chapter  3
The analysis of football
Four four two
WithSteffen Borge
Pages 68

Football and other sports are rule-based, physical-skill activities in which one cooperates in order to have an unnecessary competition one aims to win. The constitutive rules of the game define the activity as a specific sport. Within the sport logic, one can introduce less efficient ways of reaching the sport-specific goals of the competition and carry or support uncooperative conduct of play, including breaking the rules of the game and violating any ethos that may or may not be in place. Sport participants endure, obey or accept the rulings of referees on what counts as what in the game, while practitioners of the game accept these rulings and aim at winning the sport. Practitioners ensure that the football form is played out and that a game of football counts as a sporting event. We cooperate to get our game going, but within the game, we aim at defeating each other and can be uncooperative with regard to both the game’s rules and its prevailing ethos. Football referees play a key role in maintaining the game’s fictional character and safeguarding game development, with the aim of enhancing the playing and viewing experience.