Why Don’t Refs Stop Hockey Fights?

If you’ve ever watched a hockey game, chances are you’ve seen at least one fight break out on the ice. It’s a common sight in the sport, and while some fans love it, others wonder why the referees don’t step in and stop the fights. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons Why Don’t Refs Stop Hockey Fights? including the history of fighting in hockey, the role of the referees, and the impact of fighting on the game.

Fighting has been a part of hockey for as long as the sport has been played. In fact, in the early days of hockey, fighting was almost seen as a necessary aspect of the game. However, as the sport has evolved, the role of fighting has become more controversial. Some argue that it adds excitement and intensity to the game, while others believe it has no place in a sport that is supposed to be about skill and athleticism.

Why Don't Refs Stop Hockey Fights

The History of Fighting in Hockey

To understand why fights are allowed in hockey, it’s essential to look at the sport’s history. Fighting was once seen as a way to police the game and prevent dangerous plays. If an opposing player took a cheap shot at one of your teammates, you would fight them to communicate that behavior wouldn’t be tolerated.

Over time, fighting became increasingly common, and it was often used to intimidate opponents or swing momentum in your team’s favor. In the 1970s, fighting was at an all-time high in the NHL, with some games featuring multiple brawls.

The Role of Referees in Hockey

While referees are responsible for enforcing the game’s rules, they are also expected to use their judgment when fighting. According to the NHL rulebook, players who engage in a fight will receive a five-minute significant penalty, which means they will spend five minutes in the penalty box, and their team will be short-handed for that time.

However, referees have some leeway regarding calling penalties for fighting. If both players are willing combatants and are not using their sticks or helmets as weapons, the referees will often let the fight play out. This is known as “mutual combat,” and it’s considered a part of the game.

The Impact of Fighting on Hockey

While some argue that fighting adds excitement to the game, others believe it has no place in hockey. Critics of fighting argue that it sends the wrong message to young players and promotes violence on the ice. They also point out that fighting can lead to severe injuries in both the short and long term.

On the other hand, proponents of fighting argue that it’s a necessary aspect of the game. They believe that it keeps players honest and prevents dangerous plays. They also argue that it can be used to settle disputes between players, preventing those disputes from escalating into something more dangerous.


So why don’t referees stop hockey fights? It’s a complicated question with no easy answer. While fighting has been a part of the sport for a long time, its role in the game is becoming increasingly controversial. As the NHL continues to grapple with this issue, we’ll see changes in the way fighting is handled in the future.


Are fights common in hockey games? 

While fights are not the primary focus of hockey games, they do occur from time to time. In professional and amateur leagues, players can engage in fights, although they may receive penalties or suspensions for their actions. However, fights are rare in most games, and many players and coaches discourage fighting as it can be dangerous and disrupt the game’s flow. Players must focus on playing the game and following the rules rather than engaging in physical altercations.

Can players be ejected for fighting in hockey? 

Yes, players can be ejected for fighting in hockey. In most leagues, fighting is against the rules, and players who engage in fights can receive penalties, such as being sent to the penalty box or receiving a game misconduct penalty. In severe cases, players can also be ejected from the game or receive suspensions for their actions. The rules and regulations regarding fighting vary depending on the league or organization.

Do all hockey leagues allow fighting? 

No, not all hockey leagues allow fighting. The rules regarding fighting vary depending on the league or organization. In some professional leagues, such as the National Hockey League (NHL), fighting is allowed to a certain extent. Players who engage in fights may receive penalties or suspensions for their actions.


Hi, myself Adam John a professional athlete. I love to see sports and always want to find out sports-related all news on my blog. I wish this blog gives you all types of sports news.

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