How Long Can You Fight In Hockey? [Answered!]

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Hockey is a sport that has been around for centuries and is traditionally played outdoors on ice or snow. So basically, you’ll be playing outdoors, which means it can get pretty cold, especially if you are not a professional athlete. You’ll also be experiencing a variety of weather conditions, from cold to hot, which can also make things interesting. Because of its enduring popularity and the fact that it can be played both professionally and recreationally, fighting in hockey is a common occurrence. After all, nobody likes to get beat up!

While it’s not illegal to fight in hockey, the NHL doesn’t exactly condone it. Despite this, fighting in hockey is common and has been made even more popular by social media outlets like Twitter. Because of this, it’s important to understand how long you can fight in hockey and what restrictions, if any, the NHL or your team may have in place. This way you can prepare yourself accordingly and avoid getting in trouble with the officials. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Allowed To Fight

First off, you can’t really argue with the fact that hockey is a hard-hitting sport. Like many other sports, fighting is common in hockey and is rarely tolerated by the officials. As long as you’re not breaking any rules or endangering yourself or your opponent, there’s really no limit to how long you can fight in hockey. You can give it your all until the very end, and in some cases, the officials will even let you continue after the whistle has been blown. Of course, things can get pretty heated and physically demanding, so it’s important to take care of your body properly and avoid getting injured. In many cases, fights that go on for too long can lead to injuries, especially to the head. If you’re looking to fight in hockey and don’t want to get hurt, then it’s best to keep it to brief, intense scuffles.

Fighting In The AHL

Next on our list is the AHL, the professional minor league of the NHL. Much like the NHL, the AHL allows fighting, but it does have some restrictions in place. Similar to the NHL, the AHL will only let you fight to a certain extent. In most cases, if you’re in junior hockey or higher, you’ll be able to fight up to three rounds. In the AHL, like with the NHL, if the fight goes on for too long, the officials will eventually step in to put an end to it. After one or two rounds, the officials typically will call a time out and let the fighters calm down and take a break before starting another round. Once you reach the AHL, you can’t really call it a minor league anymore because it allows for a lot more fighting than any other professional hockey league.

NHL Rule

Finally, we arrive at the NHL rulebook, which has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I mean, after all, it’s not like the NHL doesn’t allow for a lot of physical play or roughhousing, but the rulebook specifically prohibits fighting. According to Rule 18-1:

“No hit on the head or neck. If a player initiates a hit on the head or neck area of an opponent, that player must wear a helmet. After a hit from a distance, the player must immediately remove his helmet.”

I guess it makes sense that the NHL would want to protect its players’ heads since they are often vulnerable while on the ice. However, the fact that the NHL prohibits fighting can create a strange dynamic where some players are content to fight while others hope to avoid it at all costs. I mean, it would be great if the NHL allowed for more fighting, like the AHL, but the fact that the rulebook states otherwise can create a bit of an either/or situation.

One final note about the NHL rulebook, it gets pretty boring pretty quickly. Like I said before, the rules don’t change all that much from year to year. In general, most of the rules can be summed up by this single guideline:

“Don’t be a hero.”

So essentially, if you want to fight in the NHL, better get used to taking a beating. Sometimes, it can even be pretty frequent. The good news is the sport has changed a lot in recent years and will continue to do so, creating more opportunities for you to fight. As long as you keep your wits about you and aren’t going too hard, you’ll be just fine. Some people even say that fighting in the NHL can be a good way to improve your overall game, getting some much-needed exercise and mental stimulation. What do you think? Is boxing a useful tool in your toolbox of sporting skills?

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