In this Chronicle we address competition and sports. All sports have layers of rules. There are the “rules of the game” itself (the size of the field, how to score points, how many players per team). Then there are the “governing rules” for the organization of competitive sports, such as league structures, financial rules, and rules on player transfers. And then there is the law. To the extent that sports constitute an economic activity, they, and their rules, are subject to the competition rules.
But sports are, to some degree, different from other economic activities. While professional (and indeed some amateur) sports generate billions of dollars in revenues, this is dependent on maintaining audience interest, and competitive conditions between teams. Sports also serve a social function, are a means of cultural expression, and embody societal values such as amateurism and athleticism that cannot be quantified in pure econometric terms. Indeed, as the articles in this edition well illustrate, these values find different forms of expression in different countries, and this must be factored into the analysis.
As such, the application of competition rules to sports raises myriad interesting questions. To what degree should the competition rules apply to amateur sports? Do financial rules such as salary caps, or aid restrictions for amateur or student athletes, restrict competition between sports teams as economic agents? Are league rules limi!-->…