A scrum in hockey occurs when a group of players come together after the whistle and rough each other up. Scrums typically include pushing, facewashes and occasionally fights.
When a scrum occurs in hockey is it assumed that all ten skaters on the ice are going to get involved. Generally, each player on the ice will match up with a player on the opposing team.
If these players do not want to get physical they may simply grab onto one another’s jersey. This ensures that no player will be fighting against multiple opponents.
Another common tactic used in scrums is a facewash. A facewash involves rubbing your glove in the face of your opponent. This tactic can be used in a scrum to frustrate opposing players.
When a scrum occurs the officials will jump in, in order to break it up. Players simply holding on to one another will usually be left alone while the players that are getting physical will be approached by the refs.
On some occasions, players will decide to fight during a scrum. Sometimes the players will have a chance to talk to initiate the fight during the scrum. If they are both willing the players will separate from the group of players and drop their gloves.
Alternatively, some scrums will turn into fights immediately. If a player thinks their opponent is getting too physical in a scrum he may start a fight to protect his teammates.
If a fight begins with both players dropping their gloves the officials will usually let the fight happen. Though if the fight happens in the midst of the scrum or one player doesn’t have their gloves off the officials will usually jump in.
What causes scrums in hockey?
Now that you know what a scrum is in hockey you may be wondering what causes them. Below we will break down some of the main reasons there are scrums in hockey.
Messing with the goalie
One of the main reasons that a scrum is started in hockey is because one team messes with another team’s goalie. This is especially common when a goalie freezes the puck.
In hockey players will often take an extra jab or two at the puck once the goalie has his pad or glove on top of it. The hope is the puck may come free and create a scoring chance.
Unfortunately, most hockey players don’t take too kindly to another player contacting their goalie. For this reason, the player who contacted the goalie is often jumped by the opposing team.
Once this player is jumped his teammates will then jump in to protect them. This usually results in all ten skaters joining the scrum to protect their teammates.
On some occasions, these scrums can get rowdy enough that the goaltenders will join in. Though this is a relatively rare occurrence.
Retribution for a dirty play
Another common reason for scrums in hockey is a dirty play happening earlier in the game. Dirty hits happen in hockey and the most common response is to get retribution against the player that laid the dirty hit.
Oftentimes it is going to be difficult to find a way to get this retribution during live play. This means players will simply jump the player that hit their teammate between plays.
Once this happens the rest of the players on the ice will come together and start going at one another. It is common for the two players that started this scrum to fight while the other players just push and shove each other.
On other occasions, the scrum will occur immediately after the dirty hit. If the player goes down with an injury it is common for his teammates to jump the player that hit him leading to a big fight between all the skaters on the ice.