First, let me say that I'm sorry to hear that the young goalie got hurt. Injuries, while a part of any sport, suck. Rules and equipment regulations should always be written with player safety top of mind. If the goalie equipment rules put larger kids at unnecessary risk of injury, they should be changed. I hope that the boy recovers quickly and is still able to have a great box season. I also hope that the OLA/CLA reconsider how they enforce this rule for 2012 as, based on what you and others have written, they may be putting bigger boys in harms way for no real reason other than thats the rule.
That said, your post really typifies the sort of attitude that is destroying youth sports and activities. People like you (and the parents in question) are the reason why fees, both for organized minor sports and for more basic recreational activities, continue to go through the roof. Every time some "victim" threatens or pursues a lawsuit, it costs the rest of us money. EVERY dollar spent on a lawyer is a dollar not spent on lacrosse (or sucked out of the pockets of lacrosse parents). Lawsuits, even unsuccessful ones, result in increased insurance risk, which is a huge cost for minor sports organizations. Ridiculous lawsuits are also why we are drowning in a sea of petty rules and regulations. Technically, if a kid forgets his water bottle on the bench, I cant let him run across an empty rink floor to get it without his helmet on. Why? Because someone, somewhere got hurt once, sued, won and now our municipality (and likely every other one) is terrified of it happening to them. That, my friend, is the result of people running to lawyers and needing to find someone to blame every time life delivers them a turd-ball.
Lacrosse is a sport with a high risk of injury. Equipment certainly helps protect players to a certain point, but you accept a degree of risk every time you send your kid out on the floor. The boy was hurt, I assume, because he was hit with a ball. Goalies get hit with balls. A lot. Sometimes they get hit in the wrist. Sometimes, due to the way he is moving, or because of the way his equipment fits, a goalie gets clipped in a less padded or entirely unprotected spot. I admire goalies because it takes a superior blend of toughness and mental illness to be a human target game in and game out. Just kidding about the mental illness part. Maybe. Anyway, he's not the first goalie to break his wrist and, even if the rules were immediately changed, he is extremely unlikely to be the last.
The new equipment rules may be partially to blame. Or maybe not. Two years ago, my son's thumb was fractured by a slash, despite having a decent pair of gloves on. The gloves werent faulty and the OLAs standards for gloves werent inadequate. Hes been whacked on the hands many times before and since. That one time, it resulted in an injury. We didnt sue anyone or blame anyone. Why would we? We are letting him play a sport in which players are encouraged to hit each other with sticks. It goes without saying that he might get hurt. Reading that people are considering a lawsuit over a minor sports injury makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Or become a goalie.
More seriously, I can't believe that you are making open threats towards referees. Do you have any idea how hard it is to convince people to become referees these days? They get paid very little money and put up with all kinds of crap from parents/coaches/players. In many cases, those officiating Novice games are young/new referees. It takes a special kind of ******* to threaten those kids for just trying to enforce rules that they had nothing to do with creating. But they apparently don't matter, because you have an issue with the OLA. Too bad for the refs! Screw them, right!?! Hopefully the OLA will advise all officials to apply rule 62 if any members of your centre repeat those threats at the rink. Referees need to be able to do their jobs without intimidation from lawsuit-happy twits. If you dont like a rule, then use the tools available to change it. Dont try to bully/intimidate a referee into not enforcing it! Do you realize how stupid and dangerous that sort of attitude is? YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL REFEREES WHAT RULES THEY SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT ENFORCE!
Finally, your idea that this is somehow a case of "discrimination" makes me want to pull out what little hair I have left on my head. No one is being discriminated against, and the fact that you (or the parents) view it from that perspective speaks volumes about your attitude towards the game (and life in general). The rule clearly wasn't brought in to discriminate against Precious Not-So-Little Johnny, but to prevent teams from cheating. The strict implementation of the rule may be a mistake, but avenues exist to address bad rules. From a player perspective, the goalie has the option to follow the rules, break the rules and possibly get penalized, play in a higher age group that permits the larger equipment, play a different position, or not play at all. Are any of the options ideal? Probably not, but thats life. The rules are being applied evenly to all Novice goaltenders and clearly not discriminatory.
Honestly, I threw up a little in my mouth when I read that you and/or the parents are claiming that this is "discrimination". Whats next, lawsuits against the Ontario Basketball Association by parents of short kids because the high nets discriminate against Little Bobby? Wait, Ive got it. How about smaller nets for smaller goalies? I mean, if it is DISCRIMINATION to enforce equipment size rules on big goalies, surely it must be a violation of a little fellows human rights to have to protect such a large net, right? Arent we discriminating against tiny goalies by forcing them to cover so much more space than their larger counterparts? CALL BARBARA HALL WE MUST PROTECT DIMINUTIVE GOALIES FROM LARGE NET DISCRIMINATION IMMEDIATELY!
I recently spoke with a parent who wanted their boy to play down an age group because he is small and has a late year birthday. She was concerned, not without a degree of justification, that he was at greater risk of injury playing in his proper age group. Her logic was sound. The boy is just two months older than my son (December vs February), shorter, and less physically mature. Because of an arbitrary calendar date, he has to play against Incredible Hulks, while my son plays against Smurfs. Is that fair? Probably not, but the rule is there for sound reasons. Letting him play down an age group wouldnt hurt anyone, but as soon as you start bending rules, people will absolutely start breaking them to their advantage. Just like people cheated with the doctors note for oversized equipment.
These days, too many parents think that the rules/organizations should be catered to their own kids needs or desires. Rather than working with the OLA/CLA to ensure appropriate equipment rules for all goalies, you want to threaten and sue because YOUR player (I realize that he isnt actually your child) isnt getting his way. How sad.
Again, Im very sorry that the boy was hurt. I'm certainly not making light of his injury, just the asinine response by the parents. If the new equipment rules were indeed the reason for the injury, your centre should lead the charge to review the situation immediately. Running to lawyers and (especially) whining about discrimination is counter-productive, stupid, and insulting to people who actually have to deal with REAL discrimination in their lives.
Posted on Apr 25, 2012, 3:38 PM from IP address 22.214.171.124