The ‘Enforcer’ in Elite-Level Sport: A Conceptual Critique

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 4 (3):306-318 (2010)

Abstract
The role of the?enforcer? in elite-level sports contests is a familiar one. Simply, the role involves establishing or restoring a?moral balance? to the sporting encounter when it is absent? usually when match officials are thought to be failing to apply the laws/rules of the game. How the enforcer secures this outcome is more morally contentious as it may involve deliberate violations of the laws/rules of the sport. In this paper we consider the role of the enforcer in rugby union. First we interrogate some of the extant sports ethics literature and explore the notion of?fairness? in the well-played game, including the role of the enforcer. Second, we illustrate conceptually how the ethos of elite sport as a moral discourse creates a theoretical platform from which to assess the intervention of an enforcer. Third, we address the role of match officials as members of the practice community from an institutional sense and from an empirical sense in the circumstances that precipitate the intervention of?enforcers?. We conclude that the conceptual tension between the laws and the spirit of the game is reflected in the choices facing players when playing the game
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DOI 10.1080/17511320903264214
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References found in this work BETA

Law's Empire.R. DWORKIN - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Internalism and Internal Values in Sport.Robert L. Simon - 2000 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 27 (1):1-16.
Moral Realism in Sport.J. S. Russell - 2004 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 31 (2):142-160.
Canadian Figure Skaters, French Judges, and Realism in Sport.Nicholas Dixon - 2003 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 30 (2):103-116.

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