Why is Fighting in Hockey Allowed?

Look, I love violence as much as the next guy.  I will also admit right off the bat that I do not know too much about hockey.  In fact, I will start to actively follow hockey (and the Minnesota Wild – random, I know) next season.  However, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always wondered how the hell the NHL allows fighting.  I understand that fans want to see it, and players don’t want to stop doing it, but these are not valid reasons for fighting to continue.  I’m sure Kobe Bryant wanted to knock Dahntay Jones’s lights out after he blatantly tripped him, but he didn’t.

Many argue that the fighting attracts fans, and helps to fill seats every night.  I disagree.  Why, then, is fighting outlawed in leagues around the world?  Why is it outlawed at every other level?  And finally, why is outlawed at the Olympics?  The ratings for Olympic Hockey ratings are consistently through the roof.  Those people tune in for hockey, not boxing.  This is why the ‘it’s part of the game’ argument doesn’t fly.  


Put up your dukes

Dropped gloves, raised fists


  Also, if fighting was outlawed, do people really think less fans would turn up?  That would mean people buy tickets (not like they are on the cheap side) for the small chance that a fight breaks out. “Hey let’s go to the game and hopefully a fight will break out that lasts more than 3 seconds and good punch will actually be thrown”. More often than not, it doesn’t happen.  I suggest that these ‘fans’ (if people like this actually exist) purchase tickets to UFC 100 or whatever it is, and their violent fantasies can be realized.  Oh, and during Playoffs, when the stadiums are filled to the brim and the games really matter, do fights break out?  No – at least not nearly to the extent they do in the regular season.  

The other main argument for those who advocate fighting is that the players like to police themselves, and protect their star players.  Well, I have a couple of problems with this.  When Brian Dawkins performs one of his many illegal hits, I’m sure guys on the other team are ready and willing to go at him with their fists.  This is their idea of ‘policing themselves’ and they would love to be able to do it.  But they don’t because they would be fined, suspended and their team would be  punished by a loss of yards.  That’s what referees are for anyway, right?  Policing the game?  And why should star players receive special treatment?  Shouldn’t players have just as much right to deliver a hard hit on Sidney Crosby than they do on others?  That’s what star players have to deal with – special treatment.  It’s how they rise above this treatment what makes them great.  

I would go as far as to say that the allowance of fighting may actually deter potential fans from the sport.  As long as it is continues, fans of other sports will always look on hockey as part novelty, part sport.  They look at the fighting as stupid, childish and dangerous; as something that should not be allowed in this day and age.  Unfortunately, it’s going to take a serious career-ending injury or a death for this to be appropriately addressed.    

Sucker Punch


5 Responses to Why is Fighting in Hockey Allowed?

  1. fixuplooksharp says:

    Ah yes, you don’t lie when you say you don’t know much of puck, and to be honest neither do I. But I think it’s safe to say that I know a bit more as I can dangle, cast mad sauce, and of course snipe a one-timer top right more often than not.

    In closing of my ridiculously irrelevant comment, I thought I might comment on the actual article. My opinion is that hockey violence is simply a part of an utterly hilarious sport. Without it, it’s not hockey. And yes, I do believe ticket sales will slump if fights are banned because some people do go just to watch two people (or even the whole team if you’re lucky) ‘fight’ while trying to keep their balance on a frozen swimming pool.


  2. dangler22 says:

    There are several things I would like to comment on in this article:

    1. Minnesota Wild is not that random.
    2. You used the fictitious quote: “Hey let’s go to the game and hopefully a fight will break out that lasts more than 3 seconds and good punch will actually be thrown”. I don’t think this is what goes through most fans heads when purchasing tickets. However, I would argue that many sports fans buy tickets in the hopes that rarities will occur. Most people go to a baseball game hoping to see a home run or catch a fly ball. Others go to basketball games hoping for a half court shot at the buzzer.
    3. With that being said, I see your point about fighting. But having been to several hockey games myself (at various levels including NHL) and getting to know the fans it is clear that hockey is a culture. The biggest hockey fans love it for what it is and what it has always been. Its the same reason that Nascar fans love to watch those cars go around the track. Not everyone can understand it, but its simply the way it is.

  3. bigA says:

    If you can’t beat ’em let’s consider joining ’em. Who wouldn’t like to see Dwight Howard grab Kobe by his ankles, when he is in mid-flight, and fling him into the stands. Now that is something the fans will pay big bucks to see. Picture Rafa Nadal breaking his Babolat over Federer’s head at the first changeover. How about Tiger Woods sticking his 4-wood up Mickelson’s butt as he bends over a putt? Perhaps it’s time for other sportsmen to wake up , smell the red bull, and go out there and loose some teeth. We sports fans should demand it.

  4. Your An Idiot says:

    Real quick, just so i don’t forget to mention it later on, “Your an idiot”.

    Ok, anyways, besides the fact that your an idiot I have a few more things to criticize about this ridiculously thought up argument. First, why write an article about an extremely specific part of a sprot you obviously have no idea how is played? If I were you I would stick to something like soccer next time you decide your opinion should be heard by more than just your friends. Second, if you were ever to do research before you wrote an article, you might realize that fighting is allowed in every level of hockey except for college hockey once you turn eighteen. Third, look into ticket prices. It costs about eight dollars nowadays to go see a hockey game where you arent sitting in the lower level. So yeah, instead of writing stupid opinions on a sport that I do not know enough about I do go out and spend a whopping eight dollars on a hockey game, and yes, I do hope for a fight to occur. Fourth, in the regular season it happens more because the games dont matter as much and the players feel it will not hurt their team that much if he is in the penalty box. Come playoffs, yes it does hurt a team when you take the fighting call. Last but not least I want you to take a few moments and check to see if you still have a pair because I wouldnt be to sure if I were you.

  5. chrisutd07 says:

    you didn’t give us one reason why fighting should be allowed…

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