How Do Fights Work In Hockey

Answer: Fights in hockey occur when players engage in a physical altercation on the ice. While fighting is not an officially recognized aspect of the game, it has become a common occurrence in the sport. Here are five supporting facts that explain how fights work in hockey:
1. Initiation: Fights usually start when one player challenges another or retaliates to an aggressive act. This can include checking, slashing, or other physical plays that cross the line of what is considered acceptable within the game.

2. The Role of Enforcers: Some players, known as enforcers, are specifically recruited or chosen to protect their teammates and engage in fights if necessary. They often have a physical presence on the ice and are skilled in both fighting and playing the game.

3. The Fight Itself: Once the players decide to fight, they drop their gloves and throw punches while grappling with each other. The fight continues until either the players tire themselves out or the referees step in to break it up.

4. Penalties: Fighting results in penalties for both players involved. They receive five-minute major penalties for fighting, which means they must sit in the penalty box for the allotted time, leaving their team shorthanded.

5. Safety Measures: To minimize the risk of injuries, players are required to wear protective gear such as helmets and padding. Additionally, referees closely monitor fights to ensure they do not escalate into dangerous situations.


1. Are fights allowed in hockey?
Yes and no. While fighting is not officially allowed in the rules of hockey, it has become an accepted and often overlooked aspect of the game.

2. Do players get suspended for fighting?
Typically, players do not receive suspensions solely for fighting. However, if the fight involves additional misconduct or dangerous actions, suspensions may be issued.

3. Why do players fight in hockey?
Players fight to protect their teammates, retaliate against aggressive plays, or simply to energize their team and gain a momentum shift in the game.

4. Can fighting result in serious injuries?
While fighting carries inherent risks, the NHL has implemented rules and safety measures to minimize the chances of serious injuries. However, there is still a possibility of players getting hurt during a fight.

5. Are there any strategies involved in fighting?
Fighting in hockey can sometimes involve strategy, such as positioning, timing, and knowing when to engage or decline a fight. Enforcers often study their opponents and use tactics to gain an advantage.

6. Do all hockey leagues allow fighting?
Not all hockey leagues allow fighting. While it is primarily associated with the National Hockey League (NHL), other leagues, such as college or junior leagues, may have stricter rules or penalties against fighting.

7. Are there any consequences for instigating a fight?
Instigating a fight results in additional penalties for the player. They receive a two-minute minor penalty for instigating, an additional five-minute major penalty for fighting, and a ten-minute misconduct penalty.

BOTTOM LINE: Fighting in hockey is a controversial aspect of the sport. While it is not officially permitted, it remains a common occurrence that brings a unique physical and emotional element to the game. Despite ongoing debates, fighting continues to be a part of hockey culture, with players fulfilling roles as enforcers and following a set of unofficial rules and regulations when engaging in fights.