If you’re a hockey player or fan, then you’ve probably heard the term “slew foot” before. This dangerous move can cause serious injury and has been banned in the NHL for over 80 years.
But what exactly is slew footing? And how can you identify it on the ice to avoid getting hurt? In this article, we’ll explore what makes a maneuver a slew foot, the dangers associated with it, and how to protect yourself from it.
“Slew footing is unquestionably one of the most dangerous acts that occur in hockey.” -Colin Campbell, Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations
Whether you’re new to the sport or have been playing for years, it’s important to understand what slew footing is so you can recognize it when it happens and take evasive action. By learning how to identify this dangerous move, players can better protect themselves and ensure a safer game for everyone involved.
In this article, we’ll cover everything from the definition of slew footing to common scenarios where it occurs, the penalties associated with the move, and tips for avoiding being targeted or accidentally performing a slew foot. So let’s dive in and learn all about this dangerous tactic used in hockey!
Understanding the Definition of Slew Foot in Hockey
Hockey is a tough, physical sport where players often collide with each other on the ice. While some contact is part of the game, there are certain moves that are considered dangerous and lead to penalties or even injuries. One such move is called “slew footing.” In this article, we will explain what slew footing is, why it is dangerous, and how it differs from tripping in hockey.
What Is Slew Footing in Hockey?
Slew footing occurs when a player uses their leg or foot to take out an opponent’s legs from behind, causing them to fall backwards. It is an illegal maneuver as per the National Hockey League (NHL) rules, punishable by a minor penalty for tripping or a larger penalty if deemed more serious.
The NHL defines slew-footing as “a violent or dangerous trip whereby the offender shoves his opponent’s feet from under him with a swinging motion of his leg(s),” which means that the act requires a deliberate action taken to cause the opposing player to lose balance and fall hard on his back or head.
In the official rulebook of the NHL, Rule 52 outlines definitions of legal and illegal checks or hits. Amongst those definitions, clauses 52.1-5 highlight the types of fouls classified as “Slew-Footing”:
- Using your leg/foot to sweep an opponent’s leg(s) entirely off the ice from behind or from the side without any contact.
- Knocking down or pulling down an opponent using an arm or hand placed around the opponent’s neck area.
- Grabbing and pulling an opponent’s upper body backward with one arm or both arms before throwing him/her down to the ice using an arm or leg.
Why Is Slew Footing Dangerous?
Slew footing is considered extremely dangerous as it puts the player who falls at great risk of injury. If a player whose legs are swept out from under them lands on their head, neck, or back, they could suffer serious long-term injuries. These can include concussion, spine and neck damage, and even paralysis.
The move doesn’t just put the falling player in danger, but also the opposing player performing the act. If the player responsible for forcing the fouled player into contact with the ice gets pinned underneath, he/she may get seriously injured too, like breaking his/her collarbone or taking spinal damage against the boards. Moreover, such instances can lead to both players getting penalized and ejected from the game – only if there was intent on doing harm.The NHL considers offenses related to skating penalties to be the most severe actions taken on ice:
“Players must exercise caution when playing the puck close to the boards,” writes the official rulebook. “A player who tries to use the body to cut off an opponent along the boards but misses the check shall not lose position and make no further attempt to hit the opponent.” -NHL Rule Book
How Is Slew Footing Different from Tripping in Hockey?
Slew footing differs from tripping in hockey since a trip involves making contact through a stick or equipment, whereas slew-footing implies direct action through one’s feet. The former usually results from good defensive play where blocking the opponent’s momentum becomes the priority instead of knocking them off balance like how a base runner intercepts a throw to break up a double-play in baseball. However, regardless of how they occur, both tripping and slew foot incidents result penalty minutes, ranging from two, up to five or more depending on the severity of the foul play.
Another telling aspect that distinguishes the two actions is intent. With a tripping call, officials may interpret accidental usage and the player(s) responsible may get charged with either a minor penalty (two minutes in the box) or no penalty at all if there was minimal or zero contact with the opposing player. Conversely, with a slew-foot infraction, an NHL official will always issue some form of discipline unless it cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt that direct involvement took place by the accused defending party.
Slew footing is a dangerous move, as it can lead to serious injury and put both players involved out of the game. It’s crucial for players to stay within the confines of legal plays and avoid performing illegal moves such as these.
