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Fair or not? The never-ending debate
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bra
2017-09-20 22:08:41 UTC
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Just to say that Carl Jung wrote seriously and on several occasions about games and sports. He concluded that human beings have an instinctive drive not only to "play" at sports but that this playing depends utterly on rules, and the maintenance of rules nurtures what it means to be a full human being. Someone who wilfully steps outside these rules has for that moment ceased to be a full human being.

All discussion around sports and games centres on ethics: has a player acted under what all players and spectators hold to be "the rules". But the discussions go further because obeying the rules is not enough: has the competitor behaved in a way that the world recognizes as "proper, sporting, fair"? We have all seen victories that felt sour to us because they were won or celebrated in a disrespectful manner. Football players get red-carded after a confirmed goal which they scored absolutely correctly and safely, because the manner of their celebration was considered wrong, even if it was not offensive or obscene.

Baseball could consist of hitting the ball in whatever way, and with whatever bat will beat the opposition. A motor race could consist of driving in whatever way and with whatever vehicle will win the race. But they don't. Why do we care? Jung tells us why.

Britons may feel complimented that Jung particularly admired British culture (writing in the 1940s) because of its devotion to rules in games and sports and deep sense of 'sporting' principles.

Arguments about a sporting endeavour are, in the end, ethical arguments. Somebody other than Jung took it further (I forget who), opining that
all serious arguments are, at base, religious arguments.

Just saying.
m***@gmail.com
2017-09-25 06:46:31 UTC
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Post by bra
Just to say that Carl Jung wrote seriously and on several occasions about games and sports. He concluded that human beings have an instinctive drive not only to "play" at sports but that this playing depends utterly on rules, and the maintenance of rules nurtures what it means to be a full human being. Someone who wilfully steps outside these rules has for that moment ceased to be a full human being.
All discussion around sports and games centres on ethics: has a player acted under what all players and spectators hold to be "the rules". But the discussions go further because obeying the rules is not enough: has the competitor behaved in a way that the world recognizes as "proper, sporting, fair"? We have all seen victories that felt sour to us because they were won or celebrated in a disrespectful manner. Football players get red-carded after a confirmed goal which they scored absolutely correctly and safely, because the manner of their celebration was considered wrong, even if it was not offensive or obscene.
Baseball could consist of hitting the ball in whatever way, and with whatever bat will beat the opposition. A motor race could consist of driving in whatever way and with whatever vehicle will win the race. But they don't. Why do we care? Jung tells us why.
Britons may feel complimented that Jung particularly admired British culture (writing in the 1940s) because of its devotion to rules in games and sports and deep sense of 'sporting' principles.
Arguments about a sporting endeavour are, in the end, ethical arguments. Somebody other than Jung took it further (I forget who), opining that
all serious arguments are, at base, religious arguments.
Just saying.
Did Jung include the infamous "bodyline" series in his thinking. In that series, England, led by Douglas Jardine, played entirely within the letter of the rules but in a way that many thought was unsporting. In those pre-TV days the grandees of English cricket may not have appreciated exactly what was being dished out, and didn't like it when they saw it being dished out in England (Jardine took his own medicine without complaint).

A little later Jardine took a team to India. In those days the marquee match was against the Viceroy's XI, and visiting captains were expected to remember whose team they were playing against.

Jardine would have none of it, protesting to the umpires about a minor rule violation to do with the rolling of the pitch between innings. (some have suggested that the real problem was that Jardine had been to Winchester and Cambridge, whereas the Viceroy was Eton and Oxford).

So, for a while, you'd have a hard time convincing Australians that the British had a superior sporting ethic.

Though, of course, Australia later got themselves a reputation for unsporting behaviour when they decided to verbally abuse the opposition to try to provoke what they called "mental disintegration".

