8 Hockey Commentary: ONLINE ONLY

After tensions rose during a Canadian youth hockey game, a thirteen year-old was tripped by the opposing team’s coach, Martin Tremblay, at the post-game congratulatory line hand-shake, also causing another 10 year-old player to fall to the ice. During the hockey game, the Richmond Steel player had celebrated by skating near the other team’s bench. Tremblay, who was coaching his son’s team, made a comment to him, and the player retorted by shooting the middle finger. Although Tremblay’s team won the hockey game 5-4, the coach was apparently still holding a grudge by the end.

The player reportedly went back to the locker room with a broken wrist and in a “very, very, emotional” state, Richmond Steel manager Tammy Hohlweg told Canadian Television News . As a result, Tremblay was suspended from coaching The Hornets, and was later arrested by local authorities.

Sergeant Paulena Gidda of the University of British Columbia Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported to the Canadian Press. “It was an incident that was unfortunate, and it doesn’t bring a great light to our community. “

This display of aggression by a youth sports coach is exactly antithetical to the way Youth Sports function. In professional sports, rivalry is almost monetary, considering the ties sportsmanship has to business. If a player or a coach plays well, they keep their job. At the level a thirteen-year old is playing, the coach’s role is to be an educator, a leader, and an example in conduct.

Not only did Tremblay disrespect the integrity of the game, but he also let down his own team. The Hornets won. When he should have been celebrating, he was sulking.

Tremblay, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of assault, and was sentenced to 15 days in jail. The incident brings into light improper attitudes held by coaches, parents, and players in youth sports. Whether it be irate parents running onto the field to argue with a call, or a player assaulting another for the sake of winning, the importance of sportsmanship is slipping.

It could be that Tremblays tensions ran too high because he was far too much invested in his own son’s team. The problem in this situation is not exactly a conflict of interest, but an excess of it. Perhaps parents, especially bad-tempered parents, have no business being coaches. This incident could prompt legal action to prevent parents from coaching their children’s minor league teams, should similar episodes aggressions pop up in youth sports again.