Spearing Hockey: What is Spearing in Hockey?

At Icehockeylovers, we believe in promoting safe and fair play in the game of hockey. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the topic of spearing in hockey, shedding light on its significance, rules, and the potential consequences associated with this dangerous act. By educating players, coaches, and fans alike, we aim to emphasize the importance of proper spearing techniques and contribute to a safer and more enjoyable hockey experience for all.

What is Spearing in Hockey?

Spearing is a highly prohibited act in the game of hockey and refers to the deliberate act of using the blade or end of the hockey stick to strike an opponent with excessive force, particularly in the abdominal or groin region. This action not only poses a serious risk to the targeted player but also violates the fundamental principles of fair play and sportsmanship.

The Rules and Regulations

The National Hockey League (NHL) and various other governing bodies have implemented strict rules and regulations to prevent spearing incidents and maintain the integrity of the game. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key regulations regarding spearing:

  1. Rule 62: Spearing
    According to the NHL rulebook, any player who spears an opponent shall be assessed a major penalty, resulting in a five-minute expulsion from the game. In addition, a game misconduct penalty and possible supplementary discipline may be imposed, depending on the severity of the infraction.
  2. International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Rules
    The IIHF also recognizes the severity of spearing in hockey and has implemented similar penalties to deter players from engaging in such actions. Violators may face game ejections, suspensions, and fines, which can have significant consequences for both the player and their team.

Video Example of Spearing

In the above video a Sharks player wearing a teal jersey. He was on the right side of the screen, skating towards the bench. While he was skating away, a Blues player wearing a white jersey skated behind him and tapped his pants with his stick.

Then, the Sharks player turned around and intentionally used his stick blade to jab the Blues player in the stomach area. As a result of this play, the referee penalized the Sharks player with a 5-minute Major Penalty and ejected him from the game. He had to leave and couldn’t play for the remainder of the game.

The Dangers and Consequences

Spearing in hockey not only violates the rules but also poses serious risks to the safety and well-being of the players involved. It is crucial to understand the potential dangers and consequences associated with this act. Here are some of the significant risks:

  1. Internal Injuries
    Spearing can result in severe internal injuries, especially when directed toward the abdominal or groin area. The forceful impact of the stick can cause internal bleeding, organ damage, and long-term health complications.
  2. Pain and Discomfort
    Even if the spearing incident does not cause severe injuries, it can still lead to significant pain and discomfort for the targeted player. Such incidents can hinder their performance on the ice and even force them to miss subsequent games due to the resulting pain and recovery requirements.
  3. Game Penalties and Suspensions
    As mentioned earlier, the penalties associated with spearing in hockey can have immediate consequences for the player. By engaging in this dangerous act, players not only risk harming others but also jeopardize their own playing time, team standings, and overall reputation.

Promoting Proper Spearing Techniques

In order to create a safer hockey environment, it is essential to educate players and coaches about the correct and safe use of the hockey stick. Here are some key points to promote proper spearing techniques:

  1. Focus on Stickhandling Skills
    Emphasize the importance of stickhandling skills, which involve controlling the puck with the blade of the stick while maintaining a safe distance from opponents. By honing their stickhandling abilities, players can avoid the temptation to engage in spearing as a means of gaining an unfair advantage.
  2. Sportsmanship and Fair Play
    Instill the values of sportsmanship and fair play in all players from an early stage. Teach them that spearing not only goes against the rules but also undermines the spirit of the game. Encourage respectful competition, teamwork, and adherence to the established guidelines.
  3. Proper Body Checking
    Educate players on the correct techniques of body checking, which involves using the shoulder and upper body to make legal contact with opponents. By focusing on proper body checking rather than resorting to spearing, players can play the game safely and effectively.
  4. Player Safety Programs
    Encourage the implementation of player safety programs within hockey organizations and leagues. These programs can provide resources, training, and educational materials to players, coaches, and officials, emphasizing the importance of avoiding dangerous actions such as spearing.


In conclusion, spearing in hockey is a serious offense that not only jeopardizes player safety but also undermines the integrity of the game. By understanding the rules, risks, and consequences associated with spearing, we can promote a culture of fair play, sportsmanship, and respect in the world of hockey.

Austin Taylor

Who is Austin Taylor?

Meet Austin Taylor, your go-to source for everything ice hockey! With a passion for the sport that’s as deep as the ice itself, Austin Taylor brings you concise, expert insights and nitty-gritty details on all things hockey. From gear reviews to strategy breakdowns, Austin Taylor is your trusted guide to navigating the exhilarating world of ice hockey. Get ready to lace up your skates and dive into the game with Austin Taylor as your ultimate companion.

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