Hockey is a fast-paced and physical sport that requires strength, agility, and quick reflexes. However, some players may resort to dangerous tactics such as slew footing.
Slew footing is a move in hockey where a player trips or sweeps the legs of their opponent from behind, causing them to fall backward. This move can result in serious injuries and penalties, making it essential for players to learn how to identify and avoid it.
“Slew footing is illegal for a reason – it is both dangerous and dirty. Players who use this move not only endanger themselves but also jeopardize the safety of their opponents,”
In this article, we will dive deeper into what exactly constitutes slew footing, why it is dangerous, and how you can protect yourself against it. Whether you are a seasoned hockey player, a beginner, or just a fan of the game, understanding this controversial tactic can help ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience on the ice. So let’s get started!
The Definition of Slew Footing
Slew footing is an illegal move in hockey that involves tripping or kicking the back of an opponent’s skates from behind. This dangerous maneuver can cause serious injuries to players, especially if they fall awkwardly on the ice.
According to the official rules of the National Hockey League (NHL), slew footing is defined as “using one or both legs to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, and causing him to fall violently to the ice.”
It is important for players, coaches and fans alike to understand what qualifies as a slew foot in order to prevent unnecessary injuries on the ice.
Understanding the Basics of Slew Footing
Slew footing is a form of tripping that is particularly dangerous because it targets an opponent’s feet from behind, making it difficult for them to brace themselves for impact.
This type of move is often done when the defending player feels threatened by an opposing player who is attempting to make a break toward their team’s net. The defender may use his leg or skate blade to hook around the back of the other player’s ankle or skate, sending them sprawling to the ice.
While this action might seem like a strategic way to stop an offensive play, it is actually highly dangerous and against the rules of most professional and amateur leagues.
Origins and History of Slew Footing
Although the origins of slew footing are unclear, it has been considered a dirty move in hockey for many years. In fact, a number of NHL players have been suspended or fined for committing slew-footing infractions over the years.
One of the earliest instances of slew footing being penalized occurred during the 1926 Stanley Cup Finals between the Montreal Maroons and Victoria Cougars. The Maroon’s goaltender, Clint Benedict, was penalized for slew footing after kicking an opposing player in a game that resulted in his team being eliminated from the playoffs.
Since then, slew footing has remained a dangerous move that players are cautioned against using on the ice. Despite this, some players continue to use it as a way to gain an advantage in certain situations or out of frustration with an opponent’s play style.
“Slew-footing is a very dangerous maneuver and can cause injury to a player which could result in a serious disciplinary measure by the League,” – Brendan Shanahan, NHL Senior VP of Player Safety
- Slew footing remains a controversial and dangerous move in hockey that players should avoid using at all costs.
- Understanding what qualifies as a slew foot is essential for protecting players’ safety on the ice.
- The history of slew footing dates back many years in hockey, but it continues to be heavily penalized and discouraged today within professional leagues such as the NHL.
How Slew Footing Is Executed
Slew footing is a dangerous tactic used in hockey that involves tripping an opponent by sweeping their legs from behind, causing them to fall backwards. This can result in serious injuries, making it one of the most severe penalties in the game.
The slew foot occurs when one player uses their leg or foot to hook and sweep another player’s feet out from under them while at the same time pushing their upper body away with their hands or arms. Because the move is executed so quickly and often without the referee noticing, it has been nicknamed the “silent play”.
Techniques for Performing Slew Footing
The best way to do a slew foot is to get close enough to the opposing player without being noticed. This calls for a lot of experience and skill since it’s important to make sure you don’t alert your opponent to what you’re doing until it’s too late. Typically, this type of penalty is performed using one of two techniques:
- Inner Leg Trip: This happens when the player executes the slew foot by getting very close to the player and then grabbing their inner ankle bone with either their own shinbone or skate blade and wrenching it backward.
