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Should Graham Woolfe leave it on the ice?

By johnboy - 16 October 2010 19

The Canberra Times has a story on the Woolfe family’s crusade against injustice in ice hockey which has dragged in the police:

Graham Woolfe claims the player from the Sydney club Canterbury received just a two-week ban for hitting both Mr Woolfe and his son, Jeremy, during what was supposed to be a friendly game against the ACT on September 26.

Mr Woolfe said he was so outraged by the lenient sentence that he had taken the matter to the police.

”He’s a 12-year-old boy and she’s a 30-year-old woman,” Mr Woolfe said.

”If Ice Hockey (ACT) aren’t going to handle it I really had no choice.

Fair enough? Over reaction? And should 12 year olds be trying to officiate adult matches?

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
Should Graham Woolfe leave it on the ice?
Ian 10:18 pm 17 Oct 10

Strange. I’d have thought that punching an official sees you rubbed out of a sport permanently, and that Ice Hockey (ACT) and the Canterbury club would want to throw everything at the player concerned.

akpv 7:49 pm 17 Oct 10

Tooks said :

It seems strange that a 12 year old was officiating an adults match. Or is that fairly normal for that sport?

Pretty normal. The sport in Canberra isn’t really big enough for the younger players to play in their own division. Players from about 12/13 up play in divisions against adult teams, so he was probably reffing at the same level he plays at. I would also guess that he was a linesman (assists the referee with offside calls etc), not the referee of the game.

thatsnotme 6:56 pm 17 Oct 10

This line from the story is interesting:

”My son was standing next to her waiting for the referee to come over and she’s turned around and punched him in the head, in the face.”

‘Waiting for the referee to come over’ – I’m guessing this kid wasn’t actually the senior referee in the match, and there was an adult referee as well. You’d think that this would be an ideal environment for a young kid to learn the ropes, under the guidance of an experienced adult, but when gutless scum decide to attack the kid on the ice before the adult has a chance to arrive then they deserve to never have an opportunity to set foot on the ice again.

One can only hope that a criminal conviction ends up coming this woman’s way.

Scribble 5:33 pm 17 Oct 10

Reminds me of the old joke: “I went to a fight and an ice hockey game broke out”.

p1 12:18 pm 17 Oct 10

Generally I would say leave it on the field, especially with a sport like hockey, which has something of a culture of punchups, and you don’t find yourself involved in a game without being aware of that.

But in this case the kid was a ref. When I was a kid I was told that hitting a ref was a massive no no. I’m pretty sure some sports have much longer compulsory bans for that kinda thing, and I support that. The age of the kid I don’t think should make any difference, although I find it hard to believe that the Dad didn’t bring the biffo when she had a go.

Tooks 10:40 am 17 Oct 10

It seems strange that a 12 year old was officiating an adults match. Or is that fairly normal for that sport?

I’ve seen many moronic parents verbally abuse young blokes who referee kids football matches. Funnily enough, few of them even know the rules, so they end up abusing the referee due to their own flawed interpretations of the rules.

If I was Mr Woolfe, I would’ve called police in the first instance, unless there is more to the story than what we’ve heard.

Battlecat 10:04 am 17 Oct 10

Agree entirely with the Assault is Assault point of view. You have every right to make a criminal complaint if you are assaulted during a sporting match, if you choose to do so. If you’re happy for the governing body to sort it out then that’s fair enough, but someone who chooses to assault someone outside the rules of the sport made that choice and should be held accountable.
It does raise some hairy grey areas if you think about a studs up football challenge or a head high rugby tackle, was it intentional and is it part of the game etc? But no sport in the world can argue that punching a referee is part of the game. Throw the book at them.

I’m a bit surprised that the figure of a two year ban is being thrown around as a suitable punishment. In most sports if you attack the referee it’s life.

Anna Key 8:29 pm 16 Oct 10

And should 12 year olds be trying to officiate adult matches?

No, they should restrict themselves to junior matches and get abused/assaulted by moronic parents instead.

DJ 7:28 pm 16 Oct 10

Assault is assault unless it’s on a field of play and within the rules. If it’s not then penalties apply – that’s sport isn’t it? Remember we are only getting one side of the story here.

Rules are rules and it sounds like the officiating body acted but not to the level expected/desired. If the judgment was based on the information provided (I’m guessing from more than one party involved) at what point do you throw the toys out of the pram and make it a criminal complaint?

Do Police and the Courts really have to step in and re-enforce the idea that all officials, regardless of the sport or level at which it is being played, are untouchable?

The Frots 6:56 pm 16 Oct 10

MrsD1ngo said :

Overeaction? Not at all. Assault is assault. Particularly distressing when a child is involved.

Should a child/teen officiate an adult match? It happens in most amateur sports and most wouldn’t run without interested young people filling weekend umpire/ref roles that many adult players or parents don’t want to do. While Ice Hockey is a contact sport and perhaps rougher than most, there are still rules that players are to abide by. Assault is assault no matter where it occurs.

Yep – agree totally. You have to jump on this type of thing early otherwise it becomes the norm for young sports stars. I recall my early football games when they had to have both the police and an ambulance at the ground waiting for the inevitable thumpings to occur when we played a certain team. Which they did!

Violence and contact sports are two different things – kids need to know the difference.

akpv 5:39 pm 16 Oct 10

I hadn’t heard about this until now. Sure, leave it on the ice it is a scuffle that breaks out between players. Pretty poor form punching an official, particularly such a young one. I started playing hockey this year and the Woolfe family do a lot for ice hockey in the ACT.

MrsD1ngo 4:59 pm 16 Oct 10

Overeaction? Not at all. Assault is assault. Particularly distressing when a child is involved.

Should a child/teen officiate an adult match? It happens in most amateur sports and most wouldn’t run without interested young people filling weekend umpire/ref roles that many adult players or parents don’t want to do. While Ice Hockey is a contact sport and perhaps rougher than most, there are still rules that players are to abide by. Assault is assault no matter where it occurs.

WillowJim 3:28 pm 16 Oct 10

vg said :

No need to call the Police, maybe just a dentist.

Who woulda thunk it: the vigilante cop.

georgesgenitals 3:26 pm 16 Oct 10

Why not report the assault to police?

vg 2:30 pm 16 Oct 10

Hit my 12yo son in front of me unjustifiably. Man, woman or child, you will get you ass whipped. No need to call the Police, maybe just a dentist.

He was soooooo outraged by it all he just watched it happen

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