.2.  However, this behavior was tolerated by every single person in the arena, and @Saucey has listed a number of the reasons people would likely give if asked. That's one reason there are constables at the games, and a big question is why the security personnel at this game didn't just tell those kids to shut up. I saw a constable at a JV game I recently attended do just that with student section which was much less over the line than this one. The on-ice officials should have taken action, as should the off-ice, facility officials, PIHL coordinators, and security personnel, not to mention the home coaches (it's my understanding that the Mars coaches did complain). All of those people are at fault here, and some should have their positions reviewed, in my view.

Long and short, and the point that I believe @Saucey is making, is that this sort of thing won't stop until we as parents, coaches, and fans, refuse to tolerate it in our arenas (and, I'd add, our lives in general - these kids didn't learn that behavior in a vacuum). If someone stands up to a misbehaving fan, or fans, in the stands, don't turn away. We don't want fighting in our stands, but somebody has to be the adult out there. I called a guy out in the stands at a tournament a few years ago and ended up face to face with the guy, hands down, refusing to escalate, as he screamed at me until another parent from his group dragged him away. (I will admit to taking a picture of the guy as he staggered up to me so the cops would know who to arrest, and telling him that was why I took it.) It wasn't my intention to start trouble there, but to remind the guy that everyone else was trying to enjoy watching their kid play a hockey game. That was hard to do, and that kind of thing is ALWAYS hard to do, because you can't predict what will come of it. Now, I'm not normally the guy in the stands, but for my part I have spoken more than once to parents of players on my teams where the parent acted boorishly in the stands. We just don't tolerate that.

We all need to do better, and expect better, of ourselves, our kids, and each other. If this incident teaches us nothing else, it should teach us that we can't rely on the folks who are supposed to react to this sort of behavior. It'll need to start with all of us refusing to tolerate it.

Absolutely. USA Hockey has been telling us for a few years that people don't want to ref. We all need to step up or....no one will be in the stands or reffing games. I don't really blame refs for not wanting to deal with the stands. Particularly the young kids just getting started.

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The problem with fans addressing it is it can escalate things very quickly.  I have seen it happen several times at hockey games over the years.    Not trying to play the blame game but security has to handle this.  That is why they are paid to be at these Pihl games.  Hopefully it tightens up after this.   If not, report it and reprimand security for doing nothing about it.

I have been the guy in the past to step up and stop things but that is a very slippery road and can turn out very badly.  Example: I saw a man pulling a lady by her hair down the sidewalk as I was driving by.  I immediately pulled over jumped out of the car and ran down to the guy to stop it.  As I did the police pulled in.  The lady claimed the guy wasn't harming her and I was the problem.  True story.  If an adult goes over to tell the kids to stop and a 17yr old comes at the guy and a fight happens the adult will be in a world of legal trouble believe me.  Sad but it is the America we live in.  I am glad I stopped to help the lady and would do it every time but it could have also ended very badly for me.

My point is security should be handling this.  That is what they are paid to do.  That is why they are there.  If fans are doing it things can turn very ugly very fast.  Security at the games has to be better.  I know they are probably trying to let the students have some fun but this was CLEARLY crossed the line.

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4 minutes ago, Carl Racki said:

The problem with fans addressing it is it can escalate things very quickly.  I have seen it happen several times at hockey games over the years.    Not trying to play the blame game but security has to handle this.  That is why they are paid to be at these Pihl games.  Hopefully it tightens up after this.   If not, report it and reprimand security for doing nothing about it.

I have been the guy in the past to step up and stop things but that is a very slippery road and can turn out very badly.  Example: I saw a man pulling a lady by her hair down the sidewalk as I was driving by.  I immediately pulled over jumped out of the car and ran down to the guy to stop it.  As I did the police pulled in.  The lady claimed the guy wasn't harming her and I was the problem.  True story.  If an adult goes over to tell the kids to stop and a 17yr old comes at the guy and a fight happens the adult will be in a world of legal trouble believe me.  Sad but it is the America we live in.  I am glad I stopped to help the lady and would do it every time but it could have also ended very badly for me.

