The Importance of Fighting in Hockey

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Every sport has its own unique signature that separates it from the rest of the sports world. Baseball has the homerun, basketball has the slam-dunk, golf has the hole in one, and football has the touchdown. But, perhaps the sport with the most distinguished and unique signature is hockey and its fights. However, hockey officials and executives are trying to eliminate the games most distinctive aspect. Yet, because of the recent decline in the amount of fighting in the National Hockey League (NHL) and since a ban on fighting in the NHL could jeopardize the popularity of the sport, eliminating fighting from games may not be necessary. Over recent years, the amount of fighting in NHL games has been on the decline and the role of the one time…show more content…
Television ratings for the remainder of a game that has had a fight are less likely to decline than if a fight had not occurred. "Concession sales also appear to increase after a fight has occurred. Perhaps the violence builds up the appetite" (Kennedy).

However, as with most violent actions, fighting in hockey does not come without its opposition. Many people argue that the sport promotes violence through the use of fighting which can then encourage youths to engage in fighting. And since hockey is the only sports that allows players involved in a fight to return to the game provides a greater argument for disallowing fighting in hockey.

To understand what the public believes on violence in sports, a survey was conducted among American youths ages 13 to 17 in October of 2000. The Gallup Youth Survey showed that 63 percent of teens said there was too much violence in hockey. In comparison, 41 percent said football was too violent, 25 percent said basketball was too violent, and 17 percent said baseball was too violent. One question that remains though is how does one qualify violence. A study completed in December 2000 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Research tried to do just that. According to the test analysis, 1.69 "acts of aggression" occurred in hockey for every aggressive act in basketball, the only other sport in the study (Grant).

However, when compared to other sports, hockey may be getting
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