KHL legalizes and regulates fighting (Photo © khl.ru)
The KHL just released the set of rules for the 2010-11 season, and it contains an interesting part, how the KHL will regulate fights. Until the 2009-10 season it just followed the IIHF rules, which had a five minutes major plus game misconduct for any fight. But from the next season it’s going to change.
All that follows is coming from the official KHL rulebook, which can be found here (Russian only).
Firstly the KHL gives a definition of a fight, which says that “it’s a situation in which more than a player or a goalkeeper fight another with or without gloves, or two players start fighting and the refs can’t break the fight.”
So the refs have a wide selection of penalties to punish the players who participated in the fight:
a) the player or goalie who participates in the fight can get a minor, double minor or major penalty according to the player’s activity during the fight itself
b) if the player or the goalie will get a second major penalty, it will automatically be a game misconduct
c) if any player joins a fight as third man, it will automatically be a game misconduct penalty
d) if any staff member fight on or off the ice any other staff member or player, it will automatically be a game misconduct penalty
e) if any player starts a fight or participates in a fight during the intermissions, it will automatically be a game misconduct penalty
f) for any fight in the latest five minutes of a game or during the OT, the refs will give to the players involved a minor penalty, a major penalty and a game misconduct penalty
g) if any player fights another player who isn’t fighting and injures him, it will automatically be a game misconduct penalty
h) if a goalie removes his blocker to hit a player on the head or helmet, it will automatically be a game misconduct penalty
Then the KHL rulesbook goes on with the instigators, who are “any player or goalie who hits first, who drops the glove or behaves threateningly.” And also in this case the refs will have to keep in mind that they can give different penalties:
a) the player or goalie who provokes a fight dropping the gloves will be assessed a 10 minutes, misconduct penalty
b) the refs can raise such penalties to 2+10 or 2+5+10 in serious cases
c) for the second fight the refs will assess a 2+5+game misconduct penalty
d) if a player wears a full mask and doesn’t remove it before a fight, he will be assessed a further 2 minutes penalty
The third role the KHL rulesbook takes into consideration is the aggressor. He’s “a player who keeps on beating another player who can’t defend himself or fight a player who doesn’t want to fight.” In this case the refs will assess to the aggressor a major+game misconduct penalty or a 2+5+10+game misconduct in the more serious cases.