Call for papers

For its 13th conference, Play the Game invites you to engage in open, fact-based and constructive debates on themes that are essential to the future of sport. 

In the winter of 2024, Play the Game will for the 13th time open the doors for four days of intense debate on the most important issues in international sport. Play the Game 2024 will take place in the city of Trondheim in Norway on 4-7 February 2024 and will continue Play the Game's pursuit of democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in sport.

Since 1997, the Play the Game conferences have helped raise international awareness of key sports topics, thanks to the conference's many insightful, creative and brave presenters and panellists.

In this call for papers, Play the Game 2024 invites all academics, journalists, athlete representatives, sports officials, and other stakeholders to contribute knowledge, experience and debate at the upcoming conference.

In Play the Game’s context, abstracts/storylines are not exclusively meant to reflect scientific work. Also journalistic content and personal experiences that are relevant for the international sports debate is welcomed. It is however possible to have a double-blind academic review if you wish so (see below).

Although no topics are excluded in advance, Play the Game and its programme committee have selected a number of headlines, that are expected to be particularly relevant:

  • Autocracy vs. democracy: Which side is sport playing for?
  • Clearing sport: Countering crime, protecting integrity
  • Can sport be sustainable? The impact on climate and the environment
  • Sports journalism: A watchdog for society or a pet for showbiz?
  • Abuse and agony: How can sports organisations effectively safeguard athletes?
  • Pursuing diversity: How to make up for power imbalances in sport?
  • In the wake of scandal: What is the future of anti-doping?

In the overview of the conference themes, you can find more detailed information about what is behind each headline.

Once again, we have added an open forum for abstracts that fall outside the conference's main themes. You can find more details below on how to submit for the open forum.

Submit your abstract/storyline

If you would like to be part of Play the Game 2024, we are welcoming abstracts via our application system. You should provide the following information:

  • Title of abstract
  • Abstract keywords (max. 15)
  • Short summary of abstract (max. 75 words)
  • Abstract/storyline: relevance, results, discussion and implications/conclusions (max. 500 words)
  • References (up to 10) (list relevant persons, books, newspaper articles, websites etc.)

Upon approval of abstract/storyline, the author(s) will be offered either a 10 minutes’ speaking slot or relevant spots in alternative session formats (e.g. workshops, round tables). Please note that we are currently developing new formats for the sessions in order to ensure a more vivid and interactive conference experience. You will be informed about the format of your session in due time before the conference.

As the original deadline for submitting abstracts/storylines is now behind us, we can not guarantee a double blind review at this stage. The abstracts will be reviewed in the order they arrive as soon as time allows.

Submit your abstract here

Abstracts/storylines will be peer reviewed by leading academics, journalists, and sports practitioners from the 2024 conference programme committee. As the original deadline for submitting abstracts/storylines is now behind us, we can not guarantee a double blind review at this stage. The abstracts will be reviewed in the order they arrive as soon as time allows.

If you are unsure whether your area of expertise matches the conference programme, do not hesitate to contact us (details below).

Please observe that early registration is strongly recommended due to limited space in the conference programme. Registration price for abstract submitters will be calculated as of the day of the abstract submission. If your abstract was submitted before the early bird registration deadline, you will be entitled to the discount. Read more about registration and prices here.

Manage your own session and launch your projects or journalistic work

Individuals, research groups, organisations, or companies that wish to organise their own sessions, may do so upon further agreement. Organising your own session will typically imply a responsibility of inviting a small group of presenters/panellists for the purpose.

Also, if you are preparing a major research project, a campaign, or similar initiatives with relevance for the international sports debate, Play the Game 2024 invites you to use our conference to launch your project internationally.

Play the Game expects the participation of at least 100 journalists representing media across the globe which makes the conference an ideal platform for reaching a worldwide audience and building lasting working relations.

Please contact Play the Game’s head of conference, Stanis Elsborg, to discuss how coordinated action can be taken (details below).

Open forum

An open forum is also available to speakers:

  • who address issues not covered by the above-mentioned themes
  • whose abstracts are not accepted in the peer review process
  • who offer contributions of a more informal character
  • who submit last-minute registrations

In the open forum, speakers are typically given a seven-minute timeslot to present their main points. Like with other sessions, we may set up alternative formats for the exchange.

Submit your idea/abstract here, where you can select ‘open forum’ under the category ‘Theme’.

Questions and contact

Abstract submission or programme issues: Head of conference Stanis Elsborg,, or +45 61 77 49 15

Logistics: Conference manager Maria Suurballe, or +45 20 20 68 38.

We thank you in advance for any help in distributing this call for papers to friends, colleagues and others who share the goals of Play the Game: To promote democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in world sport.

Play the Game 2024
Play the Game 2024

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