Sport or sanctioned thuggery

Ice Hockey.

Does Northern Ireland need a

  • Beowulf

    Interestingly, the Ice Hockey fraternity has not yet blown anything up, or had anyone knee-capped. Of course, had they done so I’m sure they’d get much more respect from the Sluggerettes, who love nothing better than to glorify violence, gossip about it, and general base their existence on it.

    Tally ho.

  • peteb

    Ah, Beowulf.. a parity of generalisation.

  • Beowulf

    Any tone you can take, I can take better. 🙂

  • martymc

    I’m not sure where Ambrose is coming from?

    The Giants don’t play at Dundonald, are not sponsored by Harp.

    Should we also get rid of other “sports” such as boxing, kickboxing etc?

    (I love the use of quotes around sport, because we all know, it’s staged. Right, right? anyone?)

  • nuzhound

    I can’t claim to really know a whole lot about sports played on this side, but it seems to me that I’ve seen the odd punch-up in rugby or gaelic football. That there are players in hockey who are charged with protecting their team’s fleeter, more skillful players is probably not unique to the sport.

    What you really have here is an article by someone who doesn’t know the game at all and can only pronounce on the merits of a fight. It isn’t hard to find similar thoughts about rugby penned by an American:

    Most of these guys have crooked noses and legs like canned hams, and they spend their afternoons screaming and barreling around the pitch. Popular image calls them the meanest of the mean men: Nose-breakers. Face-scrapers. Locker-room destroyers.

    Hockey is a great sport and the more time it has to build a foundation in Belfast the more fans and journalists alike will come to appreciate the skillful players who really make the game.

  • peteb

    I completely agree with John’s comments.

    and I think we can safely assume that Ambrose isn’t a fan of the sport.

    Perhaps he’d liked to defend his position?

  • DecBarry

    Dundonald and the Belfast Giants are two very separate entities, that should be said from the outset to put the statement into perspective.

    Ice Hockey historically has been percieved as a violent game, however this is violence that has carefully crafted rules and etiquete, we are not talking a soccer riot, or a drunken brawl.

    In the case of Ice Hockey, you have to atheletes who have a job to protect their team mates from the physical aspects of the game, and when fighting occurs it is a respectful bout where both parties follow strict guidelines, especially when it comes to when the fight is over.

    These guys accept injuries as an occupational hazard,and fighting is banned in a lot of the junior levels of the game.

    Yes. I concede, hockey can be a violent game, however the control and discipline of the few players that do participate in fighting is an example to other sports in how frustration and anger can be dispelled in a fair and appropriate manner, not a cheap shot or cheating.

  • willowfield

    I can’t claim to really know a whole lot about sports played on this side, but it seems to me that I’ve seen the odd punch-up in rugby or gaelic football. That there are players in hockey who are charged with protecting their team’s fleeter, more skillful players is probably not unique to the sport.

    The difference is, punch-ups in rugby or Gaelic football are illegal, occur spontaneously, and result in sendings-off and serious punishments.

    In ice hockey the punch-ups are deliberately staged and are billed as part of the entertainment.

  • peteb

    Not true Willow

    In rugby or Galeic football punch-ups may result in sendings-off or serious punishments.

    In hockey, because of the choreography of the confrontation (and ‘punch-up’ isn’t always an accurate description of that) the penalties are set and always enforced.

  • nuzhound

    In ice hockey the punch-ups are deliberately staged and are billed as part of the entertainment.

    It’s true that the penalties for fighting are not that severe in hockey, but maybe if they were less severe in rugby (can’t say about gaelic) you’d have less sneaky stomping, etc. Fighting is generally a way of releasing the tension that comes with tough play. I’m not really an advocate of fighting, but I know that when I watch European hockey (where the rules against fighting are much stricter) there’s a much higher level of far more dangerous, sneaky stick play.

  • nuzhound

    Hey, Pete, which one of us is the “enforcer” here?

  • peteb

    I think I’ll defer to your expertise on the subject, John ;o)

  • maca

    The problem with Ice Hockey is the association which runs the league, or rather the rules they set. I’m not familiar with british ice hockey but i’d guess that they play similar rules to the NHL. Physical force is a big part of the NHL game. I would go so far as to say that the violence is an established part of the NHL game.

    The Finnish leage is widely regarded as the best after the NHL yet it is a very different style of game, more emphasis on good hockey and less on breaking teeth. There certainly is fighting but it is a result of the high andrenaline nature of the sport rather than actually been part of the game.

  • Graham

    Yes, the Finnish league may have more emphasis on “good hockey” but the lack of fighting and enforcing leads to more stick related injuries.

