It was hockey night again tonight, as my son's team took to the ice for the last game in the regular season.
Hockey referees are much in demand in rinks right across the greater Toronto area. They work several games each night and often skate just as hard as the players. In the youth leagues, referees are paid a few dollars each game, and often have to contend with fighting on the ice and irate parents in the stands.
Spectators can be cruel: when players make mistakes, no one's surprised; but if a referee makes just one in a game, he's ridiculed and harassed.
I suppose the love of the game keeps these officials going. Leagues couldn't function without them.
For more on how referees prepare, see this item by Toronto's CityNews.