My point is security should be handling this.  That is what they are paid to do.  That is why they are there.  If fans are doing it things can turn very ugly very fast.  Security at the games has to be better.  I know they are probably trying to let the students have some fun but this was CLEARLY crossed the line.

Agreed. But there was no one in the stands at all who was related to one of those students who couldn't put a stop to it? 

Clear failure here, I want to know what we are to do if it isn't stopped by those assigned to stop it. I don't think the players should have to continue to deal with it.

If no action is taken by those who are supposed to...then what? 

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I would hope that the police officer assigned to the game is no longer allowed to work any future hockey games.  He (or she) is the first one to drop the ball.

Next followed by any school representatives (if they were there) and the President of Armstrong hockey club assuming he or she is in attendance. 

 

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I assume they are putting out a memo to all PIHL Schools and Rinks to make sure this type of behavior is not tolerated. Hopefully the attention this got will help make everyone more aware of what's acceptable.  

There are going to be a lot of people unhappy that nothing was done in regard to Armstrong Coaches, Armstrong Hockey Board and Security. 

 

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Slap on the wrist by PIHL.  But, what more could they legally do?  Perhaps they need to approve a new by law to give them more teeth for situations like this in the future.

Hopefully, the Armstrong School District will do more.  Suspension of guilty kids from the school, sports and activities.  The Armstrong parents should also discipline their kids who were there….they know who they are….but let’s not hold our breath.  This is why our society has spiraled  downward.  The values of respect and integrity as well as accountability and responsibility start at home with the parents.

At the end of the day, it was an epic failure on many levels….the PIHL Refs, Armstrong Coaches, Armstrong Hockey board members….and MOST importantly any adults associated with  Armstrong Hockey….you FAILED your kids and society with your failure to act and do the right thing.

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22 minutes ago, Duster19 said:

Slap on the wrist by PIHL.  But, what more could they legally do?  Perhaps they need to approve a new by law to give them more teeth for situations like this in the future.

Hopefully, the Armstrong School District will do more.  Suspension of guilty kids from the school, sports and activities.  The Armstrong parents should also discipline their kids who were there….they know who they are….but let’s not hold our breath.  This is why our society has spiraled  downward.  The values of respect and integrity as well as accountability and responsibility start at home with the parents.

At the end of the day, it was an epic failure on many levels….the PIHL Refs, Armstrong Coaches, Armstrong Hockey board members….and MOST importantly any adults associated with  Armstrong Hockey….you FAILED your kids and society with your failure to act and do the right thing.

100% agree with you! The kids are off the hook !  

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1 hour ago, carroll81 said:

That seems like a reasonable response.  Maybe they could have addressed the security/police presence also.

Thanks for posting.

Armstrong was lucky to not receive "Double Secret Probation".

Edited by my3sons
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6 minutes ago, PUCKCOVID19 said:

With them moving the game to UPMC for Mars, I sure hope they can pull out their first win of the season with all the extra support!!!!! IM pulling for the win on Monday , and they SHOULD be able to get the win against a weak team 

You better go back and look at South Fayette!  Not sure why you are calling them a weak team!

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11 hours ago, sutton said:

Crickets after the disciplinary hearing last night.  Anyone hear anything at all?

Really makes you wonder if anything will be done to not announce anything with all the attention this story has

you really didn’t give it much time. people are being suspended from school and we can’t have a students at any middle/high school game for the rest of the year and siblings have to be sitting with a parents.

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1 hour ago, aaaahockey said:

From the Trib:

 

The costs of the monitor’s attendance at the games is to be paid by the Armstrong High School River Hawks hockey club.

 

• A disciplinary hearing will be held for determination of supplemental disciplinary measures.

 

 

whoa would you look at that, the football players that were ringleaders get to play their playoff game tomorrow yet the club hockey team that isn’t funded by the school has to pay for repercussions for those players. cool. 

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55 minutes ago, unknown said:

whoa would you look at that, the football players that were ringleaders get to play their playoff game tomorrow yet the club hockey team that isn’t funded by the school has to pay for repercussions for those players. cool. 

Yep, that's bullsh!t. 

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