Why does the ref just stand there watching fights?

From: Elizabeth

Comments: At the game against Ontario when all the fights broke out, i noticed that when the two Ontario players were ganging up on Pender the ref just stood there watching and thats why Pitton had to step in. Why are the refs doing nothing to help us while they are calling us on things that arent even happening?

Reply: We’ve gotten several mailbags regarding the referee “standing around watching” the fights. To be clear, it is the linesmen’s job to intervene in any fights that break out, NOT the referee. He needs to watch the entire series of events on the ice for doling out the proper penalties.

According to the ECHL’s VP of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst: “Referees will enter a fight only when a player might be in danger of a injury. His main job during a fight is to make sure that players are away from the original altercation and that nothing else takes place and also that he is able to have a sight line to the benches for any additional infractions that may take place.”

It’s the Mailbag Guy’s experience that seeing a referee step in to break up a fight is a rare occurrence.

-The Mailbag Guy