Angry parents at sporting events aren't a new phenomenon, but some parents of youth hockey players are driving referees away from the sport due to their bad behavior.
A group of youth referees in Massachusetts are speaking out and saying they've had enough of the abuse.
“I had a player come up to me and tell me he was going to slash me across the throat with his stick,” referee Dominick Cappadona said.
Another ref, Chris Henry, once barricaded himself inside a locker room to hide from angry parents and players.
“I got a fold-up chair, sat down, back up against the door. Before you know it, door starts rattling, handle starts going, sticks are being banged under the door, and I’m just sitting there holding it closed until the cops come,” Henry recalled.
This kind of abuse is causing youth hockey refs to quit in droves. According to reports, nine hundred refs in Massachusetts alone have resigned just this season.
Youth hockey organizations are cracking down and suspending coaches to fix this situation.