What is the green armband initiative?
The green armband initiative was introduced in Montreal in January 2020. All officials below the age of 18 years old are required to wear a green armband as a means to identify them as a minor. The wearing of the armband is to highlight the age of the official regardless of the level of hockey that they are working. As part of this initiative, there will also be increased sanctions against team officials and spectators that are penalized for abuse or harassment of minor (below the age of 18) officials.
Education will also be provided to players, parents, officials, and team officials about the abuse and harassment of officials.
Why are we implementing the green armband initiative in the branch?
First and foremost, this initiative is being implemented across the branch because it is the right thing to do. Abuse and harassment of officials continues to be an issue for officials working in HEO. While the vast majority of coaches, team officials, and parents treat officials with respect, there are still issues that need to be addressed. In recent years, Hockey Canada along with HEO has attempted to raise awareness about this issue. However, it is clear that more work needs to be done in this area. It is anticipated that introducing the green armband to minor officials will highlight for participants that abuse and harassment of officials continue to be a problem in our games, especially for minor officials.
Over 40% of all officials in HEO are under the age of 18. They represent the lifeblood of our minor hockey officiating program. It is important that the hockey community works together to protect the physical and psychological well-being of these minors.
Requiring minor officials to wear a green armband will identify to all participants that the official working the game is under the age of 18. It is important that these individuals who wish to harass and abuse officials know that some of these officials are minors under the law and be reminded that this behaviour is unacceptable. It needs to be highlighted that the wearing of a green armband is a reflection of the official’s age and NOT of their skill level as an official. ALL officials under the age of 18 will be required to wear the green armband regardless of their skill level or level of hockey that they are working.
When does the green armband initiative officially take effect?
The initiative will officially begin at the start of the 2021-2022 hockey season with all impacted officials required to wear the green armband no later than October 15, 2021, or whenever they receive their green armband, whichever comes first.