    European players are generally known for using their stick to extract retribution for heavy hits, resulting in more broken wrists, arms etc from slashes.

    So we have two methods – one which involves two big lads dropping their gloves and throwing a few punches to “clear the air” and settle the game down. And another which involves the use of a composite stick being slashed across an opponents arm/leg or in rare and extreme cases – head.

    I know which I prefer. And it doesnt involve sticks.

  • willowfield

    Fights in hockey are not “deliberately staged” and if they are billed as part of the entertainment, that is because those marketing the game obviously think the market likes that sort of thing.

    I’ve been to see matches and can confirm that they are, indeed, deliberately staged.

    The referee even stops play and watches the fights. Players even go so far as to pause to remove headgear, etc., before engaging in windmilling-type punching which is presumably designed to look as vicious as possible while causing minimal pain.

    Players are sin-binned for a few minutes and then return to the ice and carry on as before.

  • Graham

    Deliberately staged fights would not result in broken noses, broken orbital bones, career ending concussions, broken teeth, broken hands etc etc etc.

    Having interviewed several ice hockey “tough guys” I can guarantee you that the fights are not staged. The scars on their hands and around their eyes will testify to that.

    If you want to gain some actual insight into the world of hockey fighting, read these interviews:

    http://www.icewars.co.uk/interviews/index.htm

    The reason that the game is stopped during a fight is so that the referee and linesmen can jump in and stop the fight when it gets out of hand, ie if someone gets an advantage or the players fall to the ice. If play continued while two players scrapped then the referee and his officials would have to decide whether to follow the play or follow the fight.

    Players remove helmets as a courteousy almost, so that they are not slamming their hands into plastic, which appears to do a lot of damage!

  • willowfield

    The reason that the game is stopped during a fight is so that the referee and linesmen can jump in and stop the fight when it gets out of hand, ie if someone gets an advantage or the players fall to the ice.

    Why don’t they jump in and stop the fight immediately? It wouldn’t be because the fights are part of the entertainment, would it?

    If play continued while two players scrapped then the referee and his officials would have to decide whether to follow the play or follow the fight.

    The play should stop and the fight should be stopped. The referee shouldn’t stop play in order to watch the fight.

    Players remove helmets as a courteousy almost, so that they are not slamming their hands into plastic, which appears to do a lot of damage!

    So the fights aren’t spontaneous. There is enough time for players to pause and remove helmets.

  • Davros

    Martymc “The Giants don’t play at Dundonald, are not sponsored by Harp.”

    I had a dekko at the Belfast Giants official website

    “Fans can now buy a Harp Lager Belfast Giants’ shirt, or pen, or cap from the comfort of their own homes from the Club’s on-line shopping service.”

  • maca

    Graham
    “European players are generally known for using their stick to extract retribution for heavy hits, resulting in more broken wrists, arms etc from slashes.”

    I’d actually disagree with you here. You’re essentially saying European players are dirtier because they try to cause serious injury on the sly.
    I watch both the NHL and the Finnish league and I see as much “stick work” in the NHL.

    The issue I have with the fighting is because the fighting is used as part of the entertainment. Personally I think it spoils the game. If I want to watch fighting i’ll switch over to K1.

    I agree with Willowfield. In almost all cases you will see the refs standing off to let the fight start rather than jumping in immediatly to prevent.

    Still a great game though, despite the fighting.

  • Graham

    Willowfield…

    Sometimes if a game is getting out of hand, with heavy hits going in all over the ice, two players will basically decide to fight to settle the game. Then they will wait for an opportunity to do so, like when their team is not on the attack or when the puck is in a neutral area of the ice. It is not very often that you see the equipment removed before fights, most are spontaneous when two players come together after an incident.

    If referees did jump in and split up the fights straight away, the frustration and the anger would still be in the game, and players would seek another method of retribution – using their sticks like I referred to above.

    Like I said, read the interviews to see what the players themselves think.

  • martymc

    I had a dekko at the Belfast Giants official website

    “Fans can now buy a Harp Lager Belfast Giants’ shirt, or pen, or cap from the comfort of their own homes from the Club’s on-line shopping service.”

    They were sponsored by Harp, but sadly the Giant’s website is well out of date.

    Even if they were, it’s like arguing that Liverpool being sponsored by Carlsberg promoted some youths at Everton to beat up some kids because they thought they were Man U fans.

  • willowfield

    Sometimes if a game is getting out of hand, with heavy hits going in all over the ice, two players will basically decide to fight to settle the game. Then they will wait for an opportunity to do so, like when their team is not on the attack or when the puck is in a neutral area of the ice.