How Slew Footing Can Lead to Serious Injuries on the Ice
Slew footing is a dangerous move in hockey that can result in serious injuries for players. This illegal maneuver occurs when a player uses his leg or foot to knock an opponent off balance from behind, causing them to fall backwards. While it may seem like a harmless move, slew footing can cause severe harm and even end careers.
The Mechanics of Slew Footing and Injury Risk
The mechanics of slew footing involve tripping someone using one’s leg while pushing their upper body forward. This action causes the person to lose control of their balance and inevitably fall backward, hitting their head on the ice or boards and potentially causing serious, long-term injury.
Injury risk from slew footing is high because of the velocity at which players are moving when they perform this action. The force from another player knocking out their legs can lead to severe falls, collisions with other players, and head-first contact with the ice. All of these factors increase the likelihood of concussion or spinal cord injury, both of which can be fatal or life-changing.
Examples of Injuries Caused by Slew Footing in Hockey
“Slew footing has no place in our game and can cause significant, unnecessary harm,” says former NHL player Shane Doan.
There have been countless examples of players suffering serious injuries due to slew footing in professional and amateur hockey leagues around the world. In 2018, Boston Bruins player Brad Marchand slewfooted New Jersey Devils winger Marcus Johansson, causing him to hit his head on the ice and sustain a severe concussion. Johansson missed weeks of play as a result of the incident.
Former NHL player Marc Savard also suffered a career-ending concussion due to being slew footed during a game in 2010. The injury caused Savard to experience severe headaches, cognitive difficulties, and depression, ultimately leading him to retire from the sport he loved.
It’s not just professional players who are at risk of these injuries; amateur and youth leagues also report incidents of slew footing that result in serious consequences. Younger players may be even more vulnerable to harm due to their smaller size and less-developed physical abilities.
Whether you’re watching hockey on television or playing in a local league, it’s important to recognize the danger posed by slew footing. This illegal maneuver can lead to life-altering injuries and should never be tolerated in any context. It is up to coaches, officials, and players to actively work to eliminate this harmful action from the game so that everyone can enjoy the sport safely and without fear of unnecessary harm.
Common Slew Footing Techniques and How to Spot Them
Slew footing is a dangerous illegal move in hockey that can cause players to suffer serious injuries. It occurs when a player trips, sweeps or kicks the opponent’s legs from behind causing them to fall backward. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most common slew footing techniques used in hockey games and how to spot them.
The Classic Slew Foot: What to Look For
The classic slew foot technique involves using one’s stick to kick an opponent’s skate out from under them while sweeping their other leg off balance at the same time. As the opposing player falls back, they are likely to hit their head on the ice or boards which can result in a concussion or other serious injury.
One way to avoid getting caught up in a classic slew foot is to anticipate it happening. Always be aware of where your opponent’s stick is located and try to stay away from it if possible. If you find yourself being targeted by someone attempting a classic slew foot, remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
Other Slew Footing Techniques and How to Identify Them
There are several other types of slew footing techniques besides the classic move mentioned above. Among them are:
- The Sweep: Similar to the classic slew foot except without the use of a stick. Players simply sweep the opponent’s skates out from underneath them with their own feet.
- The Drop: This technique involves dropping one’s body heavily onto an opponent’s legs while hooking one of their skates with your own.
- The Cross-Check: This involves cross-checking an opponent in the small of their back while simultaneously kicking their feet out from under them.
One of the easiest ways to identify slew footing is by watching for an opponent who has suddenly fallen backward without any apparent source. If it seems too coincidental or unnatural, it could be a sign that they were on the receiving end of a slew foot move.
How to Spot Slew Footing When it Happens Away from the Puck
Another way to catch players using slew footing techniques is by watching games where there is no puck in play. Players will sometimes try to take each other out away from the puck so as not to attract attention from officials. This type of move can often lead to injuries due to the fact that unsuspecting players are not expecting such actions to occur.
To spot these types of moves, keep your eyes on players who have lost sight of the puck and aren’t actively pursuing it. They may be setting up the perfect chance to initiate a slew foot move against an unwary player.
How to Detect Slew Footing When it Happens Behind the Play
Slew footing can also occur behind the play where referees and umpires cannot see it happening. In this case, it’s important to rely on teammates and opposite team members to report any activity that requires scrutiny.
