Competitive sports, disability, and problems of justice in sports

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Humanities
Department Philosophy
Creator Francis, Leslie
Title Competitive sports, disability, and problems of justice in sports
Date 2005
Description A "level playing field" is a stock metaphor for equality. Despite its status as a near-cliché, however, the metaphor has been given limited theoretical attention. Deliberately tilting the field so that one set of contestants must consistently run uphill while their opponents get a downhill ride is perhaps a clear violation of the metaphor. But what of a bumpy field, where luck frequently plays a role in how the ball bounces, to play on another metaphor? Such a field is not "level" in the most obvious sense, but it may afford all contestants an equal chance, unless the bumps are concentrated on one side of the field and the contestants do not switch sides in an appropriately balanced way. But note this last qualification: If the bumps are concentrated around one goal, and it is an advantage to be attacking that goal at the end of the game, the field may not be level at all. And what of a field that is designed to fit some characteristics of players better than other characteristics? For example, a basketball court with baskets at different heights would play quite differently from a court where all baskets are 12 feet high. A soccer pitch with smaller goals would perhaps reward goalies with different physical endowments than the goal as it is presently shaped. These questions about the relationship between players and playing fields reach to the heart of how we understand sports, disability, and equality itself. These issues are the subject of this special section.
Type Text
Publisher Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
Volume 32
Issue 2
First Page 127
Last Page 132
Subject Level playing field; Competitive sports
Subject LCSH Sports; Athletes with disabilities; Justice
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Francis, L. P. (2005). Competitive sports, disability, and problems of justice in sports. Journal of the Philosophy; of Sport, 32(2), 127-32.
Rights Management (c) Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 106,301 bytes
Identifier ir-main,10380
ARK ark:/87278/s68w3xns
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 704652
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