To limit rule infractions and aggressive and violent behavior in ice hockey, Fair-Play, a simple formula integrating sportsmanship in the structure of hockey without changing the game was used with great success in the province of Quebec (1988). This Fair-Play formula grants one fair-play point to the team that ends a game with less than a preestablished number of penalties.
To know the effects of this Fair-Play system on competitive hockey (CC), the Quebec regional hockey association decided to fund a comparative study during the 1989/1990 hockey season. The study compared the number and type of penalties of seven Pee-Wee CC teams and eight Bantam CC teams playing with the Fair-Play formula with sixteen Pee-Wee CC teams and sixteen Bantam CC teams that did not use the system. The game sheets of 329 regular season games in the Pee-Wee category and 338 encounters in the Bantam section during the 1989/1990 season were used to compile the number and type of penalties for the comparative analysis. Six penalties and eight penalties, respectively, were allowed to the Pee-Wee CC and Bantam CC teams before they lost their fair-play point.
In the Pee-Wee CC league using Fair-Play, an average of 4.5 penalties per team per game were handed out compared to 5.7 penalties per team per game in the league not using Fair-Play. The league playing with Fair-Play averaged 1.3 major penalties per team for the entire season, five times less than the other league, which averaged 6.3 major penalties per team. In the league committed to Fair-Play, there were no type B major penalties (fighting, spearing) throughout the entire season. Moreover, the Fair-Play league registered, on average, half the number of game suspensions (1.0) per team per season than the other league (2.2). Among teams using Fair-Play, 71% of them did not receive a single game suspension throughout the season.
In Bantam CC, the league using Fair-Play averaged slightly fewer penalties than the other league (7.8 versus 8.4 penalties per game), but the difference is not significant. There were 30% less major penalties (Type B, C, D, E) called against Fair-Play teams and 25% less game suspensions.