D - Case BookHOT


Referees are provided wide latitude in penalties they may impose under this rule. This is done to enable them to differentiate between the obvious degrees of responsibility of the participants either for starting the fighting or persisting in continuing the fight.

Definition – A player who jostles or strikes an opponent, during game action, after a whistle, or any time during the regular course of a game or a prolonged player confrontation.

  1. A player involved in a confrontation with an opponent may be assessed a minor, double minor, major or major and automatic game-misconduct penalty.

  2. All fighting situations (where a 5 minute major is to be called) will be assessed a game misconduct with the exception of a fight with 2 willing combatants (No automatic game misconduct shall be assessed if the following criteria are fulfilled):

    1. The fight is only between 2 willing combatants who are involved in the initial situation with no other player to be involved.

    2. The fight stopped immediately after the linesmen are in.

    3. After stoppage of the fight, no throwing of punches or resisting officials once the fight is done, players have to enter the penalty bench immediately and without hesitation. 

      * Any penalty called for fouls committed before the start of the fisticuff/scrum has to be assessed in addition to the penalties which resulted from the altercation.

      ** A player receiving 2 fighting majors in the same game will be assessed an automatic game misconduct

  3. A player who starts a fight (Instigator) will be assessed a 2 Roughing - 5 Fighting – Automatic Game Misconduct.

  4. A player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment (Aggressor) on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant, will be assessed 2 Roughing – 5 Fighting – Automatic Game Misconduct.

  5. A player who is on the ice and is the first to intervene in a fight already in progress (third man in) between two opposing players will be assessed, in addition to any other penalties incurred during the incident, a game-misconduct penalty, so long as the two opponents are to be penalized with a major penalty for fighting. The degree of intervention is the criterion for interpretation of enforcement.
  6. A player who tries to fight or continues to fight after he has been ordered by the referee to stop, or who resists a linesman who is trying to stop a fight, in addition to subsequent penalties will be assessed a 10 minute misconduct or a game-misconduct penalty (severe incident).

  7. If a fight involves one player on the ice with another player off the ice, both players will be assessed a misconduct penalty or a game-misconduct penalty, in addition to subsequent penalties.

  8. A team official who is involved in a fight, on ice or off, will be assessed a game-misconduct penalty or a match penalty.

  9. The first player to leave the players' bench or penalty box during a player confrontation on ice will be assessed a double-minor penalty and an automatic game-misconduct penalty. All subsequent players who leave the players' bench during a player confrontation will be assessed a misconduct penalty. All subsequent skaters who leave the penalty box during a player confrontation will be assessed a minor and a game-misconduct penalties. These penalties will be served at the expiration of all previous penalties. The act of leaving either the players' bench or penalty box constitutes a violation of these rules, even if the players do not engage in fighting once they are on the ice.

  10. Player substitutions (i.e., line changes) made prior to a player confrontation are allowed, but any player subsequently becoming involved in a player confrontation will be penalized as if he left players' bench or penalty box to participate in that confrontation.

  11. If players of both teams leave their respective benches at the same time, or if players from one team leave their players' bench after seeing players from the other team do so, the first identifiable player of each team will be penalized under this rule.

  12. A game misconduct penalty shall be imposed on any player who is assessed a major penalty for fighting after the original altercation has started. A maximum of 5 misconduct and/or game misconduct penalties per team can be assessed under this rule at any 1 stoppage.

  13. Any player wearing tape or any other material on his hands (including and not limited to brace, jewelry, etc.) below the wrist, cuts or injures an opponent during a fight/altercation will receive a match penalty in addition to any other penalties imposed, including fighting penalties.

  14. A player who intentionally removes his gloves to engage in a confrontation and no fight or altercation pursues, shall be assessed a misconduct penalty.

Fines and Suspensions – Instigator/Aggressor in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime)

  1. A player who is deemed to be the instigator/aggressor of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime shall be suspended for one additional game, pending a review of the incident.

  2. When the one-game suspension is imposed, the coach shall be suspended 1 game – a suspension that will double for each subsequent incident.

  3. The suspension shall be served unless, upon review of the incident, the Director of Hockey Operations, at his discretion, deems the incident is not related to the score, previous incidents in the game or prior games, retaliatory in nature, “message sending”, etc. This suspension shall be served in addition to any other automatic suspensions a player may incur.

Helmet – No helmet on or removal of a helmet before engaging in an altercation/fight:

  1. In all circumstances, any player engaging in a fight must have a helmet on and properly fastened. If the players helmet is not on or is taken off before engaging in a fight, the player(s) will be assessed a 2 minute minor penalty and 10 minute misconduct.

  2. Helmets that come off in the course of, and resulting from the altercation, will not result in a penalty to either player.