    That is disgraceful. They should be sent off (not sin-binned), fined heavily and suffer lengthy suspensions. Why is this behaviour tolerated? It wouldn’t be because it is billed as part of the entertainment, would it?

    If referees did jump in and split up the fights straight away, the frustration and the anger would still be in the game, and players would seek another method of retribution – using their sticks like I referred to above.

    Then players should learn to control their tempers. Discipline is an essential requirement of professional sport and ice hockey players should learn it.

    The fights on the ice would be criminal acts of assault if committed elsewhere.

  • Davros

    There has been an association between
    The Giants and the Ice Bowl –

    Ice Skating Lessons with Harp Lager Belfast Giants
    19 Sep 2003

    Harp Lager Belfast Giants coach Rob Stewart and other members of the team will be coordinating and teaching the new learn to skate lessons along with Ice Bowl Skating Professionals.

    The lessons programme is suitable for all levels, from beginners to experienced skaters with all participants able to achieve recognised skating qualifications. There will be free use of equipment including helmets, sticks and hockey boots and also a free public skating session per lesson.

    Harp Giants Coach Rob Stewart says;

  • Davros

    Ice Hockey reminds me of the bad old days of soccer in the 60’s and 70’s – “Hard men” were glorified ( Norman ‘chopper’Harris ? )as was a drinking culture.
    It was recognised that lauding and legitemising Violence on the pitch was contributing to the overall levels of violence in society.

  • martymc

    so, the Giants, having been sponsored by Harp, and training at the Ice Bowl, prompted some youths to attack some kids from Armagh because they thought they were catholic?

    As the good people from South Park once said, “Blame Canada!”

  • DecBarry

    Willowfield my friend,

    I believe you are missing the point.

    In hockey we have in built fighting as a way of controlling the game, this may happen once in every 2 or 3 games, but when it happens the crowd rise to their feet and applaud the two men who have stepped up to defend their team.

    I have watched Soccer, Rugby and the Gaelic Games for a long time, seen guys hit eachother with hurling sticks, seen soccer players stamp on one another and seen rugby players grab twist and poke around the unmentionables in order to gain revenge or advantage in a set stag of play.

    I look at hockey and I see bit of honesty and respect, FIGHTING IS WITHIN THE RULES OF THE GAME. It is not encouraged, and if you look at the players code of conduct and the general rules you will see that if they MUST fight. i.e. If the situation is appropriate and they need to defend a team member, then they must take actions for example removing their gloves and helmet.

    Hence it is a fair and controlled atmosphere where when there is a clear winner, the ref and linesman can break it up, and leave the guys to lick their wounds.

    The main crux of your argument is that this is all marketed this way – like there is a big sign saying “Come to the odyssey tonight, there will be a fight” – You know this is not the case, its merely a stigma which has attached itself to the sport.

    I’d say if your concern is people coming ONLY because they may see a fight, your concern should be with those people. Not the sport.

  • C.Conliffe

    You know, I agree. Ice Hockey does obviously encourage violence. That’s why Canada has so much more violent crime than nearby countries where other sports are more popular, such as America

    …hang on a minute…

  • willowfield

    In hockey we have in built fighting as a way of controlling the game

    That is a disgrace. Players should learn discipline. They should learn how to control their tempers.

    this may happen once in every 2 or 3 games, but when it happens the crowd rise to their feet and applaud the two men who have stepped up to defend their team.

    It happens several times in every game. The spectators should not be applauding or encouraging violent conduct. That is appalling.

    I have watched Soccer, Rugby and the Gaelic Games for a long time, seen guys hit eachother with hurling sticks, seen soccer players stamp on one another and seen rugby players grab twist and poke around the unmentionables in order to gain revenge or advantage in a set stag of play.

    All of which is illegal and for which players are punished. It is not part of the entertainment.

    I look at hockey and I see bit of honesty and respect, FIGHTING IS WITHIN THE RULES OF THE GAME.

    Which is disgraceful.

    It is not encouraged, and if you look at the players code of conduct and the general rules you will see that if they MUST fight. i.e. If the situation is appropriate and they need to defend a team member, then they must take actions for example removing their gloves and helmet.

    Outrageous.

    The main crux of your argument is that this is all marketed this way – like there is a big sign saying “Come to the odyssey tonight, there will be a fight” – You know this is not the case, its merely a stigma which has attached itself to the sport.

    You’ve just admitted that fighting IS part of the sport!

    I’d say if your concern is people coming ONLY because they may see a fight, your concern should be with those people. Not the sport.

    No. The sport should cut the fighting out.

  • nuzhound

    The NHL has struggled with the whole fighting issue for years. I would like to be able to say that fighting in hockey is not used by the sport to sell the NHL game, but I think that would be a lie. But i also think there’s more to fighting than simply selling violence.

