Published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, the report is titled "Violence in Canadian Amateur Hockey: The Experience of Referees in Ontario," and was led by Dr. Alun D. "AD" Ackery and was co-authorzed by Dr. Charles Tator and D. Carolyn Snider.
In his abstract, Ackery described the objective of his study as a means "to determine the perceptions and roles of referees about violence and injury in hockey games."
The web-based questionnaire was issued to hockey officials across Canada from various leagues and levels of play, with 92 percent of responses coming from the Ontario area. The NHL prohibited its referees and linesmen from participating in the study.
The results were striking yet not surprising. The following is a list of key findings.
- 92 percent of respondents indicated that they were the recipients of aggression and anger
- 55 percent had officiated contests they believed ran out of control: the referee(s) lost control of the game.
- 71 percent said this increased aggression towards officials increases injury risk to players or officials.
- 63 percent believe the coach is most responsible for the conduct of his players and for managing on-ice safety
- 80 percent of referees cited they enjoyed the exercise or ability to contribute to the game.
- 62 percent enjoyed the camaraderie or "fellowship and friendship" that officiating can provide.