Blogging, Football, Sports, William Birdthistle

The Internal Law of Soccer

soccer field Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re a sucker for soccer — which is one of the world’s most popular sports, and which may soon take off on these shores, thanks to the arrival of David Beckham — then you should definitely check out the Volokh Conspiracy guest-blogging of our good friend and former co-clerk, Professor William Birdthistle.
Here’s a teaser, from Birdthistle’s first post:

I attempt to discern the cause of the deterioration of World Cup soccer into [such a] deplorable state. My conclusion, which I’ll explore further in coming posts, is that the rewards and punishments that referees have in their arsenal are too crude and too capable of determining the outcome of the game. The power of referees to work a game’s bouleversement with one blow of the whistle — either by sending off a star player or awarding a penalty — places officials at the center of the game.

Players then have a strong incentive to attempt to influence referees, often by bearing false witness to the facts with dives and operatic petitions. This phenomenon appears to be exacerbated at the quadrennial World Cup, where teams play relatively few games for enormous stakes and where caution and calculation often trump free-flowing football….

My proposals for addressing the situation, which I will also discuss further in future posts, focus primarily on ways of diluting and refining referees’ power.

For more thoughts, including details of his reform proposals, check out the links collected below.
Football Most Foul [Volokh Conspiracy]
The Universal Game [Volokh Conspiracy]
William Birdthistle, Guest Blogging [Volokh Conspiracy]

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9 Responses to “The Internal Law of Soccer”

  1. anon says:

    Slow news morning, huh Lat?

  2. GeeneParmesan says:

    GeeneParmesan’s the name. I’m back in the hizouse.

  3. anon says:

    charney??????? charney????? what’s the latest????

  4. Anon says:

    Lat, who cares? Orrick memo please…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Seriously? If I wanted to read about game theory in soccer I would have renewed my subscription to Overeducated Sportsman Weekly…

  6. Anonymous says:

    “GeeneParmesan’s the name. I’m back in the hizouse.”
    That was awesome.

  7. mike. says:

    The ball is round. The game lasts 90 minutes. Everything else is pure theory.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of space. Soccer will NEVERcatch on here. If Pele couldn’t do it the 70’s, Beckham definitely won’t do it now. Soccer is boring! The only reason that it is so popular around the rest of the globe is because it is such a cheap sport to play. All you need is a ball! No pads or helmets, no bats or gloves.

  9. Anon says:

    What a fucking loser. Seriously, this guy needs to get a life.

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