    Fighting is tolerated, although less so now than it was. Whether it should be tolerated at all or not is a good question.

    Here’s more on fighting.

  • nuzhound

    I watch both the NHL and the Finnish league and I see as much “stick work” in the NHL.

    Today, with probably a third of the league made up of European players, those differences are much less definite.

    I don’t think it means Europeans are dirtier, but I do think that the European tight hold control on fighting means the players find an outlet for their frustrations in other actions, some of which are more dangerous.

    The introduction of player helmets also contributed to the growth of of high stick work in the NHL. Some people warned about that, especially Don Cherry, at the time.

  • Davros

    Rollerball ?

  • C.Conliffe

    It happens several times in every game.

    No, it doesn’t.

    And I think the issue with ice hockey is that as it is a highly physical sport, players will find a way to get back at other people regardless – if a fight prevents an incident of clipping, checking from behind etc where serious injury could occur, then I say it’s worth it.

    It’d be interesting to see the various statistics of injuries from dnagerous play in different leagues of hockey versus the latitude allowe dtowards the fighting rules.

    One final thought – if discipline is so perfect in other sports, why do rugby players going into a scrum have to tape their ears?

  • LG

    Some of the people posting on here are clueless, narrow-minded and childish.

    I won’t lie to you. I am involved in ice hockey as an official. Yes, I am the guy who “stands back and lets the fights happen”. Do you honestly think that is the case?

    Who do you think will get hurt quicker, the player or the referee. That’s exactly why we don’t jump in.

    I know more than you. So let me tell you- Harp is not associated with the Belfast Giants, nor is the Dundonald IceBowl. The Giants play in the Odyssey Arena, which is better than any other sports stadium in the country.

    Ice hockey has NO sectarianism, ANYWHERE in the world. It is the most family-freindly sport in NI.

    The gentlemen who fight do so in a non-vicious basis, which anyone can watch. True, injuries do occur, but the vast, vast majority of them come from the actual involvment in the play of the game.

    May I also say that ice hockey is more skilful than any other sport here. None of those who advocate the sectarian sport of soccer would stand a chance at ice hockey, because it is too difficult for most people to play.

    Ironically, the scuffles that occur in football, by fans and supporters, are much more serious, yet they make each other look more feminine than Barbie.

  • maca

    LG:
    “May I also say that ice hockey is more skilful than any other sport here.”

    That’s a matter of opinion. There’s no doubt it is a game which requires great skill but more skillful than any other sport here! Nah man, pull the other one!

    “None of those who advocate the sectarian sport of soccer would stand a chance at ice hockey, because it is too difficult for most people to play”

    What a silly sentence! There’s nothing special about hockey players, they are not super human. Anyone who plays the sport as long as they do could play it, even “those who advocate the sectarian sport of soccer”

  • willowfield

    C. Conliffe

    No, it doesn’t.

    Funny how in any match I have attended there have been four or five fights.

    And I think the issue with ice hockey is that as it is a highly physical sport, players will find a way to get back at other people regardless – if a fight prevents an incident of clipping, checking from behind etc where serious injury could occur, then I say it’s worth it.

    Would you say that if a player received a brain injury as a result of a punch? An amateur football was killed about 3 years ago at Mallusk by a single punch to the head.

    Neither fighting nor “clipping” or whatever should be tolerated. Both should incur punishment that is serious enough to be a deterrent: not a few minutes in a sin bin.

    LG

    I won’t lie to you. I am involved in ice hockey as an official. Yes, I am the guy who “stands back and lets the fights happen”. Do you honestly think that is the case?

    Yes. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

    Who do you think will get hurt quicker, the player or the referee. That’s exactly why we don’t jump in.

    Then you should give serious punishments to the players involved that will act as a deterrent instead of a few minutes in a sin bin.

    The gentlemen who fight do so in a non-vicious basis, which anyone can watch. True, injuries do occur, but the vast, vast majority of them come from the actual involvment in the play of the game.

    Well, that’s OK, then!! Wise up!

  • trish

    willowfield, there is a significant difference between punching on land and punching on skates. Watch the players fight, because they can slide on the ice, they can’t deliver blows with the same force as they could if anchored to the ground. The winner of a fight is the guy who lands on top of the other player when they inevitably fall down, it’s not the same as a punch-up, and hockey fans are well aware of the fact.

    It doesn’t seem to have set a bad example in my culture either, where fighting off the ice is rare and games are family events where opposing fans sit together without worrying.

    The real danger in hockey is dirty hits. I’d far rather see people get out their agression in a fight, than in a hit from behind. We’ve learned the hard way here in Vancouver last season that fighting is by far the lesser of the two evils.

