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Should Fighting Be Allowed in Hockey?

Updated on August 17, 2012

Fighting pushes hockey to a greater level than most sports. Without fighting, the sport would be with out its unwritten laws that gives the game its grit. The players known as enforcers, or goons, whose main purpose is to fight, would be missed out on. Fighting helps define hockey, and it is essential to the popularity and integrity.

It is argued that fighting tears down the attractiveness of hockey, but it actually makes it more exciting. Rivalries are more intense with goons in the game, which can promote the sport to fans who like to watch their favorite players go fight with the opposition's toughest players. Besides advocating the grit and guts of hockey, fighting is attractive to fans who enjoy the thought that goes into maing match-ups. Enforcers are used to intimidate opposing players, and if use correctly, can be game changers.

In what might seem like a contradiction, fighting helps regulate penalties. Some times an official may be oblivious to a cheap shot, but because of the incorporation of fighting, players can regulate the game themselves, allowing them to regulate areas where conventional rules stall. For example, fighting helps dull down actions that have bad intentions, because they know that they may not get away with their actions. In turn, the players can protect their star players from being bullied. The reluctance for cheap shots goes a long way in keeping the sport stable.

Enforcers bring an interesting spin to the game. With the need to protect star players from injury to do belligerent opponents, the enforcer's role became important and let the fans see players they may have not otherwise had seen. Hockey fans would have missed out on some of the games star enforcers, such as Dave Semenko and Bob Probert, who brought their fresh talents to the sport.

Banning fighting in hockey would be detrimental to its excitement. Hockey is a brutal sport and appeals to fans that enjoy controlled violence. With the game being a fast paced contact sport, players need fighting to regulate the game beyond the rule book. They need the ability to protect their teammates, especially their star players who have a target on their head. Enforcers play an important role that is irreplaceable. The sport would never be the same if players were forced to play nicely.

Should fighting remain in hockey?

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    • mrfigaro profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Myers 

      5 years ago

      Thank you! Yes, that is a great example of what it does for the game. It is one of the dynamics in hockey. And fighting is usually done strategically.

    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 

      5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      I love your hub. I agree that it is a part of the game. I firmly believe that it also helps teams get into the spirit of the game. I went to the Avs-Stars game the other night, and the Avs were flat-footed until Hejda and Nystrom went at it. After that, the Avs were a little peppier in the game. (They won!) It also got the crowd more into the game -- and Denver fans can be (almost) as loud as Chicago fans. It is a part of the game, and the athletes usually use it for affect, I feel. Thanks again for the Hub!

    • jburton11188 profile image


      6 years ago

      See I disagree. I think it takes away from the game. I have such a huge appreciation for the speed and the skill of it. If someone is going to take cheap shots at one of the star players of the team, or anyone on their team, absolutely go after them. That would happen in any sport. Even something so completely unintense like baseball when a pitcher throws at a star player. But after the fight those players should be ejected. The people who fight just to fight I think take away from the game. If you want to change the pace of the game, picking up the body checking. We're talking about there being an aspect of the game here that out on the regular streets gets people thrown in jail. Two guys can't just start fighting in a bar. If a cop is near by they'll lock them up. You can't escape fighting in sports, emotions are so high, but I don't think it should be tolerated and only given a five minute time out.

    • mrfigaro profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Myers 

      6 years ago

      I actually wrote this with Crosby in mind. It made me think about star players like that and how vunerable they can be without enforcers.

    • BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

      Jack Hazen 

      6 years ago from Blitzburgh area

      Huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan here.

      I agree, fighting adds to the excitement of the game.

      I also think that fighting decreases cheap shots during play, because the offender knows he is going to get a payback from one of the enforcers of the other team.

      Now the Penguins are very concerned about cheap shots on their players, particularly Sidney Crosby who has had concussions problems. I'm all for being the crap out of anybody who takes a cheap shot on Crosby.


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