Sports and Games

Section 1, Fall 22

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 41/60
Credits: 2
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • TR
  • 1300-1400
  • SL258
08/30/2022 12/06/2022
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

This course explores normative and adjudicative systems associated with sports and games. Apart from their intrinsic interest, these topics cast light on legal rules and practices. Confirming as much, sports, games, and the law are often compared, such as when Chief Justice John G. Roberts famously—or infamously—likened Supreme Court justices to umpires. Consider just a few additional questions that have attracted judicial and scholarly attention. (1) Should referees issue “makeup calls” or “swallow the whistle” in crunch time? (2) Is competitive hotdog eating a sport, a game, or neither? (3) Was Justice Antonin Scalia correct to assert, in a judicial opinion, that “it is the very nature of a game to have no object except amusement”? (4) Do the rules of sports evolve in a manner akin to the common law? (5) Has the use of Video Assistant Referees changed the rules of soccer? Readings will be drawn primarily from Berman and Friedman, The Jurisprudence of Sport: Sports and Games as Legal Systems (2021).

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: An essay of approximately 3,000 to 5,000 words submitted through EXPO (deadline to be announced).

Other Work
Students will give an in-class presentation critically discussing a recent controversy involving sports or games. Class participation is also required.

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: No
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: See course description.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Wednesday, November 30, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 09, 11:59 PM