- Outside Edge Push: This variation involves kicking away the other player’s outside edge as they try to maintain balance. The downward force coupled with the push from the attacker will cause the player to trip over backwards.
Common Situations Where Slew Footing Occurs
Slew footing tends to happen during battles for the puck, specifically in the corners where players physically engage each other. It also arises in situations where an opposing team’s player carries the puck into the offensive zone, such as during breakaways or odd-man rushes. Furthermore, slew footing can occur when players feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and outplayed by their rivals.
Despite being one of hockey’s most dangerous plays, many players still utilize the move in hopes of gaining a competitive edge against opponents who may have an advantage over them on the ice.
Equipment Used for Slew Footing
Because slewing is a form of tripping that happens very quickly, it requires specific equipment to be effective:
- Skates: The skate blade is incredibly sharp and therefore capable of cutting through an opponent’s ankle bone without any resistance if done right.
- Stick : Players often use their stick to gain leverage and push the player backwards while at the same time sweeping their legs away from underneath. The length of the stick makes it ideal for reaching back between the opposing player’s legs.
- Gloves: The gloves allow for better grip and stability, which are critical during swift movements like a slew foot.
“Slew footing has no place in our game. We have taken steps to penalize its usage with severe consequences.” – Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner
Slew footing is a highly dangerous tactic used in hockey matches to trip up opponents. It is executed rapidly and silently by using specific techniques such as the inner leg trip or outside edge push. This play will typically happen during battles for the puck, corners, odd-man rushes, and situations where frustration could lead to this unsavoury act. Despite its risks, some players will continue to use streak tactics such as this due to their competitive nature. To execute it effectively, specific gear such as skates, gloves and sticks are needed. Slew footing is frowned upon in the industry by both players and management alike, however effective enforcement and penalties have been put in place as a deterrence.
The Dangers of Slew Footing
What is slew footing in hockey? It is a dangerous move that can cause serious physical injuries, potential long-term effects, damage to the reputation of players and teams, and even legal consequences.
Physical Injuries Caused by Slew Footing
Slew footing occurs when a player trips or sweeps the opponent’s legs from under him. This motion causes the opposing player to fall backward without control, leading to head, neck, back, and spinal injuries. The sudden impact with the ice also increases the risk of concussion.
In 2015, NHL player Brandon Prust was suspended for two games due to slew footing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, which caused him to hit his head against the boards. The League takes this type of action seriously because it can result in detrimental outcomes for the injured party.
Potential Long-Term Effects of Slew Footing
Besides immediate physical injuries, slew footing could potentially lead to long-term effects. Chronic headaches, memory loss, cognitive deficits, post-concussion syndrome, and depression are among the after-effects reported. Since this sort of injury involves the head and neck area, these symptoms may surface later on in life.
As per medical reports, multiple concussions over time bear the possibility to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head injuries such as those prevalent in boxing and football. It’s about time hockey took notice and brought stringent measures to discipline players committing this violent act.
Impact on Reputation of Player and Team
Slew footing is not only hazardous but unsportsmanlike conduct too. It leads to negative publicity bringing unwanted attention to both the player and team. Officiating penalties can lead to a tenfold increase in negative coverage, which ultimately results in tarnished reputations that impact both parties’ future career opportunities.
A split-second decision can have far-reaching consequences for all involved and create unforgiving impressions. In any game, players are held responsible for their actions, and reckless behavior like this can affect both on-ice performance levels and off-ice brand value.
Legal Consequences of Slew Footing
Slew footing as an action may prove to be life-changing not just for the victim but also for the perpetrator. Depending upon the degree of damage inflicted/sustained, slew footing incidents could result in legal ramifications such as hefty criminal charges or civil lawsuits.
“It’s time we start taking these types of things seriously,” says James Johnson, a sports law attorney and scholar at the University of Minnesota Law School. “While it is healthy for society to regulate some sports violence, the line must be drawn somewhere.”