So what's ethical and what isn't varies with territory. South African player Brian MacMillan observed that when you swore at the Aussies they thought you were a good bloke and bought you a beer after the game, but 0the English would get offended and refuse to speak to you. (Swearing at the opposition WASN'T against the rules, though subsequently a code of conduct has been introduced which rules out sledging that gets racist or overt displays of aggression).

So, for me, it's the letter of the law that must rule. Which, it seems to me, is the way it's been in F1 for some time now. When Gordon Murray built that Brabham with the fancy suspension system he must have known that it wasn't what FIA wanted and allowed his car to beat the ride height regulations, but he also knew that it would pass any test that the regulations allowed.

Relying on some subjective interpretation of fair play just leads to one side saying that the others aren't playing fair (or to both sides making the same accusation). The rules need to get refined as competitors find new ways of getting around them or as things that the rule makers never envisaged enter the sport.
Brian W Lawrence
2017-09-25 10:28:42 UTC
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A little later Jardine took a team to India.
'Took' only in the sense that he was the captain, appointed by the MCC,
on what was only the second MCC tour, and the 6th by a 'foreign' team.
Post by m***@gmail.com
In those days the marquee match was against the Viceroy's XI, and visiting captains
were expected to remember whose team they were playing against.
The 1933-34 MCC team was the first touring team to play a Viceroy's XI.
That was the
first tour of India to include Test Matches (3), so the Viceroy match
was of little importance. No other 'foreign' touring team had ever
played the Viceroy's XI. A Viceroy's XI is only known to have played 6
matches regarded as of First Class status, of which the Nov 1933 match
was the third. Two were against the Delhi Roshanara Club, two against an
Indian Universities team, and one versus the Governor of Bengal's XI.
The Viceroy's XI only won 2 of the six. Viceroy's XIs would have played
matches of lesser status in previous years.
Post by m***@gmail.com
Jardine would have none of it, protesting to the umpires about a minor rule
violation to do with the rolling of the pitch between innings. (some have
suggested that the real problem was that Jardine had been to Winchester and
Cambridge, whereas the Viceroy was Eton and Oxford).
Jardine had no need to worry about the Viceroy's XI, they were
outclassed by the MCC XI. That said, 5 of the Viceroy's XI were already,
or would shortly become Indian Test players, but the other 6 had limited
cricket experience - two played for Oxford (Hosie & Abell) and one for
Cambridge (Longfield). Those 3 plus a fourth (Rogers) had some County
Championship experience.





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m***@gmail.com
2017-09-25 14:45:43 UTC
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Post by Brian W Lawrence
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A little later Jardine took a team to India.
'Took' only in the sense that he was the captain, appointed by the MCC,
on what was only the second MCC tour, and the 6th by a 'foreign' team.
Post by m***@gmail.com
In those days the marquee match was against the Viceroy's XI, and visiting captains
were expected to remember whose team they were playing against.
The 1933-34 MCC team was the first touring team to play a Viceroy's XI.
That was the
first tour of India to include Test Matches (3), so the Viceroy match
was of little importance. No other 'foreign' touring team had ever
played the Viceroy's XI. A Viceroy's XI is only known to have played 6
matches regarded as of First Class status, of which the Nov 1933 match
was the third. Two were against the Delhi Roshanara Club, two against an
Indian Universities team, and one versus the Governor of Bengal's XI.
The Viceroy's XI only won 2 of the six. Viceroy's XIs would have played
matches of lesser status in previous years.
Ah. Thanks.
Post by Brian W Lawrence
Post by m***@gmail.com
Jardine would have none of it, protesting to the umpires about a minor rule
violation to do with the rolling of the pitch between innings. (some have
suggested that the real problem was that Jardine had been to Winchester and
Cambridge, whereas the Viceroy was Eton and Oxford).
Jardine had no need to worry about the Viceroy's XI, they were
outclassed by the MCC XI. That said, 5 of the Viceroy's XI were already,
or would shortly become Indian Test players, but the other 6 had limited
cricket experience - two played for Oxford (Hosie & Abell) and one for
Cambridge (Longfield). Those 3 plus a fourth (Rogers) had some County
Championship experience.
Indeed. The point I was trying to make was about the letter of the regulations and the subjective nature of the "spirit" of whatever game.