    Sure, I’d love to see less fighting in hockey. But really, what I care most about are clean games where no one gets hit from behind, no one gets a stick in the face, and you can bring your kids to a game without worrying. Somehow I can’t see that hockey could contribute to violence in NI.

  • Minstrel

    A direct quote from ‘Hockey for Dummies’

    ‘Fighting has long been an accepted part of professional hockey in the United States and Canada and is considered a natural by-product of a fast and furious game. Years ago, it was not unusual to see entire benches empty during a fight and have every player wrestling their opponents to the ice and throwing punches. But the NHL and other leagues began instituting much stricter rules about fighting, and anyone who leaves the bench to enter or start a brawl these days, or jumps into an altercation as a third man, is treated harshly with penalties and fines.

    But unlike college and international hockey organizations, which prohibit fighting, the NHL and other professional leagues in North America still allow it to go on, though not without some penalty. That bothers some fans, who would like to see fighting completely banned. But the majority seem to enjoy the occassional scrap between players. And there are those who argue quite sensibly that fighting neutralises the possibility of smaller players being intimidated by bigger ones, especially if both franchises have a fighter or two on their rosters; no one is going to be able to mess around with one of the smaller skaters if he knows he will then have to answer to one of the fighters. So it actually serves better to keep the peace. Also, the absence of fighting would likely lead to an increase in the number and severity of stick fouls (slashing, high sticking, and so on) which can be even more dangerous, because players wouldn’t have the same outlet for their frustration and rage’

  • Minstrel

    Davros said

    ‘Ice Hockey reminds me of the bad old days of soccer in the 60’s and 70’s – “Hard men” were glorified ( Norman ‘chopper’Harris ? )as was a drinking culture.
    It was recognised that lauding and legitemising Violence on the pitch was contributing to the overall levels of violence in society’

    So are you saying that football once legitimised violence on the pitch ? Please quote the extensive studies that proved the link between this legitimised violence on the pitch and overall violence in study.

    I can just hear the culprit before the judge, “Honest Sir, I may have had a few drinks but it was the football match the other night that caused me to batter that old woman!”

  • Davros

    “So are you saying that football once legitimised violence on the pitch ? “

    Yes. There was an ethos of violence that has been cracked down upon. Think Leeds FC and Billy Bremner’s team.

  • maca

    Trish
    “Watch the players fight, because they can slide on the ice, they can’t deliver blows with the same force as they could if anchored to the ground.”

    They can still deliver a hard enough blow to cause serious damage. As you know the skates are sharp and players can get as much grip as they need to on the ice. How else do you think they can sprint?

    “I’d far rather see people get out their agression in a fight, than in a hit from behind.”
    “what I care most about are clean games where no one gets hit from behind, no one gets a stick in the face”

    Do you honestly think fighting stops these things??? They don’t! If there is one fight per game involving two players, what about the agression of the rest of the plyers??
    High stick, clipping, slashing or whatever gooes on in all games no matter if there is fighting or not. There will always be a certain amount of agression in the game and no amount of fighting will change that.
    Have you even noticed that there are certain players which never get involved in fights? It’s about controlling your agression and focusing that agression where it needs to be focussed.
    There IS no need for fighting.

  • Minstrel

    Davros said

    ‘Yes. There was an ethos of violence that has been cracked down upon. Think Leeds FC and Billy Bremner’s team.@

    Supported by the actual rules of the sport – of course! So which particular rules were changed to crack down on this violence ?

    You make the mistake of judging the sporting principles or rules of Hockey by those of football. Ice Hockey is a legitimate sport that has been evolving for years on its own.

    Follow Sluggers argument;

    The Giants are sponsored by Harp (eh!) – drink means violence – there were drunken louts at the Ice Bowl on Saturday night

  • maca

    Minstrel
    “So which particular rules were changed to crack down on this violence ?”

    It’s application or enforcement of the rules which is the problem.

  • Beowulf

    There was an ethos of violence that has been cracked down upon. Think Leeds FC and Billy Bremner’s team.”

    Actually what you are referring to is football’s change from a defensive mindset to an offensive one – so that the game becomes more of a spectacle (although I think defensive football is a spectacle, but that’s another argument), more points on the score board. An effect of this, greater protection for forwards, less options for defenders, was that football became less ‘violent’, though it was never a stated objective.

    And in the end you’re talking about the top leagues anyway, greater time on the ball, more room for individual skill, lower league football is still ‘violent’, in the true sense of the word.

  • Minstrel

    Maca said

    ‘It’s application or enforcement of the rules which is the problem.’

