Hooking in Hockey is when a player uses his stick to slow down or prevent an opposing player from making a play on the puck or getting into a better position on the ice. The result of this infraction is a usually a 2-minute Minor Penalty but can warrant a 5-minute Major Penalty depending on the severity of the infraction. Following the lockout year in 2005, there has been a spike in hooking penalties called by referees, with the hopes of decreasing injury and speeding up the pace of the game.
Spearing in hockey is when a player uses the blade of his stick to “jab” an opposing player, usually in the stomach or legs. This is considered to be one of the dirtiest infractions in hockey because, while most stick infractions are usually accidental, Spearing is one that is usually seen as more deliberate. A Spearing penalty can also be called when a player intentionally uses his stick in a lifting motion to strike an opponent in the groin area. These dangerous types of infractions can lead to a 4-minute Double-Minor penalty or a 5-minute Major Penalty.
During the 2016-2017 NHL season, there were 372 fights out of 1,230 games for an average of 0.3 fights per game. So, even if you have only been to a handful of NHL games, it is almost guaranteed that you have seen at least one fight! Since the introduction of Ice Hockey in 1917, fighting has been part of an NHL hockey game. In 1922, the league incorporated Rule 56 (now Rule 46) stating fighting as an “official part of the game.” Fast-forward to 2020, and the NHL is the only major sports league out of the big four in the United States (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB), that, by rule, allows fighting. However, although it is allowed, it does not mean that Fighting in the NHL comes without consequence. In this article, we will dive into the NHL fighting rules, the pros and cons, along with what the current state, and future, look like for fighting in hockey!
A Slew Foot in hockey is an action where a player comes from behind an opposing player and trips him using his leg or skate, while, oftentimes, using his upper body, or arms, to further knock the opposing player off-balance. Usually, the victim of the action will fall to the ice, causing a potential injury. This can be especially dangerous if the victim falls backwards onto the ice. The result of a Slew Foot in hockey is usually a two-minute Minor Penalty, but a five-minute Major Penalty can be called, depending on the severity. We will discuss different factors of this infraction later in this article.
Slashing in hockey is a penalty that is called when a player swings his stick at an opposing player, whether contact is made, or not. The act of a “forceful chop” motion to an opponent’s stick or gloves will typically result in a Minor Penalty. However, there are certain situations where slashing is more severe and can call for a Major Penalty or Game Misconduct Penalty. It is to the referee’s discretion to determine the severity of the act.
Roughing in hockey is a penalty called when a player uses unnecessary force (usually a punch) to contact an opposing player. Furthermore, Roughing can also be called if avoidable contact is made after the whistle. Lastly, at the discretion of the referee, a Roughing penalty can also be called if a player contacts the opponent, with no attempt to avoid contact, well after the puck carrier is no longer in possession of it.
By definition, Goalie Interference in hockey is a penalty called when an opposing player initiates contact with the goalie, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and therefore impairing the goalie’s ability to move freely. Furthermore, this penalty can be called whether the goalie is inside or outside of the goal crease. However, if an opposing player is pushed into the goalie, while he is in his crease, by one of the goalie’s teammates, then it will typically not be called a penalty. This is at the discretion of the referee.
Delay of Game in Hockey is when it is determined by the referee that a team, or individual player, was intentionally attempting to stall the game. There are a few different circumstances that will permit the referee to call a Delay of Game penalty, which will be discussed in detail later in this article. The result of one of these instances will usually result in a two-minute Minor Penalty, depending on the situation.
Charging in hockey is when a player charges an opponent and makes contact with them, whether it be by skating, or jumping, into them. This can occur anywhere on the ice, and what differentiates it from a standard body check, is the distance traveled to make the hit. The general rule of thumb is that if a player hits another from three or more skating strides away, it will likely be called a charging. However, it is at the referee’s discretion to determine what that “distance” is.
Cross-checking in hockey is the action of a player using the shaft of his stick between two hands to forcefully hit an opponent. This occurs when the player holds his stick with one hand at the top, and the other about halfway down the shaft, and does a “pushing” motion with it into an opposing player. Luckily for referees, a Cross-Check is very easy to spot. Following the infraction, referees must determine how severe it was. He can then assess one of the penalty types, which will be discussed in detail later in this guide.
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