Jardine, it seems to me, regarded the letter of the law as sacrosanct. Bodyline wasn't ruled out, and so it was OK to deploy that, but roll the pitch past the 7 minute mark...

He's an interesting study about the letter and the spirit of the law. His attitude in Australia was that his team had not broken any rules, thus had done nothing unsporting, and he took offence at accusations of unsporting behaviour.

Personally, I think he was within his rights. The spirit of the game seems to me to be very subjective and variable. The letter of well written rules is a much better definer of the game and what is and isn't OK.
bra
2017-09-25 16:19:45 UTC
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Did Jung include the infamous "bodyline" series in his thinking. In that series, England, led by Douglas Jardine, played entirely within the letter of the rules but in a way that many thought was unsporting.
Thank you for bringing in cricket, more my father's game than mine, but one that Jung did indeed know. My only links to cricket (other than playing a few overs at my late father's memorial game)is my constant re-reading of C.L.R. James's wonderful book BEYOND A BOUNDARY.

Jung would have applauded James's high-school reminiscence of telling an untruth in order to skip school and play a scrappy pick-up game "in which any dishonesty was unthinkable."
Bruce Hoult
2017-09-25 16:53:59 UTC
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So, for me, it's the letter of the law that must rule. Which, it seems to me, is the way it's been in F1 for some time now. When Gordon Murray built that Brabham with the fancy suspension system he must have known that it wasn't what FIA wanted and allowed his car to beat the ride height regulations, but he also knew that it would pass any test that the regulations allowed.
Relying on some subjective interpretation of fair play just leads to one side saying that the others aren't playing fair (or to both sides making the same accusation). The rules need to get refined as competitors find new ways of getting around them or as things that the rule makers never envisaged enter the sport.
I tend to agree, though it depends on the sport.

Cricket is an example of a sport with "unwritten rules" that you should somehow know and follow. Bodyline and sledging have been mentioned. Plus there is of course the Australian "underarm" incident of Feb 1, 1981. It was ok according to the letter of the rules for that series, but was considered unsporting. I believe it was already NOT ok by the rules of other cricket series, and the rules for (the then very new) One Day Internationals were changed, if I recall correctly, the very next day.

Yachting is quite different. It is absolutely accepted and expected that competitors will take every advantage they can from the two right of way rules: 1) on opposite tacks or gybes port boat gives way to starboard, and 2) on the same tack or gybe windward boat gives way to leeward.

The leeward boat is absolutely entitled to turn as much and as hard into wind as they wish to (which is also what tends to happen if you lose control) and the windward boat must get out of the way. When done deliberately, this is known as "luffing".

The starboard tack/gybe boat is entitled to sail any course they want, and even change course to "hunt" the other boat, which must take any necessary steps to get out of the way. The only restriction I'm aware of is that a boat going into wind must not steer lower than directly across the wind (and presumably the same for a boat going downwind).

Race 8 of the recent Americas Cup race shows and example of these rules being taken big advantage of with a big luff in the pre-start (referred to as a "hook" at that point of the race):



