Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Calls for Abstracts/Papers related to Philosophy of Sport

Conference CFA:

International Association for the Philosophy of Sport (IAPS)
 The 44th IAPS conference will be held September 20-24, 2016 in Olympia, Greece sponsored by Fonte Aretusa and hosted at the International Olympic Academy. The deadline for the CFA is March 31, 2016.  More info.

British Philosophy of Sport Association (BPSA)
 The annual BPSA conference will be held April 4 - 6, 2016 at the University of Brighton, School of Sport and Service Management in Brighton, England. The deadline for the CFA is January 25, 2016. More info.

Journal Call For Papers:

Reason Papers: Philosophy of Play Reason Papers is soliciting contributions for a Spring 2016 symposium on normative issues in play. We invite submissions that explore the nature of play; its developmental importance; and its role in human lives, values, and societies. We are also interested in explorations of the relationship between play and other human activities (such as other recreational activities, education, or work), structured vs. unstructured play, and children’s play vs. adult play.  Submissions are due by February 1, 2016.

CFP: Communication and Sport This is a call for manuscripts for the C&S journal: "C&S publishes research and critical analysis from diverse disciplinary and theoretical perspectives to advance understanding of communication phenomena in the varied contexts through which sport touches individuals, society, and culture. "

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CFP: Philosophy of Play

Reason Papers: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Normative Studies (of which I am a co-editor) is soliciting contributions for a Spring 2016 symposium on normative issues in play. We invite submissions that explore the nature of play; its developmental importance; and its role in human lives, values, and societies. We are also interested in explorations of the relationship between play and other human activities (such as other recreational activities, education, or work), structured vs. unstructured play, and children’s play vs. adult play.  Submissions are due by February 1, 2016.

The CFP at Reason Papers.

Information on Submitting.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity

In light of the dramatic increase in academic research activity and practical initiatives on the topic of sports and Christianity over the last decade, the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at York St John University (YSJU), York, UK are hosting an Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity (IGCSC2016), 24-28th August, 2016. The Bible Society and YSJU are collaborating in the development and delivery of this global event.

Conference website:

Keynote Speakers include both academics and practitioners/athletes: Professors Stanley Hauerwas, John Swinton, Tony Campolo, Brian Bolt and Michael Novak, Bishop James Jones, Anne-Wafula Strike MBE, Joe Ehrmann, Graham Daniels, Cassie Carstens and Dr Afe Adogame.
York St John University campus is at the heart of the beautiful and historic city of York (see ). A part of the congress is a sport-themed service in York Minster, one of Europe’s finest Cathedrals (see ); this event will be also be open to the public.

‘Registration’ and the ‘Call for Papers’ has now opened. For further information with regard to registration and the call for papers, see the web-link and/or email the congress administrator, Fanny Hébert at:

Interest in this event has been significant, thus, to avoid disappointment register early.
If you are interested in receiving further information about this event and regular updates on publications in the topic area, email the congress convener, Dr Nick J. Watson ( ), who will add you to an email-contact list/Listserve.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ethics and the St. Louis Cardinals' Hacking Case

As most are now probably aware, the St. Louis Cardinals are under investigation for possibly hacking into the database of the Houston Astros. It has been suggested that this occurred on several occasions. Whatever the outcome of this particular case, it raises some interesting ethical questions.

Here, I'll address one such question: What's wrong with hacking into your opponent's computer system?
  • First, it involves breaking a just law designed to protect privacy. The information in this alleged hacking case included data related to players, trades, and scouting reports. The Cardinals have no business trying to access this information. Like any other corporation, they have no right to do this, and are obligated to respect the work and privacy of the Houston Astros.
  • Second, such behavior is unsportsmanlike. If the Cardinals are guilty and were able to gain an unfair advantage with this information, it could amount to cheating and as such violates the norms and ethics of sports. We know that sportsmanship is undervalued from the elite level on down to youth sports. But we must not give in; we must protect the integrity of sports at all levels.  All parties in sport should seek to exemplify sportsmanship, whether on the field or via the internet. Sportsmanship is a virtue worth having, and many of its lessons can be adapted to other realms of life.
  • Third, this hack, if it happened, places victory over integrity. There are many reasons we participate in and watch baseball (and other sports). At the elite level, we want the victory to go to the team that is able to display excellence and demonstrate superiority on the day. There are cheap and undeserved wins, of course, but one thing that makes this sort of behavior objectionable is that a win based on it has nothing to do with athletic excellence or luck. Hacking, if done to gain some sort of competitive advantage over one's opponents, amounts to putting victory ahead of honor, integrity, and the rules of the game. A win based in part on this behavior would be undeserved.
  • Fourth, this shows a lack of faith in the players, manager, and coaches. As a player, I'd be insulted if the organization I played for thought it was necessary to cheat in this (or any other) way to obtain victory. I would want the organization to place its faith in the abilities of the team and coaching staff, rather than trying to gain an unfair advantage in this way.
What do you think? What else might be wrong with this? And if the Cardinals are found guilty, should there be any punishment by MLB in addition to whatever legal punishment is given?

Photo CCL.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CFP: Studies in Philosophy of Sport

Call for Book Proposals for new series: Studies in Philosophy of Sport

The Studies in Philosophy of Sport series from Lexington Books encourages scholars from all disciplines to inquire into the nature, importance, and qualities of sport and related activities. The series aims to encourage new voices and methods for the philosophic study of sport while also inspiring established scholars to consider new questions and approaches in this field.

