How Is Fighting In Hockey Legal

Answer:Fighting in hockey is legal due to several factors that have been accepted by the league and fans alike. Here are five supporting facts:

1. Tradition: Fighting has been a long-standing part of the sport, dating back to its early origins in Canada. It has become deeply ingrained in the hockey culture and is viewed by many as an essential aspect of the game.

2. Player safety: Surprisingly, fighting can actually promote player safety. It acts as a form of self-regulation on the ice, allowing players to police themselves and discourage excessive aggression. By engaging in a fight, players often diffuse tense situations and prevent potentially dangerous altercations.

3. Entertainment value: Fighting adds an element of excitement and intensity to the game, attracting fans and boosting television ratings. While the NHL has made efforts to reduce the frequency of fighting in recent years, it recognizes the entertainment value it provides to many spectators.

4. Strategic impact: Fighting can serve as a momentum changer or motivator for a team, helping to shift the tide of a game. Coaches and players often use fights strategically to energize their teammates or send a message to the opposing team.

5. Instigating penalties: The NHL has implemented instigating penalties to discourage players from starting fights without a reasonable cause. This helps to maintain the idea of fighting as a self-regulatory mechanism and punishes those who instigate unnecessary altercations.


1. Are there any rules governing fights in hockey?
Yes, there are specific rules in place to ensure fights don’t escalate into dangerous situations. For instance, players must drop their gloves and helmets before engaging in a fight, and the referees closely monitor the altercation to maintain control.

2. Can players be penalized for fighting?
Yes, players receive penalties for fighting, usually in the form of five-minute majors. Additionally, if a player is deemed to be the instigator of a fight, they can receive an additional two-minute minor penalty.

3. Does every fight in hockey result in penalties?
While most fights result in penalties for the involved players, there are exceptions. If both players are willing combatants and square up for a fair fight, the referees may allow it to continue without issuing penalties.

4. Are there any consequences for fighting in hockey?
Frequent offenders may face disciplinary actions from the league, such as fines or suspensions. Additionally, fighting can lead to injuries, both minor and severe, impacting a player’s career and overall performance.

5. Are there any alternatives to fighting in hockey?
Yes, the NHL has been actively trying to reduce the role of fighting in the sport. They have implemented stricter penalties for dangerous hits and increased the focus on player safety overall.

6. Does fighting happen in other hockey leagues?
Fighting is more prevalent in North American professional leagues, such as the NHL and AHL. In contrast, European leagues typically have stricter rules against fighting and enforce them more rigorously.

7. Do fans support fighting in hockey?
Opinions among fans are divided. While some view fighting as an essential part of the game, others believe it should be eliminated due to safety concerns. The NHL considers the views of fans when making decisions regarding fighting regulations.

Fighting in hockey is legal due to its historical significance, potential impact on player safety, entertainment value, strategic importance, and the presence of instigating penalties. However, the NHL has been taking steps to minimize fighting in recent years to prioritize player safety and adapt to changing attitudes towards the sport.