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Copy of Rule breaking, cheating and gamesmanship

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Eddie Dale

on 8 January 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Rule breaking, cheating and gamesmanship

The Wrongness of cheating in sport Fraleigh (1984) reminds us that “it is reasonable to expect diverse views on appropriate actions because different individuals bring varying perspectives to sports contests. Varied perspectives arise from differing purposes of participants, geographically distinct customs and expectancies, and variations in sports contest rules and their interpretations” (p.3). HOWEVER! He goes on to say that:

"Diverse views on actions appropriate within sports contests, however, does not eliminate the need to seek guides applicable to thousands of specific cases over time". Where do we look for answers? We have introduced 3 approaches within sports philosophy 1. Formalism Intentional rule violations are not compatible with playing the game and therefore eliminate the possibility of winning. The formalist account of sport has a number of problems which we outlined last week. The formalist position is the view that sports can be defined by reference to the formal rules of the game. 2. The ethos argument (or conventionalism) Conventionalism states that moral gray areas should be addressed by "referring to the dominant conventions of the practice community" (Iorwerth 2010, p.231). There are various versions of this position, but what they have in common is "that some sort of agreed interpretation of the formal rules is needed to comprehend what our sports are" (Fraleigh 2003, p.166). So, some rule violations, they argue, are part of the game because they are interpreted as socially acceptable. What constitutes the ethos takes different forms: D'Agostino (1995, p.42) says the ethos is "those conventions determining how the formal rules...are applied in concrete circumstances".

Lehman (1995, p.197) says it is the ways in which players and spectators perceive the rules.

Tamburrini (2000, p.30-31) says it is the particular understanding of the game entertained by the players.

Butcher and Schneider (2001, p.34-35) recommend an ethos derived from "respect for the game".

Loland (2002) refers to justice norms and Morgan (1995) prefers an ethos of sport understood as a MacIntyrian Practice.

(Reference: Fraleigh 2003, Intentional Rule Violations - One More Time. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, XXX, 166-176. 3. Interpretivism (internalism) Crude forms of conventionalism have been criticized because moral judgments are reduced to the dominant views of the practice community.

What if the dominant view was to win at all cost? Or sexist?

Suffers from some of the same problems as formalism.

Conventionalism seems to advocate moral immunity for sport, but this seems to undermine the claim that sport is a fertile ground for moral character development (Dixon 2008). Fraleigh (2003, p.167) summarizes:

"One is that the conventions are determined by some sort of agreement (tacit or otherwise) among the participants. The other is that such conventions should be informed by something beyond social acceptability, for example, "respect for the game", justice, or the internal values of sport as a social practice". In 2000, Robert Simon wrote "Internalism and Internal Values in Sport", which has much in common with Butcher, Schneider and Morgan mentioned above. This position is sympathetic to the rules and regulations that govern sport, but goes beyond formalism by recognizing that principles (outside of the rules) have normative force. Examples? This perspective relies on the notion of "the internal goods " to provide the game with its "basic orientation and are so named becasue they can only be achieved by engaging in such practices" (Iorwerth 2010, p.233). The joy of devising strategy in chess; the please in serving an ace in tennis, other examples? In contrast to the external goods such as money, fame, status etc. So,

deciding when on right action, this approach suggests that we must focus on preserving and promoting the internal goods (Iorwerth 2010). More on this later......... Some attempts to provide an account of cheating Lucshen (1976):

“Cheating in sport is the act through which the manifestly or latently agreed upon conditions for winning such a contest are changed in favour of one side. As a result, the principle of equality of chance beyond differences of skill and strategy is violated (Luschen, 1976, p.67).” 1. Definition omits (leaves out) players intentions such that inadvertent (not deliberate) acts also would be considered a form of cheating. Stella Walsh: was she wrongly accused of cheating? McIntosh (1979): “Cheating need be no more than breaking the rules with the intention of not being found out . . . Cheating, however, implies an intention to beat the system even though the penalty, if the offender is found out, may still be acceptable (McIntosh, 1979, pp. 100-101).” 2. Cheating may include cases where opponents are deceived even though no rules have been violated.

3. Cheating may also include occasions where there is no intention to deceive: intentional rule-breaking is more about the blatant attempt is to use the system to beat the opponent. Leaman (2001) offers a radical alternative. He argues that cheating is difficult to define and difficult to show what is morally wrong with cheating. As Feezell (1988, p.64) points out: "he seems to think the two questions are logically related since, based on the problem of defining cheating, it is somehow difficult to decide when an unfair advantage has arisen". On page 63 Feezell (1988) makes two interesting responses to Leaman - what are they? Oliver Leaman (2001, p.96):

"It might be suggested that many competitions, especially those with some sort of authority present to regulate cheating, would be more interesting if cheating takes place within it, or if several players try to stretch the rules. Such deviant behavior adds a new dimension to the game which also to its interest" 'Flopping' - the maneuver where a player draws an undeserved foul on an opposing player by acting as if minor contact or even no contact at all was near-criminal battery. All Blacks are well known for "playing the game All Black style". What might Feezell say about these cases? London 2012: Controversy as Great Britain reach hockey semi-finals• Referee overturns two decisions against GB in last minute
• Spain threaten 'very serious consequences' More on Internalism and an appropriate ethos - Fraleigh (2003): Simon's Broad Internalism In addition to the constitutive rules there are other resources that are neither social conventions nor principles imported from outside. "in short, actions that support and maintain contesting the rule-defined skills that test the relative excellence of the participants are acceptable, and those that reduce or negate the contesting of those same skills are unacceptable" (p.170). Problem cases: 1. The Manipulator Exploits strengths and weaknesses beyond ‘latently agreed appropriate skills and strategies” (deliberately altering the pace of the game, “trash-talking”, intimidate the referee, etc) such actions are not outside the rules of the game
such actions provide challenges as part of the game. Players who deliberately fail to pursue the goals of the game (time-wasting, underarm bowling, the ‘bizarre’) 2. The Spoil
Sport No rules are broken
Such tactics demonstrate “cleverness”
Provide additional challenge to opponents 3. The Professional Foul Players who clearly accept that certain rule violations are a ‘part of the game’ The intentional ‘professional’ foul has an acceptable price
Player strategically calculate the costs/benefits of rule violations
Responsibility of referees and rule makers to asses the (moral) impact of such rule violations
The game within the game adds to the contest and allows for ‘skilled‘ responses Latent (hidden) agreements: difficult to demonstrate where agreement has been established
often used as a behavioral norm to make those who disagree feel obligated The acceptance of such actions by all players clearly establish such events as morally unproblematic, particularly as such actions are, more or less, non-injurious.
How are such agreements established?
What are the limits as to what actions are acceptable?
To what extent does the ‘game within the game’ destroy the game.
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