Hockey is already under scrutiny due to frequent injuries caused by various body checks and hits during games; the league cannot afford to neglect other forms of violent acts committed against fellow players without consequence. Players who display violent tendencies on or off the ice run the risk of generating more severe punishment. Apart from potential fines, suspensions, and loss of earnings, they bear the burden of dealing with personal stigma.
It is fair to say that the harm done through slew footing is extensive – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially – it covers everything.
Penalties and Consequences of Slew Footing
Slew footing in hockey is a dangerous and illegal tactic that can result in significant penalties, fines, suspensions, legal action, and impact future opportunities and contracts. It involves sticking out one or both feet with the intent to knock an opponent’s feet out from under him, causing him to fall backward violently. This move is highly risky as it could cause serious injury to the opposing player.
Penalties Imposed by Leagues and Associations
The National Hockey League (NHL) and many other leagues and associations worldwide have strict rules against slew-footing and impose severe penalties on players who break them. According to NHL Rule 52, “Slew-footing is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, or pushes an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow while knocking their feet forward, causing them to lose balance.”
If a player is caught slew-footing in an NHL game, he will receive a two-minute minor penalty. However, if the referees determine that the incident was more severe than just a minor infraction, such as resulting in an injury to the opposing player, they may assess additional penalties, ranging from four minutes to a match penalty accompanied by ejection from the game. Additionally, after reviewing the replay footage, the NHL Department of Player Safety may also decide to suspend the offending player for any number of games.
Fines and Suspensions for Slew Footing
In addition to penalties imposed in-game, slewing-footing infractions can result in substantial fines and suspensions both during and outside of the season. Fines can range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the severity of the incident. The NHL can also issue suspensions ranging from one to five games or more depending on the severity of the infraction and whether the offending player has a history of similar incidents.
For example, during the 2019/2020 season, Nazem Kadri received a significant suspension for slew-footing an opponent in his first game back after serving another suspension for illegal hits to the head. As a result, he was suspended for eight games without pay while keeping his salary that would go to charity instead.
Legal Action Taken Against Slew Footing
Besides penalties imposed by leagues and associations, legal action may be taken against players for engaging in slew footing. Combining criminal offenses with sports is not uncommon nowadays; therefore, it may lead to severe judgment because it’s classified as assault. Liability charges could be filed against a player and publishers if someone sustains serious injury due to a deliberate foul such as hauling or bowling over opponents which are prohibited under most laws around the world.
Impact on Future Opportunities and Contracts
Slew footing violates rules established for fair play, respect, and safety in hockey. Conduct driven with malice should never be overlooked or silenced within sports teams, particularly at a professional level. Players who engage in slewing footing will have their reputation tarnished, affecting potential future contracts both technically and financially. It causes people to question the individual’s character, team ethics, and long-term prospects in general. In summary, indulging in unacceptable conduct comes with significant consequences beyond the fines and suspension associated with penalty catalogues.
“Slew-footing is dangerous and can cause serious injury and deserves strict consequences.” -Gary Bettman
How to Avoid Slew Footing
Proper Training and Education on Legal Techniques
If you want to avoid committing or falling victim to a slew foot in hockey, it is crucial that you have proper training and education on legal techniques. Slew footing involves moving the opponent’s feet with your own while pulling them down from behind, and this is strictly prohibited in hockey as it endangers players’ safety.
Before playing any game, make sure to learn the rules and regulations so that you can avoid anything that might put yourself or others in harm’s way. Whether you are new to the sport or an experienced player, attending training sessions and participating in drills focused on safe and legal moves will help you respond better during games.
It is also essential to assess your level of fitness regularly since fatigue tends to increase the frequency of illegal moves like slew footing by diminishing cognitive ability and hindering proper positioning and timing.
Importance of Sportsmanship and Fair Play
Sportsmanship and fair play should always be at the forefront when playing any game involving contact, including hockey. Slew footing violates both of these fundamental principles by using malicious intent to knock the competitor off their balance. It would be best if you aimed to win by demonstrating skills, not by injuring opponents.
