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Fall 2014 Class Descriptions

As of 6/25/2018 5:56:33 AM

Rules of Play

This course operates from the premise that sports and other games are legal systems that present a rich array of legal problems, interesting in their own right and often also interesting because of their analogy to problems that arise in other contexts. Among the topics to be discussed are:

(1) How should competition be structured? For example, what metrics should be used to determine a winner? How (if at all) should ties be broken? What standards should be used for eligibility (for example, in the case of transgendered and "bionic" athletes)?

(2) How should the bounds of acceptable conduct be determined? For example, when should deception or stalling be punished, and when should they be treated as acceptable parts of the game? How should misconduct be punished?

(3) What are appropriate remedies for official errors?

At least half the students in this class will be law students, but there will be some room for juniors, seniors, and non-law graduate students. Law students and non-law students will be graded separately, as if this were two separate courses.

If you are a non-law student wishing to take the course, please submit, no later than May 16, an email to the instructor, at, with the subject line "Application for Rules of Play Course," attaching to it (a) a resume, and (b) a statement, of no more than two pages, indicating why you are interested in taking this course and why you believe you are particularly well qualified for it. Non-law students who are invited to join the class will work with the Law School Curriculum Coordinator ( to obtain permission to enroll. Because June is the earliest that the Law School will process non-law student enrollment in Law 674, non-law students participating in early registration may want to register for another class and switch during the drop/add period if they get into this course.

3.00 hours