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Tsui Pen

Majority of Canadians want fighting ban

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There is a report on the G&M rooted in the recent incidents that occurred this week with regard to the aggressiveness of fighting and checking. Here is the link: http://www.theglobea...article9496814/

Firstly, this is my first post. So, hello. I'm more of a reader/lurker, but I do enjoy having meaningful discussions. I don't know hockey inside-out, and there are probably many of you who know more about it than I. So, I apologise in advance if anything I ascertain turns out to be dead wrong. It's all a learning process for me, as I do like the game and have been watching for quite a few years, and not just a 'bandwagoner'.

Anyway, how does everyone feel about the fighting? I recently moved down to the States (SoCal) and I must say most people here seem to really love the fighting when I compare them to Vancouverites.

I've been thinking a lot about this. I understand those in favour of fighting and aggressive/physical hockey use the tradition card; stating that the game shouldn't be changed because it loses its traditional essence. A while ago I remember Don Cherry comparing the fighting to how baseballers (pitchers) throw the ball at the batter's legs/body to intentionally hurt them to get them back for something. So, he seems to be saying that fighting has this protective nature to it. It sounded to me like a clan mentality, which I must say is barbaric. Sports fans are traditionally very aggressive, loud, and stereotypically 'male', so I understand why all of this is causing a controversy. Especially in hockey, where adrenaline runs high, reflected a lot in the type of music organisations like LA Kings play: metal.

I feel if the players like to keep this fighting tradition, then it should stay. However, if it were up to me, I would remove it completely. So what is the compromise? I think having highly regulated fights would work. At the beginning, like any new rule, it would take some time to iron out the kinks, but in the long run, I feel it would work. But treat it almost like a boxing match: set the rules, play within them. The rules are there to prevent severe damage and protect the players from each other. Also, they would be written rules, not unwritten ones that are prone to error and a lot more misinterpretation. I think it is almost like legalising a drug; if there is enough demand for this drug, and it can prevent harm by legalising and regulating it, then this option should be looked at.

Ultimately, it comes down to a cultural thing. Many families want to take their kids to watch a sporting event. I don't blame them. If I had children, what better way to teach them about their country's culture than taking them to watch their national sport? It happens in football (soccer). In football, each team is heavily embedded in a city's, region's, or country's history. It is a huge factor in popular culture and teaches us about our own society.

However, there are those who believe sport should not change to indulge mainstream ideas. I'm the least to cry out "But think of the children!" But I feel when a sport seeps into all areas of our society, it needs to be regulated more in order to avoid damage, both physically and emotionally. It's similar to guns. When guns are only available to a small group, there may not be a lot of rules needed, because there are certain set norms that are followed, passed on from participant to participant. As this group becomes larger, it is harder to disseminate and cultivate this type of culture. When something that is potentially deadly becomes so widespread, we can't rely on participants to educate those accepted in this circle to educate them through word-of-mouth. There needs to be a stronger set of regulated rules; black and white, unfortunately. Because we are dealing with a larger group of people practising this sport. I apologise if you feel I am pontificating or predicating. I actually am not, but I think of the future. When I have children and want them to learn about our culture, I don't want to explain how fighting isn't allowed on the streets, but they are allowed in the rink. This obviously sounds wrong. In what other national sport is fighting allowed? Not that I feel the more popular thought is always right. But as a country, it would be wise for us not to take things for granted and be honest with ourselves.

At least regulate it. That is all I ask.

Any feedback is appreciated; whether it is to tell me I'm completely wrong or to point out some grains of truth that might be peppered accidentally throughout my dull rambling.

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Angust Reid Forum 2009 Study (Canadians Generally Support Ban

on Fights in Professional Hockey): http://www.angus-rei...3.17_Hockey.pdf

Angus Reid Forum 2011 Study (Canadians, Hockey Fans Want to Ban Head Shots from the Game): http://www.angus-rei...-from-the-game/ (with PDF of breakdown of panelists surveyed; including fighting in NHL here: http://www.visioncritical.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/2011.03.18_Hockey_CAN.pdf)

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You make good points on the ethos of having fighting in a game/sport when society typically does not condone it. And if one sticks with the tenet that sports of all kinds is a microcosm of society, then yes, fighting in hockey should probably be banned.

I'm a long time hockey fan and have been on both sides of the debate, and probably could make a strong argument for both sides. Under the current rules of NHL hockey and the culture that is embedded into the game, it would be very difficult to take fighting out, or even have fights regulated.

Fighting in hockey has gone down in the last 20 years, but during this period, the incidence of reported head injuries/concussions is up dramatically. This can be a function of greater awareness and reporting of these injuries and/or higher incidence of middleweights/light heavyweights colliding at high speeds because they feel they can do so without retribution or consequence. Though I have no empirical proof, I believe that it is a combination of the two, and feel that players' respect for each others' safety has diminished substantially, because the NHL is slowly trying to phase fighting out.

As well, though there is always exceptions to the rule, fighting in the NHL typically takes place among players within the same weight class (though the kid from Ottawa took on someone who was 45 pounds heavier, which obviously put him at a huge disadvantage). There are many unwritten rules among fighters...helmets off if visors are worn, no hitting a player when he's down or falling, holding back when opposing fighter in not able to defend himself, etc., so fighting in the NHL is already somewhat self-regulated.

Fighting has historically been in place to intimidate opposing teams and to act as a deterrent (i.e., protect). The effectiveness of having "fighters" on your roster to fulfill its purpose seems to be diminishing so now may be the time to ban it. However, before that happens, rules to ban other infractions need to be implemented because without these rules in place, we are going to see a whole bunch of other infractions intended to gain physical advantage take place. These infractions could very well be more dangerous than fighting (i.e., Kaleta's hit on Brad Richards).