    Exactly – so the rules of Football never legitimised the use of any violence on the pitch !
    In fact, fighting in football will get you an expulsion from the game whereas fighting in Ice Hockey gets you a time penalty unless you infringe the sports guidelines on the matter.The rules of the sport of Ice Hockey goes a certain way to legitimise fighting during a match but that does not equate to sanctioned thuggery.

    The sport of karate legitimises fighting in kumite but it does not allow the use of many dangerous techniques because of the risk of serious injury. Many karate people have a catalogue of extensive injuries gained over the years from light contact fighting but that does mean they also sanction thuggery.

  • maca

    Minstrel
    “so the rules of Football never legitimised the use of any violence on the pitch”

    But the application of the rules might have.
    The simple case is in ice hockey the tend to make the decision to allow the fight to develop first before stopping it.
    I wouldn’t call it thuggery but it’s not a nice aspect of any game.

    Also, you can’t compare it to karate which is a combat sport. Ice hockey is not a combat sport, although it may look like it at times 😉

  • nuzhound

    I tried to post a comment earlier, but it didn’t seem to work. Regardless, Trish has said exactly what I wanted to say. Fighting on ice is completely different than fighting on a field in shoes.

    In all the years I’ve watched hockey games, I’ve never once seen a guy hurt in a fight (other than maybe hurting his hand). Fighting requires leverage, which you simply cannot get on skates. When you wind up to throw a punch on the ice, your momentum in your legs will push you backwards.

    I’m guessing Maca, that you have never played hockey. The truth is, players cannot get enough power in a punch to hurt. It looks bad, but as Trish says, dirty plays are a much bigger problem.

  • Minstrel

    Willowfield said

    ‘Funny how in any match I have attended there have been four or five fights

    Would you say that if a player received a brain injury as a result of a punch? An amateur football was killed about 3 years ago at Mallusk by a single punch to the head.

    Neither fighting nor “clipping” or whatever should be tolerated. Both should incur punishment that is serious enough to be a deterrent: not a few minutes in a sin bin.

    Then you should give serious punishments to the players involved that will act as a deterrent instead of a few minutes in a sin bin.’

    So in the true tradition of the ‘Man who knew Ulster Sport’ you wish to suggest that Ice Hockey should adopt football rules to cut out fighting for you. But then why stop there – remove the ice and put grass down because it is really slippy out there. Oh, and then replace the puck with a large round object so that spectators don’t get cut open when hit with it, take away the plexi , remove the boards and turn up the heat and what do we have – INDOOR FOOTBALL !!

    The sad thing is that you really don’t think that a big sport like Ice Hockey which is played all over the world can’t police and look after it’s own game!

    By the way, the topic is ‘sport or sanctioned thuggery’ – we know it is a sport, and we know it has enforcers in it but when did it ever sanction thuggery. Sport does not sanction thuggery – it’s the lack of law enforcers that allows thuggery to happen unchecked !

  • Minstrel

    Maca said

    ‘The simple case is in ice hockey the tend to make the decision to allow the fight to develop first before stopping it.
    I wouldn’t call it thuggery but it’s not a nice aspect of any game.’

    But there again, you miss the point – it’s not just any game, it’s Ice Hockey and Ice Hockey allows for roughing. You can not have a referee stopping play or jumping between players before an offence has been committed. He will break up the roughing as soon as he can after the offence has been committed – the last thing he would want is to take the punches himself for both players!

    Ice Hockey does not sanction thuggery and those who buy into the hype of newspapers and fighting being an entertainment and a part of every game are going to be frustrated and bored first waiting for it to happen.

  • Minstrel

    Maca said

    ‘The simple case is in ice hockey the tend to make the decision to allow the fight to develop first before stopping it.
    I wouldn’t call it thuggery but it’s not a nice aspect of any game.’

    But there again, you miss the point – it’s not just any game, it’s Ice Hockey and Ice Hockey allows for roughing. You can not have a referee stopping play or jumping between players before an offence has been committed. He will break up the roughing as soon as he can after the offence has been committed – the last thing he would want is to take the punches himself for both players!

    Ice Hockey does not sanction thuggery and those who buy into the hype of newspapers and fighting being an entertainment and a part of every game are going to be frustrated and bored first waiting for it to happen.

  • maca

    Nuzhound
    “Fighting requires leverage, which you simply cannot get on skates.”
    “The truth is, players cannot get enough power in a punch to hurt.”

    I disagree, I may not have played ice hockey but I have been on ice and you can get plenty of leverage if you want to. You will also notice players often grap each other when punching which adds leverage. I have also thrown plenty of punches in martial arts and leverage is only part of throwing a punch.

