Luck in the vocabulary of motives of professional ice hockey

  • Philip Moore Curtin University of Technology
Keywords: sport, luck, motives, contestation, professional, hockey


This paper examines an important aspect of professional ice hockey. While the game has become increasingly commodified and rationalized, and so organized on scientific and economic grounds, the notion of luck still finds a place in interpretations of action and outcomes in the sport. As one feature of the vocabulary of motives present in hockey, the use of luck makes sense when understood as a concrete manifestation of the underlying moral understandings of what is understandable and sensible about hockey. The fact that empirical uses of luck can be contested indicates the presence of underlying moral logics of the game that are not systematized and compelling but rather permeable, historical and open to different formulations. The use of luck in hockey, even though sporadic and contingent, up the rationality of the game and makes it possible to inhabit a moral world where the best does not always win and the worst does not always lose.