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This is why fighting is allowed in pro hockey

(2:26) A player involved in a fight automatically gets what's known as a "major penalty" and must sit out at least 5 minutes of play. Additional penalties can be tacked on. The game has evolved such that there's minimum fighting as there is. I mean, it's greatly reduced.

Ice hockey has evolved to the extent that there's minimum fighting as there is?

I kind of understand what this sentence means but I'm not sure about the role and the exact meaning of "as there is", especially as in this sentence. "There is minimum fighting as there is" seems weird to me. Can anyone help me with this?

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"As there is", or equivalently "as it is" or "as things are", is a set phrase which means "in the current situation". They often refer implicitly to a situation that is already under discussion, and implicitly contrast this situation with a counterfactual hypothetical. Consider the following:

If one more teacher quits, we won't have enough staff to teach all the students. As it is, our teachers are already working overtime!

This means "I have just described how the situation could get worse, but even in the current situation we have problems!" You could also reverse the order in the last sentence and say

If one more teacher quits, we won't have enough staff to teach all the students. Our teachers are already working overtime as it is!

But you couldn't just say "as it is" by itself without introducing the context. The following exchange would not occur:

  • Hello, James, how's it going?
  • As it is, our teachers are working overtime!

You might ask: in the linked video, what is the counterfactual hypothetical that the speaker is contrasting with? The sentence there is a bit awkward (since the speaker did not prepare his remarks ahead of time). But the use of "as there is" suggests that the speaker was thinking of a hypothetical world where more regulations were imposed. He's thinking "we don't need more regulations, because as there is we don't have many fights".


Sometimes you will see the same series of words, but where "it" refers to something specific:

You shouldn't make any more changes to this painting; it's lovely as it is.

Here "it" refers to "this painting". This is a simpler situation, and is not quite the same set phrase; it is parallel to sentences like:

You shouldn't try to change your wife; she's a wonderful person as she is.

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