    Whether or not someone is hurt is not the issue for me. As a spectator it spoils the game for me, that’s enough.

    Minstrel
    “But there again, you miss the point – it’s not just any game, it’s Ice Hockey and Ice Hockey allows for roughing. You can not have a referee stopping play or jumping between players before an offence has been committed. He will break up the roughing as soon as he can after the offence has been committed – the last thing he would want is to take the punches himself for both players!”

    No I know exactly what you are saying. But roughing is one thing, I have also seen it go way beyond that before anyone took action.
    But that was a good point by the way.

  • Davros

    “When you wind up to throw a punch on the ice, your momentum in your legs will push you backwards.”

    And if one is holding on to the recipient of the punch ?

  • willowfield

    Minstrel

    So in the true tradition of the ‘Man who knew Ulster Sport’ you wish to suggest that Ice Hockey should adopt football rules to cut out fighting for you.

    No, I think fighting should be punished with sufficient severity to deter it.

    But then why stop there – remove the ice and put grass down because it is really slippy out there. Oh, and then replace the puck with a large round object so that spectators don’t get cut open when hit with it, take away the plexi , remove the boards and turn up the heat and what do we have – INDOOR FOOTBALL !!

    Why would you do that?

    The sad thing is that you really don’t think that a big sport like Ice Hockey which is played all over the world can’t police and look after it’s [sic] own game!

    I speak from experience, having watched games live and on TV.

  • James

    We don’t have Ice Hockey. We have Hockey.

    We don’t have thuggery. We have goons.

    I remember the first time I saw the Totems play in ’68. In the desert we didn’t play much hockey so this was a new experience. I was impressed that the team would be concerned enough for my safety to enclose the stands in Cyclone fencing to guard us from wayward pucks. I didn’t know it then but that’s what RUC stations were going to look like. After the first faceoff I soon learned that the fence was there to protect the players from the fans. Kids and men were trying to get their fists and fingers through the wire mesh to tear and rip at the players as they went by. From then on it got worse.

  • Davros

    Has abnybody ever tried Ice Hurling ? 😉

  • maca

    Davros, ice hurling was played on a frozen river Shannon about a thousand years ago, so i’ve been told 😉

    And of course when ice hockey was first developed around 1800 in Windsor they adapted hurling for the ice and called it ‘ice hurling’. It only became ‘ice hockey’ over the following decades.

  • trish

    maca, it’s funny but I’ve heard hurling discribed as the starting point for many sports, including lacrosse (which is a traditional North American game) and I’m not so sure it always applies. 🙂

    I think that a lot of people who are upset about fighting in hockey and say that some players don’t fight are missing the point. Fighting is a way of protecting your skilled players, so they can score goals. It doesn’t do you any good to let your top scorer bruise their hand during a fight. So the fact that only some players engage in fighting is irrelevant.

    And with three generations of hockey players (including semi-pro leagues equivalent to the Giants) in my extended family, I can say that every single hockey injury (scars, broken noses, teeth, wounds to the eye area, blown knees, broken limbs/fingers) was not fighting related. And as a lifelong hockey fan, that is the point for me. I care about whether my family members come home healthy.

    Maca, if fighting ruins the game for you, then it just may not be the game for you. I don’t really enjoy the fighting, but I can see how it’s a permanent factor in our game. As for the start of this thread, and the insinuation that it inspires violence off the ice, I’ve yet to see any evidence for that.

  • Davros

    As for the start of this thread, and the insinuation that it inspires violence off the ice, I’ve yet to see any evidence for that.

    Is Parental Rage Killing Hockey?
    November 6th, 2000

    “I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out!” Sadly, this description reflects the state of minor hockey today, both on the ice surface and in the stands.

    In Lynnfield, Massachusetts, mourners attended the funeral of a man fatally beaten in a fight with another parent stemming from an incident at their sons

  • trish

    Davros, I’m aware of these reports but my question is: do you believe that hockey increases violence? Or does it attract those with violent tendancies? We can’t tell here in Canada, because we’ve always had hockey (and violence in hockey is decreasing due to increased enforcement). Anecdotal evidence suggests the game is far cleaner now that it used to be – which should decrease violence off the ice if they were connected right? Then is there another reason why off-ice fights are happening in rinks? This type of off-ice violence is unacceptable and results in criminal charges for a reason. As one of the articles you linked states:

    “Why do parents do this? Are they trying to live through their children? Are they frustrated athletes with the mentality that “I didn

  • James

    The fault dear Darvos, lies not in our stars but in ourselves.

