Playing-time is arguably the most essential reward that a youth football player can receive in order to enjoy the moral, social and psychological benefits of sport participation, develop technical and tactical game skill, as well as have the opportunity to receive socioeconomic benefits (such as scholarships) later in life. There are myriad complex mitigating factors that need to be considered in order to determine how this reward ought to be divided among team members. We consider several theories of procedural and distributive justice and investigate the distribution of playing-time as reflective of age group and gender. At younger age groups, playing-time should be based on equality of opportunity so that the less naturally-talented individuals are still receiving ample time to develop and mature their skills. At older age groups, playing-time may be more justifiably based on ability level, under the assumption that all participants have already received ample opportunities for development. The latter condition only holds at competitive levels, where the measure of success is more likely to be based on results, as opposed to participation. Although playing-time should not necessarily be considered in the same way that wealth is, we use the Theil inequality index to investigate playing-time distributions from youth football tournament games. Recommendations are made for future developments of measuring playing-time inequality and expanding this underexplored area of study.
|Keywords:||Playing Time, Equality, Measurement, Procedural Justice, Distributive Justice|
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, USA
Student, Department of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, USA
Undergraduate student, Natural Sciences, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, USA