The Howell Rebels were supposed to host Robbinsville on Friday afternoon, but the game was canceled due to a boycott by referees stemming from an incident last year that saw Howell parents and referees become involved in an altercation off the ice.  We’ve got reaction from the Freehold Regional High School district

The Howell Rebels could not take to the ice on Friday afternoon at Howell Ice World due to a boycott by referees that can be traced back to an incident last season.  Back on February 7th at Howell Ice World, a pair of Howell parents had an altercation with two referees off the ice following a Rebels game against Manalapan.  The referees and both parents were not charged in the incident and following both sides dropping complaints in municipal court following a mediation session in April, it appeared that the story was over.  But referee Dave Brown told earlier this week that he and the other official were requested to no longer officiate Freehold Regional High School district games.   That is what triggered the boycott for Friday’s game between Robbinsville and Howell.

Following the cancellation of the Robbinsville/Howell game, the Freehold Regional High School district released the following press release:

Press Release For Immediate Release

December 23, 2016


(Englishtown, NJ) – The Freehold Regional High School District is extremely disappointed and dismayed to have learned that the referees assigned for tonight’s hockey game between Howell High School and Robbinsville High School decided to boycott the game in apparent opposition to the District’s decision to not utilize two referees who were involved in a disturbing and troubling incident last season. As has been widely reported there was altercation between four adults following a District hockey game last year. What has been omitted from those reports, however, is the fact that immediately following that incident the District conducted an immediate and full investigation, and that as a result of that investigation appropriate measures and action were taken against all parties involved for their inappropriate conduct. To the detriment of our students, and the students of other high schools, several referees, who do not have a full and complete understanding of all that led up and occurred during the incident last season, have chosen to boycott games involving District teams. This decision, which was communicated with little advanced notice, has resulted in the cancelation of at least one game and threatens future games as well. The District has been working closely with the NJSIAA and its affiliated entities to try to resolve the matter, and even offered to a schedule meeting to fully discuss the situation, but that offer has, thus far, been refused. It is concerning and disappointing that these adults have based their decision to punish our children and children of other districts who have invested the time and effort to represent their schools in the sport that they love, based on the incomplete version of what occurred that has been made public. We sincerely hope that this boycott is lifted so that the students of the Freehold Regional High School District and their opposing teams can continue playing their season.

At this point, Howell is the only team to be effected by the boycott.  In addition to the Rebels, Freehold Township, Freehold Boro, Manalapan and Marlboro are also in the district and field varsity hockey teams.   Freehold Township played on Friday night against Saint Rose at Jersey Shore Arena.  While, the Patriots were the road team, they play their home games at JSA and referees were on hand for the 4-4 tie.   Howell’s last game was on December 21st at the Red Bank Armory as the Rebels skated to a 1-1 tie with Red Bank Catholic.  Shore Sports Zone was there for the action:

Howell’s next game is on December 26th at Madison while the Rebels next home game is scheduled for December 28th against Verona.  Shore Sports Zone will keep an eye on the developments for Howell and the other Freehold District schools in the coming days.