What Is Spearing In Hockey?

Ice Hockey Spearing

Spearing in hockey occurs when a player pokes or stabs an opposing player with the tip of their blade while holding their hockey stick. Spearing is an illegal tactic used by players to try and slow down or halt their opponent's movement.

This action is considered illegal even if there is just an attempt to poke or stab an opposing player without actually making contact with them.


Spearing Penalty

If a player is called for spearing, they will be assessed an automatic match penalty. Spearing is considered an especially dangerous act and warrants severe punishment. The offending team will also have to play a man down for five minutes, and another player will need to serve this major penalty in the penalty box. Additional fines or suspensions can also result from a spearing penalty.

Referee Signal

To signal a spearing penalty, the referee will use both hands and make a jabbing movement, acting as though they are using an imaginary stick as a spear. The referee will make this motion in front of the scorer’s box to alert the off-ice officials that a spearing penalty has been called.

Example

A player uses their stick to jab the blade into their opponent’s stomach. A match penalty will be assessed for spearing. The offending player will need to leave the ice, and one of their teammates must serve an additional five-minute major penalty.

FAQ

What is spearing in hockey?

Spearing occurs when a player pokes or stabs an opposing player with the tip of their blade while holding their hockey stick. This action is considered illegal even if there is just an attempt to poke or stab an opposing player without actually making contact with them. The penalty for spearing someone is a double-minor, meaning that the player will spend four minutes in the penalty box. Major or misconduct penalties will be enforced for more serious infractions.

How do you get ejected from a hockey game?

Game ejections will typically occur in partnership with a penalty. Players who get a game misconduct penalty are immediately ejected from playing in the current game. Players who receive a match penalty will also immediately be ejected from the game and suspended indefinitely until the NHL Commissioner reviews the matter. In both cases, other substitute players will take the place of the penalized player in the penalty box.

What is the penalty for spearing in hockey?

Spearing is a match penalty in hockey, meaning the offending player must leave the game immediately. Additional fines or suspensions may be assessed depending on the severity of the offense.

What is a double-minor penalty in hockey?

A double-minor penalty is considered to be more severe than a minor penalty and requires a player to spend four minutes in the penalty box. Double-minor penalties are warranted only for some penalties, including head-butting, butt-ending, and high-sticking. Two goals will need to be scored during the penalty for the player to be released from the box early.