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You must have heard of the word ‘fight strap’ during a hockey match and wondered what it meant. Well, this article will elaborate on everything you need to know regarding hockey fight straps. Read on for interesting information.
Fight straps have been around for decades and they attach the player’s jersey to their pants. This prevents the jersey from coming off, which could be potentially dangerous during a fight.
Besides that, having a fight strap also ensures that the players don’t get an extra penalty during the fight.
Hockey Fight Strap
As mentioned earlier, the fight strap attaches to the player’s pants and it also contains a fastener. It’s usually elastic and only found on official NHL-licensed jerseys. This means that you can’t strap on the replica jerseys sold in retail stores.
A player can automatically get a game misconduct penalty if they don’t have their fight strap attached and their jersey comes off during a fight. Additionally, the fight strap also protects players from succumbing to major injuries if their jersey comes off or distracts them during a fight.
Without it, players would easily lose their jerseys, which could not only get them penalties but also put them at more risk when fighting.
History of Fight Strap
As pointed out earlier, the fight strap has been around since the 1990s and the NHL has solidified its existence ever since. However, it wasn’t until Rob Ray’s fighting tricks got common that the NHL decided to enforce the use of fight straps.
Rob Ray was an NHL enforcer and usually wore a loose jersey during his playing years. During his popular fights, he easily got out of his jerseys and managed to outshine his opponent by using both hands adequately.
The habit was picked up by other players during and after his time, which raised an alarm to the NHL. As a result, the rules were modified by the NHL and now players are required to have a fight strap on them at all times.
Hockey Before Fight Strap
Now that you know the primary purpose of fight straps on players, you can easily picture how it was when players fought without them. Before they were introduced, players used to have both a hard and dangerous time during fighting encounters.
Because players couldn’t manage to keep their jerseys in place, most would have them end up on their heads. Besides that, players also had their elbow pads and chest protectors pulled and torn off with the jerseys.
This left the players both fighting blind and too exposed to serious injuries. Hence, it wasn’t safe anymore for the players to enter the game without the fight straps on. That is why the advent of the fight strap was embraced in the hockey world.
How Fight Straps Work
The fight strap keeps the player’s jerseys attached to their pants during the game or an altercation. It can be sewn on the jersey and attached to the hockey pants using a metal snap attachment or Velcro.
It’s highly unlikely for the fight strap to come off as it firmly secures both the jersey and pants together. However, it can still come off if there is extreme force or struggle applied to it.
Players who engage in a fight automatically get a game misconduct penalty if their jersey comes off during the fight. The jersey has to completely come off the player’s torso for the penalty to be validated or for it to take effect.
Therefore, NHL expects players to have the fight strap on if they don’t want to receive any penalties. As a result, most players usually have it on even if they fight often.
Exceptions of the Fight Strap
Although rules are rules, there are several exceptions to the fight strap. For instance, the player can’t prevent their strap from breaking. Therefore, they can’t be blamed or given misconduct if indeed their fight strap breaks during a fight.
Similarly, the jersey might find its way out of the player’s body with the strap still intact. If that happens, the player gets a penalty exception. Also, when a player’s jersey comes off during a fight but his opponent receives an instigator penalty, that player won’t receive a penalty because he didn’t have any fault in the altercation.
FAQ About the Fight Strap
Highlighted below are some of the most common questions that people ask regarding a hockey fight strap.
Q1: What is a fight strap?
Answer: It’s an elastic fabric that attaches the hockey jersey to the player’s pants and prevents the jersey from coming off.
Q2: When was the fight strap introduced?
Answer: The fight strap was introduced in the early 90s when the NHL realized that players were removing jerseys during fights.
Q3: Why do hockey players wear fight straps?
Answer: Hockey players wear fight straps to prevent their jerseys from coming off and getting game misconduct.
Q4: How does the fight strap work?
Answer: The fight strap attaches the jersey to the player’s hockey pants using a metal snap attachment or Velcro. A firm and secure one ensures that the jersey doesn’t come off during an altercation.
Q5: Why do hockey players get penalties during fights?
Answer: This happens if the player’s jersey comes off during an altercation or lacks the fight strap on them.
In conclusion, we hope to have helped you understand what the fight strap in a hockey match means and its purpose in the game. It is a very important aspect of a hockey game as elaborated above.
Additionally, this comprehensive guide also explains further information concerning the fight strap. In general, the fight strap is supposed to ensure that the players are safe and void of penalties during altercations.