Fair Play: Notes on the Algorithmic Soccer Referee

93 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2020 Last revised: 15 Mar 2021

See all articles by Michael J. Madison

Michael J. Madison

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: September 21, 2020


The soccer referee stands in for a judge. Soccer’s Video Assistant Referee (“VAR”) system stands in for algorithms that augment human deciders. Fair play stands in for justice. They are combined and set in a polycentric system of governance, with implications for designing, administering, and assessing human-machine combinations.

Keywords: Algorithms, Big Data, governance, polycentricity, institutions, systems, football, soccer, referees, robots, adjudication, decisionmaking, human-machine hybrids

JEL Classification: D70, D73, K40, K42, P48

Suggested Citation

Madison, Michael J., Fair Play: Notes on the Algorithmic Soccer Referee (September 21, 2020). Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law, Vol. 23, p. 341, 2021, U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3696646

Michael J. Madison (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

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