Conference themes

Play the Game 2013 was the eighth Play the Game conference, and over the years the conferences have addressed a vast number of issues of critical importance for world sports. The title of the 2013 conference was 'stepping up for democracy in sport' and again, the conference themes reflected some of the major issues in sports today and gave a peek into sport's future.

The main themes for Play the Game 2013 were:

  • Match-fixing: Fair game for gangsters?
  • Sports reforms: Fact or phantom?
  • The anti-doping dilemma: Saving sport, sacrificing athletes?
  • Recreational sport: A lost cause for sports organisations?
  • Sports facilities: Who are we building for?
  • From Russia to Rio: Power games or people’s games?

  • Open forum

Play the Game aspires to continue to be cutting edge in the international sports debate. The scope of issues raised at Play the Game is traditionally very broad, but we do try to focus conference content on some major themes.

Here you will find some keywords for each of the main themes. Please note that the list is neither exclusive nor exhaustive.

Match fixing: Fair game for gangsters? 
On the growing international efforts against match-fixing. 

Keywords: Definition of match fixing. Fixing methods. Gambling markets, restrictions and vulnerabilities. International rules and law enforcement. Specific legal challenges for sports and governments. Prevention measures among players and officials. Integrity campaigns by SportAccord, FIFA/Interpol and other sports groups. The international convention proposed by the Council of Europe. Qatar’s sports security campaigns. EU preparatory actions etc.

Sports reforms: Fact or phantom? 
On efforts to fight corruption and raise governance standards in international sport.

Keywords: FIFA’s reform process. The situation of the FIVB, IHF and other troubled federations. Autonomy vs. external control. Launch of the first survey based on the Sports Governance Observer. Implementation of good governance procedures. The role of EU and other intergovernmental agencies. Influence of elite athletes and other key stakeholders. The role of the media. Gender issues in sports leadership. Case stories of mismanagement and corruption. Democratic opportunities via social media. Agents, trafficking and migration. etc. 

The anti-doping dilemma: Saving sport, sacrificing athletes?
Current developments in the fight against doping.

Keywords: the upcoming revisions of the world anti-doping code. Legal rights of athletes. Impact of stronger sanctions. The Armstrong case. The future of cycling. New methods in doping and anti-doping. Doping in the fitness sector. International doping trade. Gene doping.

Recreational sport: A lost cause for sports organisations?
On the decrease in physical activity and organized sport’s inability to seize new movement cultures.

Keywords: Sports participation patterns. Developments in grass-root sport. Grass-roots sports between voluntary and commercial organization. Volunteering. Government policies on grass-root sport. Sporting incentives: Health or just fun? How to create efficient policies for physical actitivy. Movement mobilisation campaigns. Sedentarism and health issues. Targeted efforts to different age groups. The Designed to Move initiative. Results of the Mineps V conference. Sports monitoring in Europe and globally.

Sports facilities: Who are we building for?
On new perspectives in sports architecture and urban planning.

Keywords: How to make healthy public investments in sports infrastructure. Flexible sports installations. Adapting architecture to new movement forms. Sports facilities with a gender bias. Urban planning that enhances physical activity. World Stadium Index.

From Russia to Rio: Power games or people’s games? 
On mega-events and their legacies.

Keywords: Sochi 2014 and the challenges for Winter Olympics. Rio 2016: mega-events and democratic mobilization in Brazil. The event exodus from Europe. Public investment in mega-events. Mega-events and participation legacy. Impact of events on tourism and global branding. The geopolitical interests in hosting events. Lack of transparency in bidding processes. Qatar’s ambitions in international sport.

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