Just a little word about discipline   9 comments

It’s still unclear how long Cormier will be suspended for his brutal elbow hit on Tam in the QMJHL. Some are saying he shouldn’t play for the reminder of the season, and the playoffs.

To put a little perspective on things, I think it’s interesting to look at how violence is dealt with in other sports. Like rugby for instance.

Rugby is a very physical sport too, and it’s definitely a sport where rough contact between opponents is part of the game. Today, a player from le Stade Français (Paris’ team) received his sanction for an incident that happened in december in a game against Ulster. In that game, the French player, David Attoub, apparently eye-gouged one of the players from Ulster.


For this, Attoub has been suspended 70 weeks. That’s one season and a half. The player has said he will appeal this decision, but according to the International Rugby Board, for this gesture he could have been suspended from12 to 156 weeks.

156 weeks.

Not for elbowing a guy to the head so violently the victim lost teeth, fell unconscious and started convulsing. For eye gouging (which is certainly also inacceptable, but just a little less life threatening).

To be perfectly honest, I don’t follow rugby closely enough to tell you if this is  the kind of sanction rugbymen usually face for this type of behaviour. It’s possible that this was a very harsh decision and the exception rather than the norm. So to be sure, I did a very short research on the ECR website , where the sanction was announced. There, they have a detailed description of the procedure that lead to the sanction. On the same page, they provide links to the official suspension decision: that’s a 22 pages pdf document. Yeah, 22 pages. Just compare that with the laconic decisions taken in the NHL. On the same website, they also have a very interesting document that summarizes the sanctions that can be taken against players. For each rule that can be broken, the document provides a  description of the foul, a scale of sanction severity according to the gravity of the act, and a maximal sanction.

Again, I don’t follow rugby closely enough to know if the decisions are consistent with these documents, and if the procedures are effective and considered fair by all parties. But wow. The level of transparency, and the severity of the sanctions are striking for a hockey fan. Maybe rugby could be an example of a sport where physical play is considered as an intrinsic part of the game too, and yet sanctions are very harsh if you break the rules. And maybe hockey has a lot to learn there.

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Posted January 19, 2010 by Grrrreg in Uncategorized

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9 responses to “Just a little word about discipline

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  1. A friend of mine who played rugby in college told me an adorable little story. On his first day of practice, it had rained quite a bit the day before. All of our practice fields were like swamp land, so the coach suggested that when you get tackled, put the ball or your arms in front of your head so you have an air pocket when you’re in the ground and you don’t drown. That’s really all I know about rugby, besides the whole passing backwards thing.

    I do like their pink uniforms though!

  2. Nice pink uniforms :D

    Seriously, the NHL needs to do SOMETHING. Doing nothing is really not an option in the long term.

  3. Ahaha, yeah rugby is really extreme sometimes!
    But no, those uniforms are not pretty, they’re terrible. On that picture you can only see the color, but here are some of the jerseys this team has dared to wear over the past few years (and I swear ALL OF THOSE are real) :

    Lamp Lamp Lamp Lamp Lamp Lamp

    The owner of the team is a marketing wizard that tries all sorts of crazy stuff to make rugby popular and sell jerseys. And inexplicably, it kind of works… They do sell jerseys.

  4. Is “your jersey is too ugly for the general public to look at” a suspendable offense in that league? :D

  5. It does sort of work. It’s just the opposite of any convention, baulking at the norm, even if it is horrendous.

    That being said, Adidas tye-dye is crossing the line.

  6. Maybe it’s supposed to make the team difficult to defend against because you can’t see the ball in the busy design of the shirt. That last one is pretty bad. And this is coming from a girl who owns a Sabres “goat head” jersey!

    Grrrreg, I had to stay up until 1am to finish the Sabres game last night. I know that’s nothing compared to what you have to do to see the Habs play, but I was definitely hurting this morning, so I give you tons of credit!

  7. I am guilty of gender assumption, mcguffers. Mcguffers just sounded masculine to me. Like McGruff or Macduff.

    Yeah, they went from the goat head to the slug. Haha. Wow.

  8. Well thanks mcguffers… Now I’m trying not to watch any hockey during weekdays, because this was way too crazy. I only watch the saturday night games. They generally start around the time I come home after spending the evening out, so it’s perfect. Of course, I never really get up early on Sundays anymore… :P

    Anyway, this is why I love afternoon games!

    (the gender confusion is really something I do frequently on the internet! It’s weird how you quickly build your little mental image of people you can’t see, and how far from reality it always is!)

  9. Yeah that was a brutal hit and not the first of it’s kind. It will be interesting to see where Cormier ends up. I am disgusted by what he did

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