Press Releases

TitleUSD Professor: Fighting in Hockey is Calculated, Not Impulsive
ContactMelissa Wagoner
Contact E-mailmwagoner, at
Contact Phone(619) 260-4659

University of San Diego Professor Nadav Goldschmied has conducted a study, which appears in this month’s "Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach," which finds fighting in professional hockey to be a calculated, not impulsive, action taken by players when the stakes are low.

Goldschmied found that during the 2010-2011 National Hockey League (NHL) season, players were significantly less likely to be involved in a fight as the game was coming to a close than in its early stages. In addition, data from the past 10 NHL seasons showed that players were significantly more violent in preseason games than during the regular season. They were also least likely to be involved in a fight during the postseason.

The converging evidence suggests that players take into account the penalties associated with fighting and are less likely to engage in violence when the stakes are high, such as at the end of a game or a season. This implies, in turn, that major acts of aggression in the league are more likely to be calculated rather than impulsive. The findings suggest that a more punitive system should diminish fighting behavior markedly.

The study can be found at (third article from the top).

Dr. Goldschmied is available for interviews by calling (619) 260-4659 x4 or by cell phone at (813) 598-1351.

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