The Metaphor of a 'Level Playing Field' in Games and Sports

Games, Sports, and Play (Thomas Hurka, Ed.), Oxford University Press, Forthcoming

University of Utah College of Law Research Paper

27 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2019

See all articles by Leslie P. Francis

Leslie P. Francis

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

In sports, the concept of a “level playing field” is much praised but not well understood. “Level” fields are supposed to be desirable because they are somehow fair; fields that are slanted towards one player or team seem paradigmatic of unfair advantage. But beyond the physical metaphor of uphill and downhill, what makes for a slant and the connection between identifiable slants and unfairness may remain opaque. In this chapter, I attempt to make progress on understanding the idea of a “level” field by drawing analogies between games and sports. My approach is constructivist: that is, I consider how games have been built and developed for insights this might provide about leveling the playing field in sports. I begin by setting the stage about level playing fields in sports.

Keywords: Sports, Fairness in Sports, Games, Level Playing Fields

Suggested Citation

Francis, Leslie P., The Metaphor of a 'Level Playing Field' in Games and Sports (2019). Games, Sports, and Play (Thomas Hurka, Ed.), Oxford University Press, Forthcoming; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3372498 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3372498

Leslie P. Francis (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
8
Abstract Views
96
PlumX Metrics