There are some great examples of port/starboard hunting in the other races, but unfortunately I can't find freely available copies of them online.
Alan Baker
2017-09-25 17:39:36 UTC
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So, for me, it's the letter of the law that must rule. Which, it seems to me, is the way it's been in F1 for some time now. When Gordon Murray built that Brabham with the fancy suspension system he must have known that it wasn't what FIA wanted and allowed his car to beat the ride height regulations, but he also knew that it would pass any test that the regulations allowed.
Relying on some subjective interpretation of fair play just leads to one side saying that the others aren't playing fair (or to both sides making the same accusation). The rules need to get refined as competitors find new ways of getting around them or as things that the rule makers never envisaged enter the sport.
I tend to agree, though it depends on the sport.
Cricket is an example of a sport with "unwritten rules" that you should somehow know and follow. Bodyline and sledging have been mentioned. Plus there is of course the Australian "underarm" incident of Feb 1, 1981. It was ok according to the letter of the rules for that series, but was considered unsporting. I believe it was already NOT ok by the rules of other cricket series, and the rules for (the then very new) One Day Internationals were changed, if I recall correctly, the very next day.
Yachting is quite different. It is absolutely accepted and expected that competitors will take every advantage they can from the two right of way rules: 1) on opposite tacks or gybes port boat gives way to starboard, and 2) on the same tack or gybe windward boat gives way to leeward.
The leeward boat is absolutely entitled to turn as much and as hard into wind as they wish to (which is also what tends to happen if you lose control) and the windward boat must get out of the way. When done deliberately, this is known as "luffing".
The starboard tack/gybe boat is entitled to sail any course they want, and even change course to "hunt" the other boat, which must take any necessary steps to get out of the way. The only restriction I'm aware of is that a boat going into wind must not steer lower than directly across the wind (and presumably the same for a boat going downwind).
http://youtu.be/NUI2sXeeH-M
There are some great examples of port/starboard hunting in the other races, but unfortunately I can't find freely available copies of them online.
It's been a long time since I had to know the racing rules for sailing,
but I believe there is a limitation on the leeward boat's luffing rights
insomuch as they cannot luff so quickly that the windward but cannot
react in time. And I think there's also a limitation on luffing above
your proper course in some circumstances.
m***@gmail.com
2017-09-26 03:13:32 UTC
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So, for me, it's the letter of the law that must rule. Which, it seems to me, is the way it's been in F1 for some time now. When Gordon Murray built that Brabham with the fancy suspension system he must have known that it wasn't what FIA wanted and allowed his car to beat the ride height regulations, but he also knew that it would pass any test that the regulations allowed.
Relying on some subjective interpretation of fair play just leads to one side saying that the others aren't playing fair (or to both sides making the same accusation). The rules need to get refined as competitors find new ways of getting around them or as things that the rule makers never envisaged enter the sport.
I tend to agree, though it depends on the sport.
Cricket is an example of a sport with "unwritten rules" that you should somehow know and follow. Bodyline and sledging have been mentioned. Plus there is of course the Australian "underarm" incident of Feb 1, 1981. It was ok according to the letter of the rules for that series, but was considered unsporting. I believe it was already NOT ok by the rules of other cricket series, and the rules for (the then very new) One Day Internationals were changed, if I recall correctly, the very next day.
Cricket's a good example because nearly everybody has a different idea about these unwritten rules. They aren't universal. Some think it's OK to cuss the opposition, other think that's very unsporting.

There's a book written about this. It's clear that there is no universal unwritten code of conduct accepted in all countries. Witness the protests in (IIRC) the 2005 Ashes when Ponting was run out by a substitute fielder who was not a member of the originally selected England squad. Well, it wasn't ILLEGAL, but it wasn't DONE.

I like cricket, but it's reputation as a bastion of fair play and all things honourable is rather overdone.

But generally I believe that in any sport, playing to the LETTER of the rules is OK. There will be cases where something is done (think F Duct) that the rule makers didn't expect, but then the only response is to draft better rules.

As helmets became more common in cricket, rules were needed because helmets might be left on the field. So they introduced a 5 run penalty if the ball hit a helmet. Problem solved? No. Mike Brearley decided to use the 5 run penalty to try to tempt the batsman into playing a risky shot against spin bowling. So the laws were modified to say that unused helmets retained on the field must be placed behind the wicket keeper.

And this is the downside of playing to the letter of the law and revising the laws when necessary. In F1 there seems to be a belief that the rule book is too thick these days. But that's because of past shenanigans.
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