Teammates should always look out for one another by reporting any unusual movements made by opponents which could result in injury or disqualification.
“Illegal manoeuvres like slick tripping and blind hitting should be discouraged at every turn.” – Wayne Gretzky
Slewing is a dangerous illegal hockey technique that can cause severe injuries to those who fall victim to it. As allaying fears about getting seriously injured appears essential in playing safe ice hockey, it’s important that all players be aware of the common slew footing techniques used in hockey games and to know how to spot them.
Preventing Slew Footing: Tips for Players and Referees
Slew footing in hockey is a dangerous and illegal move that can cause serious injury to players. It occurs when one player trips or kicks the legs out from under another, causing them to fall backward. In this article, we will discuss what slew footing is, why it is dangerous, and how players, referees, coaches, and education can help prevent it.
How Players Can Avoid Slew Footing
As a player, avoiding being slew footed requires both awareness of your surroundings and proper technique. Here are some tips:
- Stay balanced on your feet: Keep your skates shoulder-width apart and distribute your weight evenly between them. This makes it harder for an opponent to knock you off balance.
- Avoid getting tangled up with opponents: Make quick and deliberate movements, using your body to shield the puck while keeping your arms extended. This prevents an opponent from hooking or tripping you.
- Protect yourself: When you’re near the boards, turn your back to absorb a hit instead of facing the boards face-first. You could also use your stick as a brace to protect yourself against impact.
- Communicate with teammates: Call out where you are on the ice so teammates know where to pass you the puck. Also, be sure to communicate if you feel someone is trying to slew foot you, so teammates can come to your aid.
If you feel like you’re about to be tripped or slew footed, try to jump over the leg or move away quickly to avoid contact with the opponent’s legs.
What Referees Can Do to Prevent Slew Footing
While players can do their part in avoiding slewing footing, referees also have a crucial role in ensuring the safety of all players on the ice. Here are some things they can do:
- Enforce penalties for slew footing: Slew footing is a dangerous and illegal move that should result in a penalty every time it occurs. Referees should call out these penalties and send offending players to the box.
- Communicate with players: If a player feels like they’re being put into harm’s way by an opponent trying to slew foot them, let the referee know so they can keep an eye on the situation.
- Educate themselves: Knowing the rules and regulations surrounding such moves can help officials better enforce fair play while keeping everyone safe on the ice.
Why Education is Key to Preventing Slew Footing in Hockey
Preventing slew footing and other types of dirty plays in hockey starts with education. This applies not just to players but also coaches, parents, fans, and anyone else involved in the sport. It’s important to understand the risks and dangers associated with both committing and being on the receiving end of a slew foot.
All organizations must implement strict guidelines around what types of behavior will not be tolerated. Educational resources must be widely available to teach the ins-and-outs of clean, legal game play to both new and experienced young athletes alike.
How Coaches Can Help Players Avoid Slew Footing
Coaches can play an essential role in helping players avoid slewing during games or matches. Here are some ways coaches can help prevent slewing:
- Teach proper techniques: Coaches must keep emphasizing the importance of safety and legality when teaching young players new moves. Proper techniques should be demonstrated frequently.
- Encourage a clean playing environment: Instilling a sense of sportsmanship in players goes a long way to reducing dirty plays, such as slew feet, from occurring in games or matches. This is something coaches can model themselves, but also call out on occasion when necessary.
- Train agility and reaction times: Players who are both agile and quick to react can often dodge an opponent’s attempts at slewing them by moving quickly out of harm’s way. Therefore, you must incorporate training exercises and drills that encourage swift movements.
“When I was younger, fighting was just kind of accepted and went along with hockey. Now…with all the things being said about concussions and safety measures taken by USA Hockey – we’re taking it seriously.” – Ryan Kesler
To Sum Up
Education, coaching, training, enforcement, and communication are all vital aspects of preventing slew footing in hockey. As game enthusiasts, everyone bears responsibility for knowing how to play within the rules of the sport while staying safe on the ice. By implementing these strategies throughout the hockey community, hopefully, we’ll see fewer dangerous, illegal moves being used during matches or games. So while you’re lacing up, remember: Stay focused, stay alert, protect yourself- and your fellow competitors- at all times!
