WHAT IT IS
- Fighting is allowed in professional hockey leagues across North America. This includes the NHL.
- Each player receives a 5-minute major penalty for fighting. Extra penalties can be added if the referee deems it necessary.
- Fighting is forbidden in the Olympics, in European leagues, and in the NCAA.
WHY IT MATTERS
Fighting in the NHL goes back to the start of the game. Introduced in 1922, NHL Rule 56 (currently rule 46; also know as the “fisticuffs” rule) regulated what had already been a part of hockey culture. It is now imbedded in the fabric of the NHL; however, recently it has been a source of controversy for the sport. Fighting is considered essential to diehard hockey fans, but is seen as barbaric and unusual to outsiders.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- 98% of NHL players support fighting.
- NHL Commissioner Garry Bettman indicated that fighting will remain a part of the game for the foreseeable future.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Read more here about how hockey is changing into a more skill oriented game.
- How will the NHL be affected with continued public growth in awareness of head injuries in sports?