NHL; the new rule for the international head shot

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  • NHL; the new rule for the international head shot

NHL; the new rule for the international head shot


Hockey is a game of passion but sometimes the obsession can get you in a real trouble and the players have to go through the painful processes in the form of sever damages or life-altering injuries. Incidentally the game of ice-hockey falls into the category of sports which can be very rough and wiled at times. It wouldn’t be wrong to call it an electrifying sport in America but at the same time it is also called the dirty and dangerous play which is full of potential risks.

Checking from behind, pushing other players, removing an opponent’s helmet and head hitting is very common in ice-hockey. Players often get penalties and suspensions for the prohibited acts but the routine has never stopped. Rather it has ended the careers of many and left several players with long lasting impairments. It was always needed that NHL and the NHL Players’ Association should wake up to the fact that there is a high need to develop a set of rules to stop such things and make it a safe entertaining sport.

In this regard, last Friday on 16th of July, the National Hockey League Players’ Association Competition Committee devised a new regulation of putting a five-minute major penalty for head checks and other blindside hits to the top. The wording of proposal has not been fully disclosed yet, however the veteran NHL defenseman Mathieu Schneider, who was one of the five players on Competition Committee, told the media that, “it is the intentional shots we want to take out of the game and everyone is in agreement with that.”

Somehow, the current proposal of competition committee has not been forwarded to the N.H.L Board of Governors up till now. The Players Association will approve it first and then it will make its way to the Board of Governors of N.H.L for final approval. In the official process of creating a new rule, it is brought to the Competition Committee by the N.H.L. or the N.H.L Players’ Association for debate and then it is moved to the N.H.L. Board of Governors’ desk who make the final approval.

 A similar rule proposal was presented in N.H.L. general managers meeting earlier this month. They asked for punishment for back pressure or the blindside hit to a player’s head. In fact, the N.H.L.’s Hockey Operations Department has been studying the game for long and noticed the frequent head-hits and misconducts of players which caused stern damages to other players. They expressed the need to do something in order to protect the players and minimize the injury rate. So they brought this matter to managers’ attention at their meeting in November.

The leagues’ managers discussed it in the meeting and suggested a rule to ban the blindside hits. It formed the shape of a rule proposal in March and made further progress afterwards. Different objections and suggestions were offered by the Players Association. After weighing the pros and cons of the proposal, the rule was not adopted as on-ice penalty but it came out in its partial form.

Finally the league announced a ruling to the clubs and issued a video collection of trouble making shots for consideration. For the rest of this season and the 2010 play offs, the player involved in such hits would be subject to the fines and suspensions.

Besides this the committee considered a few more rules and regulations to improve the game and eliminate the obscure player acts on the ice. They also expressed the need to call for limitations on the size of goalie equipment. It should conform to the size of the goaltender.

The development of new rules will bring out the positive changes in the game


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