by Nanaimo District Lacrosse Association, 2018-04-26T19:01:56.000-07:00April 26 2018, at 07:01 PM PDT
With April almost complete, I see that all teams are enjoying success on the floor, so congratulations and thank you to all coaches, managers, door personnel, and parents for all their patience and their dedication to the 400+ athletes within the NDLA!! The biggest cheer goes to our players who are working hard and learning new skills to become better lacrosse players and more importantly, better people.
As we move into May there are a few issues still with Code of Conduct on the Island, and unfortunately some of it is being created by people within our Association. I have spoken with a few teams directly, as well as some coaches and door personnel regarding what is acceptable behaviour to model for the young athletes in our game. I must now remind all of the parents that they have also signed a Code of Conduct and therefore will be held to the highest standards of acceptable behaviour during their team’s games. Too often I hear that fans are being verbally abusive towards the referees on the floor, often just young people themselves. It is YOUR responsibility to control your temper and outbursts within the stands and be positive role models for all athletes in lacrosse, regardless of which jersey they wear, including the referees. I ask you now to refrain from yelling negative and/or disparaging remarks inside any arena, and that should anyone continue to do so we will ask them to leave the arena for the sake of A fair play.
Referees are not the issue. How we react to their calls is what is concerning me. Coaches, Managers and Referees have a forum called JOCAP (Joint Officials and Coaching Abuse Policy) that can address the issues that occur during games. As President, I am working with the Vancouver Island Minor Lacrosse Commission, Head Referees and Head Coaches of all Associations to ensure that we have the highest level of officiating that we can, and while I can assure you that there are policies in place to get there, as with our athletes this only comes from experience and guidance. I know Jacoby Krassman and Sean Lehman are working diligently to get all the officials evaluated and focused on maintaining control of games, and I thank them for that. If players, coaches, managers and fans follow their Code of Conduct I know we will all benefit.
Nobody is perfect – after 38 years of playing lacrosse I still drop the ball, make terrible passes, and maybe shoot a bit too often…maybe. We have to allow ALL participants in the sport of youth lacrosse to make mistakes, learn from them, and become better at what they do. As fans, please let them.