While the league and the players’ association grapple with formulating a rule to deal with the recent spate of so-called “legal” body checks targeting an opposing player’s head it is worth noting the criminal law already provides a clear delineation between “rough play” and the offence of assault.  Some 15 years ago, in the case of Jobidon, the Supreme Court ruled  that individuals cannot by mutual consent bypass the laws prohibiting the intentional application of force when when the amount of force is intended to cause serious bodily harm. That case was decided in the context of individuals who decided to step outside “a bar to settle their dispute by means of a street fight which resulted in the death of one of the belligerents. In the context of sporting events, whether professional or amateur, this means simply that, even if the rules of a game allow a degree of bodily contact, the degree of force applied cannot be intended to cause serious injury. How does this apply to intentionally hitting an unsuspecting opponent in the head at high speed with  shoulder pads equivalent to body armor? The answer seems obvious.