Violence and Ice Hockey: A Survey of the Driving Factors Behind NHL, Olympic and College Hockey Fandom

Open Access
Bacanskas, Julia Anne
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Marie Hardin, Thesis Supervisor
  • Steve Manuel, Honors Advisor
  • ice hockey
  • fandom
  • NHL
  • violence
Violence and ice hockey have been intertwined since the sport’s inception; however, it remains unclear whether violence is a driving factor of ice hockey fandom. The purpose of this study is to determine if a relationship between the two exists. Since there are many different levels of play, this study specifically focuses on college hockey, professional hockey (NHL), and Olympic hockey. Each of these three levels has differing rules and regulations regarding fighting in the game. An individual’s preference for a specific level of hockey may in turn show his or her true feelings about the inclusion of violence in the sport. Additionally, information regarding fan age, gender and expectations of enjoyment were also collected and analyzed.