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

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

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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/17511320903264214
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,545
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

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.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Genetics, Bioethics and Sport.Andy Miah - 2007 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 1 (2):146 – 158.
Game Birds: The Ethics of Shooting Birds for Sport.Rebekah Humphreys - 2010 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 4 (1):52 – 65.
Drunken Role Models: Rescuing Our Sporting Exemplars.Carwyn Jones - 2011 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (4):414 - 432.
Concerning a Moral Duty to Cheat in Games.Richard Royce - 2012 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 6 (3):323-335.
Respecting Privacy in Detecting Illegitimate Enhancements in Athletes.Sarah Teetzel - 2007 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 1 (2):159 – 170.


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #417,163 of 2,325,366 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #917,442 of 2,325,366 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature