USA Hockey and Hockey Canada are close to implementing rules that would effectively end fighting in junior hockey leagues, possibly as soon as next season, according to an excellent analytical article written by The New York Times‘ John Branch.


“The appetite is there,” said David Branch, the president of the Canadian Hockey League, which oversees the Ontario Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the Western Hockey League.  “The time is certainly right to move forward.”


I should say so.  Brain trauma could very well be the sports issue of the coming decade.  What we now know about the dangers of not only concussions, but sub-concussive brain trauma as well, means that we need to look at all of our sports — not just hockey — and seriously work toward making them more “head smart.”  It won’t be easy to make our sports safer while retaining the essence of our games, but one thing’s for sure, making it against the rules to fire a fist into an opponent’s head is an easy step to take.


“The official stance from Hockey Canada is that we want to get rid of fighting as quickly as we can,” said Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada’s CEO.


The new rules banning fighting would apply to dozens of non-professional leagues in North America.


Given the stance on fighting by these two influential hockey organizations, how long can the NHL continue to operate with its eyes closed on the fighting issue?


Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans

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