Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2012 IAPS Conference - Call for Papers


The International Association for the Philosophy of Sport invites the submission of abstracts to be considered for presentation at the 40th annual 2011 IAPS meeting. The conference will be held September 12-15, 2012 in Porto, Portugal.

Abstracts are welcome on any area of philosophy of sport, including metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, and ethics, and from any theoretical approach, including analytic philosophy and critical theory. While IAPS recognizes, values, and encourages interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies, acceptance is contingent on the philosophical content of the project. Emerging scholars are encouraged to submit works in progress.

A Program Committee of three IAPS peers will review abstracts. Contributors will be notified about the status of their abstracts by May 14, 2012

Proposals for round table and panel discussions, including a tentative list of participants, are also welcome and should follow the same format as paper abstracts.


IAPS is proud to announce the “R. Scott Kretchmar Student Essay Award.” Interested undergraduate and graduate students should submit a full paper by June 15, 2012 (in addition to an abstract, see below).  A separate announcement is posted at the IAPS website <http://iaps.net/conference/> .

Abstracts should be 300-500 words long, in English, and must be received by April 2, 2012. Please, follow the following instructions (incomplete proposals will be returned).  Provide:

  1. Name, E-mail, current position, and employer
  2. Title of Program
  3. Key Words (three to five)
  4. Primary Content Area/s (choose no more than 2)

    1. Ethics                                    d.   Epistemology                        g.   Applied
    2. Metaphysics                          e.   Phenomenology                     h.   History
    3. Aesthetics                             f.   Comparative                            i.   Other (explain)

  1. Indicate special Audio-Visual requirements (computer & projector will be provided)

The preferred mode of submission is by e-mail.

Please send the abstract blind-review ready as an attachment, preferably in Word, to the Conference Chair at: jilunda@linfield.edu <mailto:jilunda@linfield.edu>

Contributors who lack access to e-mail may send a hard copy instead to the following address:

           Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza
           IAPS Conference Chair
          Associate Professor of Philosophy
           Linfield College
           900 SE Baker St., Unit 580
           McMinnville, OR 97128 (USA)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Youth Soccer: Club or School?

In order to improve international competitiveness the United States Soccer Federation has decided to modify the club team system in a way that prevents young athletes from playing for their high school teams.  According to a recent N.Y. Times article, this decision has caused some controversy, not least because it highlights a conflict in youth sports between the priorities of athletic and educational development.  The club teams claim that they are at least as committed to players’ education as the schools are. 

Is there any special educational benefit to playing sports on school teams as opposed to club teams?   One may be the experience of representing one’s school and local community. Although college and professional players rarely hail from the places they play for, high school athletes generally do and, as H.G. Bissinger’s great book Friday Night Lights illustrates, participation in these teams makes youngsters aware of their membership in and responsibility to local communities.  Though Bissinger’s book is about football in Texas, the experience of other high school athletes contains similar lessons—albeit on a less intense scale.

To be sure, many (if not most) young athletes are motivated by dreams of professional and international play.  They are willing to sacrifice the chance to represent their schools, in the hopes of someday representing their country.  But there is an extremely small probability that their professional dreams will be realized.  Youth sports need to offer some additional benefit to the overwhelming majority of young athletes they serve.  This is true even of development clubs sponsored by pro teams and national federations.  The question is whether the more-focused club system in fact has educational benefits equivalent or superior to those of high-school teams—or are they selling out the masses in order to feed the professional leagues?

by Heather Reid