Injured hockey referee
Photo credit: Sportsnet

22-year-old player sentenced for assaulting 15-year-old referee

Published April 18, 2024 at 10:09

A concerning incident from Sweden has garnered attention this week, as a 22-year-old player received sentencing for assaulting a 15-year-old referee after a game in the spring of 2023.

According to reports, the player punched the young referee in the face and struck him on the leg with his stick following an argument. Witness testimony revealed that the player had been verbally abusive towards the referee during the game, using derogatory language. After the final whistle, the player refused to shake hands with the young referee, prompting a confrontation.

"'Are you 12 years old?' asked Mario.

According to the verdict, the player responded with a mumble and a punch under the young referee's eye, and [a whack] on the shin. High on adrenaline, Mario threw his helmet on the ice and went to the locker room. When he regained his senses, he documented the swelling and went to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a bump and burst blood vessels." - AftonBladet.se

In the aftermath, the referee, referred to as "Mario" due to legal restrictions, suffered injuries including swelling and burst blood vessels. Despite being eligible for a district referee course, Mario declined the opportunity, preferring not to officiate higher-level matches.

Regarding the player's punishment, he was technically sentenced to a month in prison. However, he has the option to avoid jail time by completing 50 hours of community service within a specified timeframe. The player's team reportedly declined to take disciplinary action, and due to the game being unsanctioned, the district referee association had limited recourse.

"The 22-year-old was hastily investigated by the club before they concluded that the stories 'didn't add up'. So he remained unpunished, changed teams and has had a career year so far in Hockeyettan (Sweden's third-tier hockey league). - AftonBladet.se

Furthermore, the player's club hastily investigated the incident but ultimately took no action, allowing him to switch teams and continue his hockey career.

This case sheds light on the challenges faced by officials in hockey, with incidents like this contributing to a shortage of referees in countries like Canada and the US.

As seen on bladeofsteel
22 year old player sentenced after beating up 15 year old referee
April 18   |   181 answers
22-year-old player sentenced for assaulting 15-year-old referee

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