    It’s not the game, it’s the parents and other adults. I quit high school sports because of the constant interference and meddling from my parent and the OOWHWAA!! bullshit peddled by the coaching staff. I should have done it earlier but I wasn’t big enough then to whip him.

    It’s not even confined to competitive sports. In the 20 years I spent in scouting I never, never had a problem with a kid. Some of the parents, on the other hand were consummate jerks in the manner they drove their kids. Last year I spent two days with a family on the Ards peninsula in which the lady of the house was into Girl Guides. The one point at which our experiences completely dovetailed was our wretched experiences with some of the parents.

    Wrenching this further afield, we have a case in Texas where a mother took out a contract on a girl who was competing with her kid on the cheerleading squad. (Made a cool movie, too. Holly Hunter was serial mom and Bo Bridges was the would-be hitman.)

  • maca

    Trish
    “it’s funny but I’ve heard hurling discribed as the starting point for many sports, including lacrosse (which is a traditional North American game) and I’m not so sure it always applies.”

    According to the folks in Windsor, Nova Scotia ice hockey came from hurling. Try birthplaceofhockey.com
    As for lacrosse … no relation to hurling AFAIK.

    “Fighting is a way of protecting your skilled players, so they can score goals.”

    I disagree. You can protect your skiller players without fighting, it happens all the time, otherwise surely there’s be fights every minute?

    “if fighting ruins the game for you, then it just may not be the game for you.”

    It’s one of m favourite sports to watch despite the fighting which is less (than in the NHL) in the North European game.

    “I don’t really enjoy the fighting, but I can see how it’s a permanent factor in our game.”

    It can be limited. In the NHL it’s part of the entertainment in my opinion.
    Remember films like Splapshot, back in the 80’s? Fighting was glorified in films like that.

    Internationals are a good example, same players but not as much fighting, the rules are a bit different or applied differently.

  • maca

    Splapshot?? I meant Slapshot.

  • Davros

    Trish, you claimed to be unaware that Hockey inspires Violence off-ice. Now you say that “I’m aware of these reports”. Therefore you were aware that Ice Hockey DOES inspire violence off-ice.
    We have enough violence here. Do we really want a “sport” that has the potential to increase levels of violence in NI ? It has taken a lot of work to dampen down the foot-ball associated violence to it’s present level.
    If this is the case in Canada
    There are definitely fans who will go to games and are willing to fight at any time
    Do we really want to have events that will encourage these sorts of people to gather together
    in an emotionally charged atmosphere ?

    James
    The fault dear Darvos, lies not in our stars but in ourselves.

    It’s not the game, it’s the parents and other adults.

    As we already have a culture of violence in our parents and other adults James, then Ice Hockey is even more dangerous than it is in other more relatively civilised places.

  • Davros

    That should have been:

    ames
    The fault dear Darvos, lies not in our stars but in ourselves.

    It’s not the game, it’s the parents and other adults.

    As we already have a culture of violence in our parents and other adults James, then Ice Hockey is even more dangerous than it is in other more relatively civilised places.

  • martymc

    As we already have a culture of violence in our parents and other adults James, then Ice Hockey is even more dangerous than it is in other more relatively civilised places.

    Yes, ban this sick filth!

    As for kick-boxing, boxing, various martial arts.. won’t someone think of the children.

    Nice to see slugger’o’troll living up to it’s reputation.

  • trish

    Davros, you say “Therefore you were aware that Ice Hockey DOES inspire violence off-ice.” I think you’ve misread me. I don’t believe that we can state that violence off the ice is caused by violence on the ice. You may disagree with me, but I don’t think the evidence is there that hockey inspires violence – just that there have been examples of parental violence at games. Maybe these parents would be just as intense at their child’s music classes, if music was the route to stardom that hockey is here.

    As for having hockey in NI, I don’t live there so I can’t comment about the potential for problems in your country. However, before you bash hockey as causing fights, remember that the overwhelming majority of hockey fans in North America see it as a family game that you bring your kids to and we don’t have a problem here.

    If you feel that people in NI can’t control themselves at a hockey game, I think that reflects on the people at the game, not on the game itself. Don’t blame hockey just because it’s a tough game, I think that’s a cop-out.

  • Davros

    Trish, the articles discuss how Violence off-ice is often caused by Violence On-Ice.

  • Beowulf

    Davros, fair enough, you believe whatever report you google for and ignore what actually happens in real life (ie there are no incidents of violence outside the Odyssey, where the Giants play, that can’t be attributed to alcohol). I hope since you’ve taken the spirit of the articles to heart you’ll be picketing the cinemas and shops that sell DVDs – all showing violence. I hope I see you picketing there too so I can laugh at you.

    The depth of intelligence on this weblog has really gone down since the early days.