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Triad Trickery: Playing with Sport and Games Klaus V. Meier
Game and Game Play • Meier has no conflict with Suit’s definition of game: • “ to play a game is to engage in an activity directed towards bringing about a specific state of affairs, using only means permitted by rules, where the rules prohibit more efficient in favour of less efficient means, and where such rules are accepted just because they make possible such activity.” • -Suits • However he disagrees with his other assertions
Aspects of Sport • All sports are games, but not all games are sports… • Sports have the same four essential characteristics of games previously mentioned: 1. Goal Directed Activity 2. Rules limit the permissible means of goal attainment. 3. Rules prohibit more efficient in favor of less efficient means. 4. Rules are accepted to make the activity possible.
Aspects of Sport continued… • Along with the four characteristics of games, sport also has one essential characteristic: • Requires the demonstration of physical skill and prowess. • Example; Chess and/or Bridge • These can be played without any pertinent motor movements by the player themselves. • “Sport is neither an outgrowth nor an extension of a game; rather, it is a game at the same time it is a sport”- Meier
Varying Skill • The degree of physical skill is not a defining characteristic or essential component of the concept of sport. • Required skill demanded from players vary depending upon the level of opponents skill ex. Novice vs elite AA vs AAA
Suit’s Nature of Sport • Suits reflection on the nature of sport; “They are: (1) that the game be game of skill, (2) that the skill be physical, (3) that the game have a wide following, and (4) that the following achieve a certain level of stability”.-Suits
Nature of Sport continued… • Suit’s first two concepts of sport become Meier’s defining characteristic between sports and games. • However; the third and fourth in Meier’s perspective are problematic. • Meier believes that the institutionalization is not an integral part of sport; they may add colour and significance but are not necessary for the sport to exist.
Nature of Sport continued… • Another writer Osterhoudt denotes that the best way to distinguish sport from games/play is the IOC (International Olympic Committee) • Meier refuses to accept this on the grounds that it is too narrow • Example: Olympics don’t include widely accepted sports such as rugby, cricket, football, etc.
Types of Sports • Suit’s argues that there are two distinct types of sports • 1. Competitive Athletic Events (Judged Performances) • Example: Football is won by the strategies effectiveness in winning games • 2. Athletic Games (Refereed Games) • Example: “Diving and gymnastics competitions are no more games than they are judged competitive events, such as beauty contests and pie-baking competitions”-Suits
Suits’ Rules • Suits believes that rules governing such “competitive athletic events” are different then those governing “athletic games” • Suits says that “competitive athletic events” have only “pre-events rules” and once the competition begins there are none that need enforcing the way that “constitutive rules” need enforcing in “athletic games” • Meier disagrees…
Meier’s Rules • Firstly Meier agrees that rules set in place prior to an event are not the same as “constitutive rules”; however they are not the only rules at work during these performances • Meier believes that gymnastics and diving have enough internal rules taking place during the competition to “surely satisfy at least the minimal qualifications for being accurately considered as competitive games”
Meier’s Rules continued… • Meier disagrees with the concept of “constitutive rules” • Believes that they are more appropriately named “regulative rules” • Both of Suits’ types of sports have regulative rules • Example: Football with offside, gymnastics with dismounting; both have an “ideal” that has to be followed
Sport Equals Game • Meier argues that diving and gymnastics fulfill the essential characteristics of what Suits’ says are “integral to the nature of a game” • Meier believes that both diving and gymnastics meet all the characteristics of Suits’ definition of a game • Recall Suits’ definition…
Sport/Game Example • Example: 10m Diving vs 100 yard dash • “it is perfectly obvious that the 100 yard dash, for example, is a game”-Suits • Meier argues that if an event such as the 100 yard dash is considered a game although its governing rules are exceedingly simple, how can diving and gymnastics fail to meet the criteria • Both are goal directed • Both have rules that permit them to achieve goals • Both have rules prohibiting more efficient means • Both accept these rules in able to make the activity possible
Conclusion of Sport • Suits’ own admission makes his claims irrelevant: • “I submit that when some activity or enterprise not initially included in the hardcore group (because it is not called a game) is seen, upon examination, to conform to the group’s definition, then there exists a good prima facie reason for granting that the activity or enterprise is a game, despite that fact it is not called one.”-Suits • Meier believes there is not sufficient grounds to distinguish between sports that are games and sports that are performances; both satisfy the definition of games • There may be two species of sport, judged and refereed performances, however both are forms of games
Play • Often described as what it is not; • Not real • Not serious • Unnecessary • Etc • Meier’s definition of Play: • “An activity voluntarily pursued for predominantly intrinsic reasons”
Sport-Game-Play • Not all play is sport • Not all games are sport • All sport are games • “If sport or games are pursued voluntarily and for intrinsic reasons, they are also play forms; if they are pursued involuntarily or engaged in predominately for extrinsic rewards, they are not play forms.”-Meier • Play is not necessary in sport or game, but may be an element depending on motivating principles
The interrelationships among sport, game and play Game Play Play Sport