Hockey Fights Explained
The recent death of a Senior A hockey player in Ontario as the result of a fight gone wrong (the player hit his head on the ice at the end of the fight) has sparked a lot of discussion about the role of fighting in hockey. Fight apologists claim that it is an important part of the sport, while the anti-fighting contingent claims that hockey would be an even better game without fisticuffs.
As a service to the public I have undertaken to explain the reasons why fights happen in hockey. Using amoebas, of course.
(The International Amoeba Hockey League hosts some of the most competitive protist hockey in the world.)
Hockey is played at a great speed and body contact is inevitable. This coupled with a high level of intensity can lead to fights, even amongst players who don’t usually drop the gloves and exchange knuckle imprints. Fights of passion usually occur in the corners of the rink, or in front of the nets, as these are the areas where the most intense contests for puck possession happen.
(Fights often occur when too many players try to squeeze themselves into a small space.)
Revenge fights happen when a member of an opposing team has injured or tried to injure one of your teammates. The next time you play against the offending party, it is expected that a member of your team – usually one of your enforcers – will exact revenge.
(Revenge fights can be nasty.)
3. It’s a Dirty Job.
Many teams will employ a player whose main role is that of the enforcer, or goon. These players excel at fighting and, usually, little else. Their sole purpose and reason for being on the team is to fight the other teams enforcer when needed.
These players are considered protectors for the more skilled players – exacting revenge (see above) if an opposing player tries to hurt one of their team’s stars. Enforces will also engage the other team’s tough guys in fights if their team’s energy is low. Some pundits believe that this kind of fight can reinvigorate a team that is losing and help to change the momentum of the game. Other people think that these people are nuts.
(Enforcers tend to be big.)