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The Respect in Sport – Officials program is the foundational, online training tool for Canadian Safe Sport, designed specifically for sport officials including, but not limited to: referees, umpires, judges, linesmen and lineswomen, commissaries, technical officials, starters, data specialists, timekeepers, and scorekeepers etc.
Officials want to succeed at enforcing the rules with neutrality while maintaining the standards of fair and safe play and keeping the action organized and fun. Using relevant real-world scenarios, engaging interactivly, and a versatile learning platform, Respect in Sport provides officials with the tools to protect the integrity of their sport and those who participate in it.
“As an official it is important that I understand the Universal Code of Conduct for Maltreatment in Sport and what my obligations are with respect to upholding the code. I always remind myself when I enter an arena as a Figure Skating Official, that my actions speak louder than my words. To this end, the Respect in Sport Officials Program further assists me in creating a safe and healthy environment for our youth so they can truly experience the joy of skating.” – Mary Ellen McDonald, Figure Skating Official Senior Director of Operations Skate Canada
“Officials have a unique vantage point into their sport. It’s not just about enforcing the rules but a broader understanding of their role in keeping the field of play safe, fun, and fair. This program does exactly that by giving officials the tools and confidence to identify and deal with bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination (BAHD). I also see it as a useful tool in helping to recruit and retain officials, another challenge we face across all sports. To me, this program is long overdue, and I encourage all officials to take it.”
“As a former hockey player and coach, being a “newbie” ref has brought a whole new level of appreciation for those who decided to become an official. The amount of pressure put on officials every game to be perfect and notice every player’s move is stressful. I was grateful to see that this program was created specifically for officials. It has given me more confidence in dealing with the things I see and do, well beyond the rule book. When everyone involved in the sport (players, coaches, fans, and officials) understand each others role, it brings a sense of unity and overall, makes the game FUN; because at the end of the day, it is just a game!”
“Officials have a tremendously important role in the long term healthy development of athletes. One of the key ways in which they can do that is by seeing themselves, not just as “enforcers” of the rules, but, instead. as a mentor who applies the rules but also uses those rules to highlight successes and ways for improvement. This program reminded me of that and inspired me to think more about my interactions with the coach and athlete to ensure, not just a safe and fair environment, but one that focusses on keeping athletes engaged. Sometimes, as officials, we forget about the impact we can have on the sport and the participants we serve.