Is It Legal To Fight In Hockey

Answer: Yes, fighting is legal in hockey, but it is regulated by various rules and penalties. Here are five supporting facts:
1. Rule 46: The National Hockey League (NHL) has a specific rule, Rule 46, that governs fighting in their games. It states that while fighting is not officially permitted, it is not an automatic ejection from the game.

2. Penalties: Players who engage in a fight receive a five-minute major penalty, which means they are removed from the game for the duration of the penalty but may return once it expires. Additionally, they may also receive additional penalties for instigating the fight or misconduct.

3. Referee Intervention: Throughout a fight, referees monitor the situation closely and have the authority to step in and stop the fight if it becomes too dangerous or if one player appears to be at a significant disadvantage.

4. Policing the Game: One argument for fighting in hockey is that it serves as a way for players to police the game themselves. In cases of dangerous or overly aggressive play, players may feel the need to step in and protect their teammates by engaging in a fight.

5. Historical Tradition: Fighting has been a part of hockey for a long time and is deeply ingrained in the sport’s culture. While it may be controversial, many fans and players consider it an accepted aspect of the game’s physical nature.


1. Are players penalized if they refuse to fight?
Answer: No, players are not penalized if they refuse to fight. It is their choice whether to engage in a fight or not.

2. Can fights occur at any time during the game?
Answer: While fights can occur at any time during the game, they most commonly happen as a result of on-ice altercations, disagreements, or to send a message to the opposing team.

3. Is fighting allowed in all hockey leagues?
Answer: No, fighting is allowed in professional leagues like the NHL and some minor leagues, but it is banned in most amateur and youth leagues.

4. Do fights serve any strategic purpose in hockey?
Answer: Some teams believe that fights can act as a momentum-changer or serve as a way to rally their team. However, others argue that the game is shifting away from fighting as teams focus more on speed and skill.

5. Are there any safety concerns with fighting in hockey?
Answer: Yes, there are safety concerns associated with fighting in hockey, such as the risk of injury from punches or falling on the ice. The NHL takes measures to limit dangerous fighting situations and minimize the risk to players.

6. Are there players or teams known for fighting more frequently?
Answer: Yes, certain players or teams historically have had a reputation for engaging in more fights than others. These players are often referred to as enforcers, and their role is to protect their teammates and intimidate opponents.

7. Is there a possibility that fighting will be banned in the future?
Answer: While the restrictions on fighting have increased over the years, it is unlikely that fighting will be completely banned in the near future. It remains a controversial aspect of the game, and any changes to the rules regarding fighting would require careful consideration by league officials, players, and fans.

BOTTOM LINE: Fighting is legal in hockey, but it is regulated by rules and penalties. While the NHL allows fighting, it is not a mandatory part of the game and is subject to referee intervention and additional penalties. Whether fighting remains a part of the sport’s future or not is a topic of ongoing debate.