The fights always permitted

Les bagarres toujours permises

Even if it’s banned in combat sports in Quebec until further notice, through a decree, the public health does not intend to do the same with fighting in hockey, for the moment, but it recognizes that they make the risks of contamination to the COVID-19 ” the most high “.

This is what was mentioned by the spokesman of the ministry of Health and social Services, Marie-Hélène Émond, in an email exchange with The Journal, on Wednesday.

“It is not the responsibility of the public health dictate the rules of practice of the sport, we had the answer. However, public health recommends that the measures of distancing physical force to be respected at all times and in all places, and this, the physical activities, sports and leisure activities take place outside or inside. This is true as much for hockey as for training. “

In the same email, the public health then allowed a glimpse of his position on fighting in hockey in the context of a pandemic.

“However, in game situations, the connections and contacts of short duration are allowed provided that they are infrequent. It is important to understand that the virus spreads primarily by droplets, and in enclosed areas. The contacts, as in the case of fights in hockey, increase the risk of spread, especially as the parties usually take place indoors in an arena.

“The practice of hockey and especially the fights in this sport often result in sweat and saliva plentiful. Of course, the distancing physical of 2 meters is not respected between opponents in fights on the ice. The risks of contamination are higher, ” said Ms. Emond.

Recall that the decree number 689-2020 of 25 June 2020 demand, ” there is no direct physical contact during a confrontation in a combat sport will not be allowed “.

Hockey is not a combat sport, strictly speaking, the prohibition of the fights for public health reasons, should pass by another decree of this kind.


The prohibition or not of the fighting would have a direct effect on the League the Quebec major junior hockey (QMJHL), which has presented its recovery plan last week and that is always a return-to-play the next October 1st.

Recall that a vote was to be taken in February last on this subject (elimination fights), but that he had finally been postponed.

According to the governors to whom The Journal spoke to, nothing has yet been discussed internally about this, but another meeting is scheduled for the month of August.

“We want the athletes to play safely and the rest has more or less importance. There will be rules that must be respected, and if that includes banning the fights, this can only be a good thing. As I said a few months ago, it is only a matter of time before it will rule “, did not hesitate to reiterate to the Newspaper, the president of the Quebec Remparts, Jacques Tanguay.

Mr. Tanguay is one of the strong voices in favour of the abolition of the fights in the circuit Courteau since the beginning.


The QMJHL has, however, many other cats to whip at the moment.

The circuit, of which the main lines of the stimulus were revealed by The Press last Saturday, still hopes to present its first matches in October next, in front of spectators.

The plan, which was submitted to the office of the minister for Education and minister responsible for status of women, Isabelle Charest, is still very embryonic, and several other files will need to be resolved before they see a game of the QMJHL in October. He will first have to be approved by the public health.

The latter includes a schedule of 60 parts, rather than 68, a reorganization into three divisions of six teams and the games that do are opposed to that of rival division.

The more pressing

It is the priority of the circuit, at the present time, has assured the director of communications of the QMJHL, Maxime Blouin, when questioned about the response of public health about fights in hockey.

“We are aware that some practices are more risky in the context of a pandemic and that is why we work with the public health. However, for the moment, our priority is to return to the game, which is through the acceptance of our plan by the governments of the four provinces covered by the league and come to agreements of financial compensation for the economic losses caused by the pandemic, ” he replied.

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