What Are the Penalties for Slew Footing in Hockey?
Slew footing is an illegal move in ice hockey that can result in severe injury to players. It involves using one’s leg or foot to sweep an opponent’s legs out from under them, causing them to fall backward and risking serious head or spinal cord injuries. Therefore, authorities across various leagues have stringent rules and penalties against it.
How Slew Footing is Penalized in Different Leagues
The National Hockey League (NHL) has a specific rule regarding slew footing, which comes under Rule 52 of its Official Rules book. Any player who commits this offense will receive a match penalty, resulting in ejection from the game and suspension from future games. This is because the move carries a significant risk of injury and puts other players’ safety at stake.
Similarly, USA Hockey’s Playing Rules Book has classified slew footing as a major penalty offense, punishable by five minutes in the penalty box and a ten-minute misconduct penalty. If the referee deems the action too dangerous, the player may also be given a match penalty.
In amateur leagues, such as high school hockey, there are similar rules set forth by different associations and governing bodies. For example, the Minnesota State High School League follows the same rule as USA Hockey, imposing a five-minute major and ten-minute misconduct for players found guilty of slew footing.
What Happens When a Player is Ejected for Slew Footing?
A player who receives a match penalty for slew footing will automatically be ejected from the game. The subsequent punishment they face depends on the severity of their conduct and any previous history of incidents.
If the league’s disciplinary committee — after reviewing video footage of the incident – discovers that a player was engaging in intentional or repeated slew footing, they may receive a more extended suspension and other disciplinary measures. The player’s team can also face fines for their actions.
It is crucial to note that the NHL has recently intensified its penalties on players who cause injuries through illegal checks like a slew foot. The league introduced a new rule in 2021 named “Check to the Head,” resulting in suspensions and punishments under a range of circumstances.
How Slew Footing Penalties Impact the Game and Player Safety
Slew footing in hockey presents an immense danger not only to the affected player but also to those around them. It is why authorities have strict rules in place to penalize any such conduct harshly. By ejecting and punishing players who engage in it, officials are sending a clear message that dangerous behavior will not be tolerated.
Punishing players for conducting themselves dangerously on ice equipment helps deter future wrongdoings and creates a safer environment for everyone involved. It allows injured athletes to recover from what could have been career-ending accidents by ensuring that all parties complied with the regulations.
“Slew footing remains one of the most banned moves in hockey as it puts players’ health and safety at risk.” -National Hockey League
Therefore, while some argue that hefty penalties disrupt game flow, putting players’ lives and careers at risk cannot be considered reasonable grounds for leniency. Penalizing players for offenses that endanger opponents demonstrates concern for player welfare, preserves sportsmanship, and indeed keeps negative public scrutiny at bay.
Governing bodies in the hockey world, ranging from high school leagues to professional leagues, set stringent rules and penalties against slew footing because they recognize its severe dangers to players. Strict laws help promote safe and fair competition, even if enforcement sometimes hampers the game’s flow. It is crucial to prioritize player safety over anything else, shaping the future of hockey in a more positive direction.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the definition of slew foot in hockey?
A slew foot is a dangerous move in which a player uses their leg or foot to knock the opponent’s feet out from under them, causing them to fall backwards. This move is illegal and can result in severe injuries.
What are the penalties for committing a slew foot in hockey?
Committing a slew foot is considered a major penalty in hockey, resulting in a player being ejected from the game and a five-minute penalty. In some cases, the player may also face suspension or fines.
What are some examples of slew foot incidents in professional hockey?
One notable slew foot incident involved Boston Bruins’ player Brad Marchand, who received a five-game suspension in 2018 for a slew foot on Marcus Johansson of the New Jersey Devils. Other players, such as Milan Lucic and Nazem Kadri, have also been penalized for committing this dangerous move.
What is the difference between a trip and a slew foot in hockey?
A trip is when a player uses their stick or body to trip an opponent’s feet, while a slew foot involves using the leg or foot to knock out the opponent’s feet. Slew foots are considered more dangerous and can result in more severe consequences.
How can players avoid committing a slew foot during a game?
Players can avoid committing a slew foot by keeping their feet on the ice and avoiding using their legs or feet to knock down opponents. It is also important to maintain control and avoid reckless moves that can cause injuries to both players.