ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Children in Newfoundland and Labrador can't play organized hockey until their parents complete an online courtesy and respect course, officials said.
The president of the regulatory Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador association said the new rule was designed to stem hostility and verbal abuse young players, referees and coaches are exposed to from parents in the stands.
"We're not going to stop it 100 percent, but we think by doing this, it's a step in the right direction to make sure that people understand what the game is all about – fun," Jack Lee told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
The requirement takes effect next season and requires parents to register online and work through the hourlong course. Children of those who don't complete the test or fail it won't be allowed to play, the rule says.
Lee told the broadcaster some parents have lost sight of what hockey is meant to be for children.
"You know this is a game. It's only a game," he said.