So, as it is under the current rules of the NHL, I see a place for fighting in the NHL game. Should it be banned, rules (and punishment) governing other infractions need to be in place first.

To me, fighting is an all-or-none proposition...we've been witnessing a slow phase out of it over the past 10-20 years, and though we cannot say it's 100% the reason, I believe it has contributed to higher incidence of head injuries and other behaviors that show diminished respect among the players.

Edit: sorry, but in my rambling on, I failed to state a definitive position on fighting...it should remain part of the game...the instigator rule has to go.

I am 100% with Burkie's position that the rats of the game (Marchand, Bolland, Cooke, Kaleta, Carcillo and the likes) are getting away with too much. These type of players exist because they have no regard for other players' safety and need to be rag dolled every once in awhile to keep them honest. The only way to have these rats show honour is to instill some fear into them, and like it or not, fighting (minus the instigator rule) is the only way to do it.

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I love a good old fashioned fight. I wish players could just go pound another player instead of having to resort to all this cheap shot nonsense. It's much better to just get your anger out in a fight, than having to use cheap tactics to gain revenge.

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I heard that 2/3 of Canadians want fighting banned ( they were talking about it on Sportsnet) but I find that very hard to believe. I dont think I know 1 Canadian who is a hockey fan that wants it banned. I have a feeling that it is a biased survey done by a group that wants it banned and is targeting like minded people for their surveys.

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Survey to hockey players and fans instead of 'specific samples'...you will the find the majority want fighting in the game. I've talked with maybe 6 or 7 people about fighting in hockey. Only 1 opposed to it actually played hockey.

I doubt the authenticity of this poll. All those quoted are anti-fighting people. I don't think it's a realistic survey of hockey fans. Not even the majority of those surveyed were 'self-described hockey fans', and those who were were a select sample. Sounds fishy.

Also, bodychecking out of peewee? Are you serious?

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Sadly hockey fans =/= hockey knowledge. CDC is proof. I doubt most of the people polled have any general knowledge about why they fight/hit/play rough style of hockey. All they know is they don't want their precious baby being pummeled to a pulp which isn't a bad notion, but then they can always go play badminton.

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No.

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This Canadian doesn't want fighting out of hockey.

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only a couple thousand of people did this survey. on The Score (I forget how much they said did it but was in the thousands) I remember they said it was only 0.4% of Canada did the survey so it's not really majority

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I wouldn't even watch hockey anymore, it's already been watered down enough.

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Fighting is a necessary part of the game, but teams are misusing it these days. It used to be that if you laid a cheap shot on a guy, you had to answer the call to their team's tough guy. Now if you lay a cheap shot on a guy, your tough guy goes and fighs their tough guy which ruins the entire purpose of fighting in the game. The more skill you have, the bigger coward to get to be.

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I like fights that spark because of emotion, not staged ones.

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Angust Reid Forum 2009 Study (Canadians Generally Support Ban

on Fights in Professional Hockey): http://www.angus-rei...3.17_Hockey.pdf

Angus Reid Forum 2011 Study (Canadians, Hockey Fans Want to Ban Head Shots from the Game): http://www.angus-rei...-from-the-game/ (with PDF of breakdown of panelists surveyed; including fighting in NHL here: http://www.visioncri..._Hockey_CAN.pdf)

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You make good points on the ethos of having fighting in a game/sport when society typically does not condone it.  And if one sticks with the tenet that sports of all kinds is a microcosm of society, then yes, fighting in hockey should probably be banned.

I'm a long time hockey fan and have been on both sides of the debate, and probably could make a strong argument for both sides.  Under the current rules of NHL hockey and the culture that is embedded into the game, it would be very difficult to take fighting out, or even have fights regulated.

Fighting in hockey has gone down in the last 20 years, but during this period, the incidence of reported head injuries/concussions is up dramatically.  This can be a function of greater awareness and reporting of these injuries and/or higher incidence of middleweights/light heavyweights colliding at high speeds because they feel they can do so without retribution or consequence.  Though I have no empirical proof, I believe that it is a combination of the two, and feel that players' respect for each others' safety has diminished substantially, because the NHL is slowly trying to phase fighting out.

As well, though there is always exceptions to the rule, fighting in the NHL typically takes place among players within the same weight class (though the kid from Ottawa took on someone who was 45 pounds heavier, which obviously put him at a huge disadvantage).  There are many unwritten rules among fighters...helmets off if visors are worn, no hitting a player when he's down or falling, holding back when opposing fighter in not able to defend himself, etc., so fighting in the NHL is already somewhat self-regulated.

Fighting has historically been in place to intimidate opposing teams and to act as a deterrent (i.e., protect).  The effectiveness of having "fighters" on your roster to fulfill its purpose seems to be diminishing so now may be the time to ban it.  However, before that happens, rules to ban other infractions need to be implemented because without these rules in place, we are going to see a whole bunch of other infractions intended to gain physical advantage take place.  These infractions could very well be more dangerous than fighting (i.e., Kaleta's hit on Brad Richards).

So, as it is under the current rules of the NHL, I see a place for fighting in the NHL game.  Should it be banned, rules (and punishment) governing other infractions need to be in place first.

To me, fighting is an all-or-none proposition...we've been witnessing a slow phase out of it over the past 10-20 years, and though we cannot say it's 100% the reason, I believe it has contributed to higher incidence of head injuries and other behaviors that show diminished respect among the players.

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