Date of Publication


Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Katharine Burakowski


There is a certain amount of physicality involved in all levels of hockey. The aggressive styles of play and attitudes have evolved into one of the most violent team sports. Fighting has been utilized as a marketing tool to increase viewership of hockey. The fights have increased in recent years, and there are many perceptions that portray its significance within the sport. The media markets physical aspects of the game, which reaches players of all ages and influences them to follow suit. Social media websites, television shows, sport analysts, and movies have been created solely focusing on big hits, fights, and violent behaviors on the ice. Hockey fans enjoy spending extra money to watch a professional game hoping to see a fight. Crowds get louder and the magnitude of the arena escalates once a fight breaks out. Beginning at the youth level, coaches select players with size and physical advantages over others. Young athletes lacking physical attributes are encouraged to discontinue participation in sports like hockey. High school and college coaches recruit players with physical ability. The engagement in fighting is the highest at its most intense level, the National Hockey League, where certain players are tabbed with reputations based on their size and violent behavior. There are countless studies focusing on how external factors influence hockey players to fight. The purpose of this current study is to investigate how hockey players themselves perceive fighting within the game. Breaking it down further, this study will decipher any differences in perceptions of fighting between forwards and defensemen. The results have emerged from Division I college hockey players in the North East Region.