Last week the National Hockey League cracked down on some wardrobe rules. The players will no longer be allowed to tuck their jerseys into their pants. In addition, they will not be permitted to have their elbow pads showing or cut their pants.
These rules have been in the book since 1964, but until this upcoming season, officials have let is slide without much concern. Some general managers across the league have requested this change due to player safety. The concern is that by tucking jerseys, exposing elbow pads, or cutting pants, the players are exposing more of their body than they normally would (which could result in more injuries).
If a player does break any of these new rules, he will be given a warning. On the second offense, he will be given a two-minute delay of game penalty. A third will result in a misconduct, and a fourth will result in a game misconduct.
While this rule seems relatively insignificant, there are many players who have made the “jersey tuck” part of their identity. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin is widely known for having his jersey tucked into the back of his pants, and he is not happy about the rule change. He plans to follow the new rule, but called it “kind of stupid,” in an interview with Katie Carrera of the Washington Post. Coach Adam Oates, along with others, are bothered by the rule as well.
In addition to taking away the players’ freedom of style, it also brings up the question, “what if it happens by accident?” One of the last things a player needs to worry about during a game is where the back of his jersey is. And since it can result in a two-minute penalty, the players will have to be more conscious of that. So when they are involved in a big hit, or bend down to get water, they will need to remember to check their jerseys, or it could cost them two minutes in the box.
It seems we have a new “most controversial (ridiculous) NHL rule” since the puck-over-the-glass addition.