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Why Is Fighting Allowed In Hockey?

Why Is Fighting Allowed In Hockey?

While fighting is not explicitly allowed in the NHL rulebook, it is tacitly accepted as part of the game. Many people see it as an essential part of hockey, adding to the excitement and tension of the sport. Others view it as a barbaric throwback that has no place in modern-day sports.

Whether you love it or hate it, there is no denying that fighting has been an important part of hockey for a long time. It is thought to have originated in the late 1800s when players would frequently get into on-ice altercations. These early fights were often brutal, with punches and sticks thrown freely.

Rules For Fighting In Hockey

As the sport gradually became more organized, rules were established to try and curtail fighting. For example, in 1922, the NHL introduced a rule that gave players a five-minute penalty for fighting. However, this did not deter players from dropping the gloves, and fights continued to be a regular occurrence.

In the 1970s, another rule change was implemented to reduce fighting. This time, players deemed to have instigated a fight were given a two-minute penalty in addition to the five minutes for fighting. Again, this did not have the desired effect, and fights continued to be a regular part of hockey.

Reasons For Allowing

Release of Tension During a Game: Tempers can sometimes flare with the players closely matched on the ice, providing a way for players to let off steam without injuring each other.

Part of Hockey Culture: It is seen as a tradition passed down through generations of players. Many people who love hockey would not want to see it changed, even if that means allowing fighting.

Prevents other Forms of Violence In Hockey: If players know that they could get into a fight at any moment, they are less likely to resort to dangerous tactics such as stick-swinging or head-hunting.


With all of this in mind, it is hard to argue that fighting should be allowed in hockey. The benefits seem to outweigh the negatives as long as the players are properly educated on how to fight and given the proper safety equipment.

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