As a major social activity, sport is unique in fostering artificial competition and conflict that is strictly controlled by rules, procedures, and sanctions (rules of the game). Unlike ritual warfare, for example, sports have institutionalized control systems that enlist the cooperation, association, and collaboration of athletes with referees who are charged with the responsibility of applying the rules of the game consistently.

A secondary rule system (rules of law) governs broader questions involving sport and its participants. It may include, for example, the eligibility and participation of athletes, liability for accidental and intentional injury to them on the playing field, spectator violence, player contracting, collective bargaining rights of professional athletes, antitrust implications of sports organization, testing and sanctioning of athletes for using performance-enhancing agents (doping), and ...

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