As opposed to resorting to dangerous plays, having amicable conversations with other players about how to compete aggressively but respectfully is another approach for avoiding slewing incidents. Maintaining composure, exhibiting behavior consistent with ethical norms, and respecting officials’ decisions all contribute significantly to creating a healthy environment for everyone involved in the game.
Preventing sledging accidents focuses primarily on appropriate preparation and following well-established standards of conduct. Seizing control of legal ways and showing respect for fellow players enhances enjoyment, minimizes injuries, and fosters a sense of fair competition.
What to Do If You Are Slew Footed
Slew footing in hockey is when a player uses their leg or foot to knock an opponent off balance from behind. It is considered a dangerous and illegal play that can result in serious injury.
Immediate Steps to Take After Being Slew Footed
If you have been slew footed during a game, it’s important to take immediate action to protect yourself and hold the responsible party accountable. The following steps should be taken:
- Stop playing immediately: Your safety always comes first. Stop playing and seek medical attention if necessary.
- Report the incident to the referee: Make sure the referee is aware of what happened so they can penalize the player properly.
- Gather evidence: If possible, get the name and number of the player who slew footed you and gather any witnesses who saw what happened.
- File a complaint with your league or association: Be sure to file a report with your league or association regarding the incident for further investigation.
Legal Recourse Available for Victims of Slew Footing
In addition to reporting the incident to the appropriate parties, you also have legal options available if you are a victim of slew footing in hockey. Depending on the severity of the incident and resulting injuries, you may want to consider pursuing legal action against the responsible party. This could include:
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit: If the slew footing incident resulted in serious injury, such as a concussion or broken bones, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Pressing criminal charges: In extreme cases where the player intentionally slew footed you with malice or intent to injure, you may be able to press criminal charges against them. However, this is typically reserved for the most serious instances of slew footing.
If you are considering legal action after being slew footed in hockey, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney who has experience dealing with these types of cases. They can help you determine the best course of action based on your specific circumstances.
“Slew footing is an extremely dangerous and reckless play that has no place in hockey. It’s important for players to understand the severity of the consequences if they choose to engage in this type of behavior.” -Jimmy Hayes
By taking immediate action after being slew footed and exploring your legal options, you can protect yourself and send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in the sport of hockey.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Definition of Slew Footing in Hockey?
Slew footing in hockey is a dangerous tactic where a player uses their foot or leg to sweep an opponent’s legs from under them. This causes the opponent to fall backwards, often resulting in injury. It is a serious offense that can lead to penalties, suspensions, and even criminal charges in extreme cases.
Is Slew Footing Illegal in Hockey?
Yes, slew footing is illegal in hockey. It is considered a tripping penalty and can result in a minor, major, or even a match penalty depending on the severity of the offense. The NHL and other hockey organizations have strict rules against slew footing to protect the safety of players on the ice.
What are the Consequences of Slew Footing in Hockey?
The consequences of slew footing in hockey can be severe. In addition to penalties and suspensions, the victim of the slew foot can suffer serious injuries such as concussions, broken bones, and spinal damage. Slew footing can also damage the reputation of the player who commits the offense and lead to long-term consequences for their career.
How Can Players Avoid Slew Footing Penalties in Hockey?
Players can avoid slew footing penalties in hockey by playing with respect for their opponents. They should avoid using their feet or legs to trip or sweep their opponents, and instead focus on playing the game with skill and sportsmanship. Players should also be aware of the rules surrounding slew footing and work to avoid any actions that could be considered illegal or dangerous.
What Should Officials Do When Slew Footing in Hockey Occurs?
When slew footing occurs in hockey, officials should immediately call a penalty and remove the offending player from the ice if necessary. They should also assess the severity of the offense and determine if any additional actions, such as suspensions or fines, are necessary. Officials play a key role in protecting the safety of players on the ice and ensuring that the rules of the game are followed.