Fair play (or “fair play”) is a term that characterizes certain sporting behavior that goes beyond mere compliance with rules . It describes an attitude of the athlete, namely the respect or the respect for the sporting opponent as well as the preservation of his physical and mental integrity. The sporty opponent is seen as a partner or at least as an opponent whose dignity must be respected, even in the toughest fight. In this context, Hans Lenk (1984) differentiates between formal (= rule-compliant) fair play and informal (= more extensive) fair play. This concept is controversial.
Formal fair play ( fairness ) therefore requires:
- the recognition of and compliance with the competition rules
While informal fair play also requires:
- dealing with the opponent in a spirit of partnership
- to ensure equal opportunities and conditions
- to "limit" the winning motive (no victory at any price)
- To maintain an attitude in victory and defeat.
Compliance with the same conditions is particularly difficult to achieve, since since at least 1912 the nation states have been making great efforts to obtain an advantage with considerable financial means.
So fair play is also a way of thinking, not just a kind of behavior. It aims at eliminating tricks, violence and fraud. The use of doping substances in particular is a blatant violation of the spirit of fair play.
The former German President Richard von Weizsäcker put it as follows:
“It is not only required that rules are formally observed. Written rules will never replace the human attitude of 'fair play'. The athlete who observes fair play does not act according to the letter, he acts according to the spirit of the rules ”.
Sports in which fair play is anchored in the game philosophy:
In other sports too, fair play is promoted through prizes or benefits.
In Germany, the “Fair Play Initiative in German Sport” (particularly supported by the German Olympic Society) has been trying to popularize the idea of fair play for years (“Fair goes first”). Top athletes advertise this idea and a fair play prize is awarded annually.
For a few years now, the term fair play has been increasingly used in the area of development-policy awareness-raising, for example in fair trade or in the demand for social standards in toy production.
- Katja Senkel (2014): Chances of Effectiveness of the “Anti-Doping Law”. An interdisciplinary analysis of the requirements for anti-doping mechanisms and their implementation. Diss. Saarbrücken. http://d-nb.info/1053983786/34
- Hans Lenk (1964). Values-goals-reality of the modern Olympic Games . Schorndorf: Hofmann
- Arnd Krüger : Buying victories is positively degrading ". The European origins of Government Pursuit of National Prestige through Sports, in: International Journal of the History of Sport 12 (1995), 2, 201-218.
- DJB: judo values. (PDF) German Judo Association, accessed on June 3, 2016 .