The series encourages scholars new to the philosophy of sport to bring their expertise to this growing field. These new voices bring innovative methods and different questions to the standard issues in the philosophy of sport. Well-trodden topics in the literature will be reexamined with fresh takes and new questions and issues will be explored to advance the field beyond traditional positions.

Proposal Information

The series publishes both monographs and edited volumes. The “philosophy of sport” should be construed broadly to include many different methodological approaches, historical traditions, and academic disciplines. I am especially interested in proposals from scholars new to the discipline of philosophy of sport (either because they are from a discipline other than philosophy or they are philosophers new to the study of sport). Click here for proposal guidelines.

If you have an idea for a book but are not ready to submit a complete proposal at this time, please still email Shawn Klein ( to discuss your idea.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Sports Ethics Show: Sport Studies Symposium 2015

The 4th annual Sport Studies Symposium was held April 24, 2015. In this episode, the symposium participants discuss the ideas raised by the papers given at the symposium.

In the first half of the episode, Mike Perry and Shawn E. Klein talk with Matt Adamson, Stephen Mosher, and Synthia Syndor about the nature of sport studies, its past, and its future.

In the second half, Shawn and Mike talk with Aaron Harper, Stephanie Quinn, and Zach Smith about legal realism and sport, sport in the ancient world, and theology of sport.

Listen to this episode.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Fourth Annual Sport Studies Symposium: Sport Studies: The State of the Art

Sport Studies Symposium 2015 Rockford University is hosting the Fourth Annual Sport Studies Symposium on Friday, April 24, 2015 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm (CT) in Severson Auditorium, Scarborough Hall, Rockford University, Rockford, IL.

The conference is free to attend and light refreshments will be served.

Panel One: The Study of Sport

  •  “Breaking Down Binaries: Considering the Possibilities of a Dialogue Between Science Studies and Play Studies” – Matthew Adamson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) 
  •  “The Long, Slow, Tortured Death of Sport Studies in American Colleges (And the Possible Path Toward Resurrection)” – Stephen D. Mosher, Ph.D. (Ithaca College) 
  •  “Conceptualizing the Nature of Sport” – Synthia Sydnor, Ph.D. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Panel Two: Sport Studies as Interdisciplinary

  •  “Interpreting Interpretivism: A Legal Realist Account of Cheating in Sport” -Aaron Harper, Ph.D. (West Liberty University) 
  •  “Then and Now:  Sport and Spectacle in Ancient Greece and Rome” – Stephanie Quinn, Ph.D. (Rockford University) 
  •  “'Theology of Sport: Mapping the Field” – Zach Smith (United States Sports Academy)

Symposium Flyer (PDF)

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Sports Ethics Show: Blown Calls and Technology

Seth Bordner of The University of Alabama talks with Shawn E. Klein on The Sports Ethics Show about the problem of officiating mistakes in sport and how technology can and should be used to prevent and correct these mistakes.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Life after the NFL @ The Allrounder

An interesting article at The Allrounder, especially relevant given the recent news about 49ers linebacker Chris Borland:

In their new book, Is There Life After Football? Surviving the NFL, James Holstein, Richard Jones, and nine-year NFL veteran George Koonce, Jr., present the results of an extensive sociological study of former pro football players. A major part of the book, of course, looks at the physical toll that an NFL career inflicts on its players. But even more striking are their findings on how life in football affects former players’ ability to find and hold a job, to maintain relationships, even to engage in basic social interactions. In this interview excerpt, Holstein and Jones discuss what they discovered in their research.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

College Basketball and Freshmen Ineligibility

With March Madness around the corner, our attention turns to college basketball. But with players going to the NBA sooner and with athlete compensation looming, many fans are concerned about the future of the college game. The rule for most of the 20th century was that college freshmen were not eligible to play varsity sports. This changed in the 1970s but the idea has recently been making a bit of comeback. Is it a panacea for the problems plaguing the NCAA or is just window dressing that fails to address the real problems. Professor Chad Carlson of Hope College joins The Sports Ethics Show to discuss this and other NCAA issues.

 Listen to this episode.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

IAPS at Central APA: Additional Commentator Needed!

The IAPS session for the Central APA meeting in St. Louis, Missouri is scheduled for Thursday, February 19 at 5:30.

Aaron Harper of West Liberty University is presenting: “‘You’re the Best Around’: Reconsidering Athletic Excellence in Seasons and Playoffs”. Craig Carley of Phoenix College is scheduled to provide comments.

Craig, however, might not be able to attend for personal reasons. I am looking for anyone who would be willing to comment as either a replacement or in addition to Craig.

Maybe you are already attending the APA and would like something else to do? Maybe this topic interests you and this is a quick way to jump into the discussion? 

Please contact me ASAP if you are interested and I will send you the paper (you can also check out Aaron and I discussing some of the ideas from the paper in my Sports Ethics podcast with Aaron on the Value of Playoffs and Championships  ).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pushing the Line: How far is too far?

The Sports Ethics Show: Pushing the Line: How far is too far?

How far is too far in the pursuit of victory? Great athletes push on the norms, rules, and boundaries of their games. This is part of what allows them to achieve excellence, but it also sometimes leads to crossing the line. Jack Bowen, blogger at the Santa Clara University Institute for Sports Law and Ethics blog, and Shawn Klein discuss several cases at the boundaries of the rules of sport: icing-the-kicker, non-traditional formations in the NFL, and “Deflation-gate.”

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