GTHL introduces Green Armband Policy for new officials

 The Greater Toronto Hockey League announced today the introduction of the Green Armband Policy to provide additional support for on-ice officials within the GTHL and Members. The policy, approved by the GTHL Board of Directors in November 2023, applies to all first year on-ice officials participating in recreational hockey programming.

The GTHL recognizes the importance of on-ice officials being afforded a safe and respectful environment to officiate in. As a result, the Green Armband Policy has been adopted to further encourage participants and spectators to be in control of their emotions and not impose any additional pressure, negative behaviour, intimidation, or other acts of maltreatment towards on-ice officials, specifically first-year officials.

The policy encourages all first-year on-ice officials to wear one green armband on their left arm, between their elbow and shoulder, when officiating any sanctioned exhibition, tournament, regular season, or playoff game.

“The game of hockey is relying on the influx of new people to join the officiating ranks. When individuals do make the decision to join, it is vital that they are in a safe and respectful environment to ensure they remain in the game long-term,” said Scott Oakman, GTHL Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. “Safe environments are essential for all participants and this initiative will help remind parents and spectators of that priority.”

The use of Green Armbands for first-year officials was first introduced by Hockey Québec and has since been adopted by Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO), other branches of Hockey Canada, the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA), and several hockey associations within the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF).

The initiative is designed to identify first-year officials, most of whom are under 18 years of age, to ensure players, Team Officials, and spectators are aware that these individuals are in the initial stages of their officiating journey. The Green Armband Policy leads with the expectation that decreased maltreatment towards first-year officials will be extended to all officials.

To review the complete Green Armband Policy, click here.

About the Greater Toronto Hockey League  

Founded in 1911, the GTHL is a non-profit organization and the largest minor hockey league in the world. The GTHL registers more than 40,000 annual participants in Markham, Mississauga, Toronto, and Vaughan. The purpose of the GTHL is to govern organized hockey for youth within its jurisdiction, and to foster participation that reflects the cultural demographic of the League’s territory while promoting an environment that is welcoming and inclusive for all participants.

For more information, please contact:  

Stephanie Coratti | Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing
Greater Toronto Hockey League

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