Ice Hockey and Fighting

Fighting in ice hockey is an accepted part of the sport and is even in the rule books. This is unusual as many players of other games are frowned upon for fighting outside of combat sports such as boxing and MMA.

When Did Fighting Come About?

It is believed that fighting came about in the sport because of the lack of rules in the 19th century. Fighting may also have happened because of problems relating to crime in some areas of Canada. Blue lines introduced in 1918 resulted in forward passing in the neutral zone only. It also increased the amount of play and closeness of players. The Sheffield Scimitars know all about a fight just like your favourite NHL players.

Why Players Fight?

Players fight for many of the same reasons that fights happen outside of the sport. Intimidating a player, revenge, getting a psychological edge and protecting players all happen during the game of ice hockey. Intimidating players so that they stay away from others on the opposite team, as well as building a fierce reputation, are reasons for targeting players. Retaliation for breaking the rules or hitting a player is also common. Protecting star players so that they get more play is another reason for fighting.

Some Common Rules About Fighting

The rules for fighting differ depending on the leagues. In the NHL, the rules for fighting can be found under rule 46. It allows players to fight under certain conditions. The start of a fight means both players drop their sticks, take off their protective gloves and then fight bare-knuckle. Helmets stay on to stop head injuries. The fight ends when the referee separates both opponents.

It may seem brutal to many but rules for fighting in the sport of ice hockey can prevent injuries and even death, as players can sort out their differences with rules enforced, instead of no uncertainty around regulations.