The Traditional Ice Hockey Fight

Written by Henry Young. Posted in Hockey

Hockey is a sport that attracts many fans due to its interactive style. This type of game involves two teams playing for victory by trying to handle a puck into the adversary’s goal. They play on ice, and they have to use sticks to shoot a hard rubber, which is called a hockey puck, into the net to score points. There is a tradition according to which there must be a hockey fight involved in the game.

Unlike other games where players who fight are ejected instantly for engaging in such activities, the ice hockey fight is sustained by the officials because they consider that it helps teams to protect their principal players. So, it is considered to create solidarity among the teammates.

There are two different opinions regarding the hockey fight. Some people don’t see the point in turning to such actions that involve negative consequences such as players getting knocked out by their opponents. However, some administrators don’t want to eliminate it especially because players consider it important. Furthermore, most of the fans attend these games mainly to see these fights.

Fighting traditions in ice hockey exist since the sport became popular in the 19th century, in Canada. It is believed that fighting was a consequence of the lack of rules that the game featured. Therefore, players took advantage and tried to win the games by intimidating and controlling their opponents turning to physical methods.

Later, when the blue lines were integrated in 1918, the fights become even more frequent due to the tough physical play that they involved. So, the hockey couches saw the need to integrate new enforcers who would protect the puck handlers and fight if they needed. Therefore, a new rule had to be introduced in the official NHL rulebook.

The Rule 56, or the fistcuffs as it was called back than, accepted fights between players, and instead of ejecting them from the game, players received a five minute major penalty. These days, fighting is controlled by the Rule 46 which involves that any deviation from the original rule comes with considerable penalties.

An ice hockey fight allows the players to use certain intimidating techniques which integrate elbowing, cross-checking and high-sticking as a way to achieve their goals and score points. However, those who instigate a fight while wearing a face-shield have to face certain penalties and punishments.

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