is considered one of the most serious infractions that a player can
commit. There is very little tolerance for this type of activity, and even
team mates and fans lose a lot of respect for players who spear others.
get an idea of how spearing another player with the blade of the stick can
cause pain, go through the following demonstration.
a fist and press hard against your forearm.
It doesn’t hurt much if at all.
Now take the tip of your pointer finger and push hard in the same
spot. You will notice that it hurts more than the fist does because
you are in essence splitting the muscle apart.
same thing occurs when you use a stick.
If you hit someone with the shaft or flat side of the blade of a
hockey stick on the forearm it may hurt a bit, but the force is spread out
across the surface space of the stick that is contacting the forearm.
Now do the same thing, but use the tip of your blade instead of the
shaft of the stick. Just as
in the finger example, the tip of the blade of the stick can penetrate
deeper into a players body and cause muscles to split apart thus
increasing the chance of injury and pain.
Canada, if a referee calls a spearing penalty, he is obligated to give
either a double minor or a five-minute match penalty.
DOUBLE MINOR EXAMPLES
example of a double minor Spearing penalty is when a player is skating up
the ice with the puck and an opponent is chasing him. Instead of catching
up to the puck carrier the opponent decides to use his stick to spear the
puck carrier, with moderate force, in the back of the calf muscle. This is
considered a vulnerable spot because of the lack of padding in this area.
This spear causes the player to fall to the ice, creating what is
commonly referred to as a ‘Charlie Horse’, or muscle cramp in the back
of the leg. This type of
spear would most likely result in a double minor penalty because there was
very little force behind the Spear and because the player was able to
skate away after the play was completed.
example is when a player jabs an opponent in the stomach with the tip of
his blade. As long as the
player doesn’t use a “Pitch Fork” motion, making it look as if the
player is putting a pitch
fork into a bail of hay, there is more likely going to be a double minor
penalty assessed. The stomach is another vulnerable area with many vital
organs located behind the stomach muscles, so if the force is greater than
moderate or the player is injured by the spear, then you will most likely
see the penalty upgraded to a Match.
MATCH PENALTY EXAMPLES
penalties are fairly easy to call because they usually result in painful
injury and pretty well anyone who witnessed the infraction could attest to
the fact that the guilty player used excessive force in applying the
spear. The most common spot for a Match penalty Spear is to the groin
area. Spears to the neck area
are also considered serious infractions that can result in a serious
injury or laceration because of the minimal amount of protection in this
area and thus these infractions tend to be assessed with Match penalties
over the Double Minor option.
must remember that for a Match penalty to be assessed there has to be a
severe amount of force used on an opponent.
When it comes to spearing, the call can go either
way, depending on how the referee interprets the action and where the
spear was applied. Spearing a player from behind by lifting the stick up
between a player’s legs is frowned upon by referees for obvious reasons.
This type of infraction will always result in at least a double minor, if
not a match because of the probability of serious injury. In most cases,
however, fans never see the spear. This is something that often takes
place in a crowd, or behind the play. A referee must always watch when two
players are leaving each other after a particularly rough, physical
exchange. Quite often one of the players will try to get in the final jab
before they part company. If a referee sees this, he will likely call a
double minor or risk retaliation and possibly have players attempting
spearing for the rest of the game.