Sample English Paper on Why Fighting Should Be Allowed In Hockey

For a century, fighting has been part of hockey. Since 1917 the NHL has recognized fighting as part of the game as described under rule 46 of the current of National Hockey League rulebook (Leard and Joanne 17). Under the regulation, players who engage in physical acts of confrontations are discontinued from playing for a number of stipulated minutes after which they will be subject to additional investigations that may lead to further actions such as additional fines or suspensions (Paul 31). Despite such reprimands, the 2016-2017 season saw 372 fights in 1,230 NFL games, which amounted to 0.3 fights per game (Donaldson, Bing, and Michael 41). It should be taken to consideration that fighting is debarred in almost all hockey levels outside the NHL; however, these actions are clear reasons for a lack of fan flowing in college play, Winter Olympics, and youth games.

Fighting Is Part of Hockey Culture

Typically, violence in sports is considered a vice and an undercut used to find an unfair advantage in winning. However, as indicated by Leard and Joanne, fighting in hockey is not a sign of violence (12). Since 1917, fighting has been an entertaining part of hockey, and the first time it became a disciplinary issue was in the early 1960s when fighting was reported in about 20% of NHL games. At the time, teams and officials were involved in instigating fights, and the prevalence of the fights rose by 100% by the 1980s meaning that fights became quite rampant (Allen 91). In 1992, the NHL had to announced the introduction of new stringent regulations against fighting, which included among other stipulations an additional two minutes in the penalty box any players who opt to engage in physical confrontation (Allen 92). Subsequently, the rates of fights dropped to 30% from 2002 to 2012. Since 2013, the average has been below 30% (Allen 92). Outlawing fights strip the sport of its identity hence should not be done.

Fighting Encourages Player Policing

Allowing fights in the NHL makes the sport safer because it leads to accountability. Professional hockey players are slick, skilled, and ruthless; which makes it hard for the referees to note all illegal body checks, hits, as well as other aggressive plays. According to Donaldson, Mark, and Michael hockey players’ engagement in a physical confrontation is not a manifestation of violence; but combat within the context of situations (49). That is, the aggressors know there will be payback for their actions. As mentioned by the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, fighting tends to prevent other injuries is a physical, fast moving game (Hutchison et al. 61). As such, a total ban of fighting will promote unnecessary injuries from open-ice body checks leading to shortened player careers.

Fighting Increases Hockey Entertainment Rating

Fighting increases the entertainment value. Once the famous Rodney Dangerfield joked that he went to a fight one night and a hockey game broke out. The majority of hockey fans are excited by fights and the likeliness of a brawl occurring in a rivalry. As a result, the two are key determinants of the fans’ attendance. A study by Hutchison et al. on YouTube found that the most watched hockey videos on the platform are fight clips that are mainly featured on sports channels, such as  ESPN’s Sports Center (74). Indeed, fights aid the NHL stands out as an entertaining sport for the fans and as violent as may seem, most fights are backed by the supporters. As such, banning the fights would reduce the appeal of the game to fans thus threaten ticket sales and viewership.


A key feature of hockey fights is that they seldom happen between two players, but groups. According to Ross fighting is a sign of teamwork among the players (14). Players on the ice seem to have their teammates support and are likely to defend each other when fights break, a factor that may promote cohesion and improved performances in games. Over time, players have learned to get past the notion of rows being a symbol of violence. Instead, they consider the fights as consequences of individuals failing to honor codes of conduct. In 2012, surveyed NHL players indicated that 98% of all the players did not want the authorities to impose restrictions on fighting in hockey (Allen, 71). The study reported that to most players, fighting is an essential part of the professional game and is an effective tool to build character.


at the NHL level has held on to the tradition of allowing brawls between players. According to the code of conduct of NFL, these fights between professional athletes are governed by some restrictions that reduce the violence involves. Both the players and fans do not want fights to be banned or the inclusion of stringent fighting regulations. The first reason for wanting fights to be allowed is that fighting helps players to police themselves against unruly conduct. The second is that the fights are entertaining and form an important part of fan interaction with the players. Lastly, fighting is a tool that fosters teamwork and character that leads to improved performance on the ice. Proponents of banning fights in NHL may possibility the existence of injuries and deaths caused by fights. However, it should be noted that without fighting, the players may have more Injuries and fans may stop filling the stadiums making the NHL dull.



Works Cited

Allen, W. David. “Crime, punishment, and Recidivism: Lessons from the National Hockey League.” Journal of Sports Economics 3.1 (2017): 39-60.

Bernstein, Ross. The code: The unwritten rules of fighting and retaliation in the NHL. Chicago, IL: Triumph Books, 2006.

Donaldson, Laura, Bing Li, and Michael D. Cusimano. “Economic burden of time lost due to injury in NHL hockey players.” Injury Prevention 20.5 (2014): 347-349.

Donaldson, Laura, Mark Asbridge, and Michael D. Cusimano. “Bodychecking rules and concussion in elite hockey.” PloS one 8.7 (2013): e69122.

Hutchison, Michael G., Paul Comper, Willem H. Meeuwisse, and Ruben J. Echemendia. “A systematic video analysis of National Hockey League (NHL) concussions, part I: who, when, where and what?.” Br J Sports Med 49, no. 8 (2015): 547-551.

Leard, Benjamin, and Joanne M. Doyle. “The effect of home advantage, momentum, and fighting on winning in the National Hockey League.” Journal of Sports Economics 12.5 (2011): 538-560.

Paul, Rodney J. “Variations in NHL attendance: the impact of violence, scoring, and regional rivalries.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 62.2 (2003): 345-364.