Monday, 18 April 2005

Baseball v Rugby v AFL

Are there a dialectics of baseball? Baseball obsessive and dialectician Chris Sciabarra muses today on the “dialectical significance” of baseball, and finds himself so depressed at Yankees performances that for once in his life he is almost lost for ideas.

Sport can do that to you.

Which offers me the dialetical opportunity to explain why my Links section lists Australian Football as the world's only libertarian sport. I did so for a 2001 audience here; Mitch has moved on, and much has changed, but the point remains the same.


  1. Kia ora,
    Not to put to fine a point on it, but you're wrong.

    Gaelic Football is the most libertarian sport in the world. Not only are there even less rules than but sometimes they don't even bother keeping score.

  2. Ha! I'd put it third, behind hurling. :-)

    But few rules?! You can't tackle, you can only run three steps ... and the scoring is just too bloody complicated to keep track.

    Most of my recruiting for Aussie Rules in London was done by inviting the 'dirty' Gaelic players to come an play a game in which there was more freedom. It proved a successful ploy. :-)

  3. Sad, really about your feelings on rugby league. Rugby league it has to be said, produces far less penalties than rugby, and produces far more actual playing time. And on rugby, it is surely the only game ever invented in which a major objective is to not be playing, ie to actually kick the ball dead. Try telling that to people who have never seen the game. Most libertarian game for mine? ... ... ... Darts. Darts players don't know the meaning of the word "umpire".

  4. Well if the absence of an umpire is your standard then check out "Ultimate Frisbie" (yeah crap name I know).

    There is no ref and the players are expected to govern themselves (calling their own fouls and such).

    The game plays like Aussie Rules but with a frisbie and without the violence (it is a non contact sport).

  5. No, no, no. You see, we libertarians don't say NO umpires, just that umpires should be as invisible as the Swiss President (who's the Swiss President? I don't know - that's the point). We're not anarchists, you see.

    We like our umpires to protect against the initiation of force (as they do in AFL) while otherwise keeping the game moving (as they do in AFL) meaning players can focus on using their minds to think about strategy and tactics instead of rules and whistles. That's why AFL is superior, you see.

    Baseball and darts however do offer the distinct advantage that you can hold a beer while you're playing ... :-)


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