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Would These Fighting Rules Work In The NHL?

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

I’ve certainly had enough of the lobby group calling for an all-out ban on fighting, or immediate suspensions for any hit to the head whether intentional or not. The faction that would bubble wrap every adult and child who pulls on a hockey sweater, and should perhaps choose a more genteel sport. As Bryan Marchment once said, “Go play tennis.”

Fighting is, in fact, not banned in CIS hockey. There are still a few scraps in the CIS-21 fighting majors recorded in 266 Ontario University Athletics conference games, plus playoffs last season-but, beginning in the mid-1980s and continuing today, it has been legislated out of the day-to-day. The sanctions simply make that violent release too costly. “We still felt last year that we had too many major penalties. So we increased the sanctions,” said Bryan Crawford, executive director of the OUA.

The rules are virtually unilateral through the Ontario, Atlantic and Canada West conferences. If you fight in a CIS game you receive a game misconduct and a one-game suspension-the equivalent of a red card in soccer. A second fight means a two-game suspension and a game misconduct; a third means a game misconduct, a minimum three-game suspension and a review by the league.

Interestingly however, if an instigator penalty is handed out in the OUA, the instigator receives the above treatment. The combatant deemed to have been forced into the fight receives only a five-minute major and nothing more. In Canada West, that non-instigator still gets kicked out of the game, but receives no further discipline.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Sure, but you’ve got to have referees willing to hand out the instigator more often than they seem to do right now.

If that happens, I think I like this solution.  Still lets the “good” fights take place while eliminating the sideshow bullshit.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/16/13 at 01:14 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The CIS rules don’t sound different from NCAA.  You fight, you get a GMC *and* a suspension.  That said, fights still happen, because yeah emotional release and response.  Look at the NFL:  guys get in fistfights still mid-game with full helmets and pads.  It happens.

NCAA also has full cages though (I don’t know what CIS has/uses).  So between the two, fighting is pointless except in cases of extreme emotional outlet where nothing is going to “legislate” it out anyways because Rage has hit).

I know it’s hugely unpopular but I don’t care:  everyone should just go full cages, all levels.  It’d solve so many problems and safety issues all in one fell swoop, including rendering enforcers/fighters pointless overnight .

Posted by Primis on 10/16/13 at 01:35 PM ET

Primis's avatar

BTW I *do* like that OUA rule from above that only gives 5 min. if it’s deemed he was instigated/forced into a fight.  It takes out the potential for abuse by coaches/players trying to get a certain player from the other team off the ice, while still making fighting punishments harsh enough to truly deter.

Posted by Primis on 10/16/13 at 01:39 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

I like it that it should only be a game for each fight, not escalating suspensions. The hard part will be assigning the instigator for the staged fights, but those would all but disappear should this type rule system be implemented.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 10/16/13 at 03:08 PM ET


If you get a game misconduct for fighting in the CIS, then exactly how is it “not banned”???

Posted by xcheck28 on 10/16/13 at 05:43 PM ET

Its All Hockey's avatar

I like the posting above from Primis - Cages would solve some of this because boys will be boys… cheese

Posted by Its All Hockey on 10/17/13 at 09:07 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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