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Sports Tournaments and Social Choice Theory

College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Philosophies 2019, 4(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4020028
Received: 28 April 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophical Issues in Sport Science)
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Abstract

Sports tournaments provide a procedure for producing a champion and ranking the contestants based on game results. As such, tournaments mirror aggregation methods in social choice theory, where diverse individual preferences are put together to form an overall social preference. This connection allows us a novel way of conceptualizing sports tournaments, their results, and significance. I argue that there are genuine intransitive dominance relationships in sports, that social choice theory provides a framework for understanding rankings in such situations and that these considerations provide a new reason to endorse championship pluralism. View Full-Text
Keywords: sports tournaments; team rankings; intransitive dominance; win-loops; social choice theory; Condorcet’s paradox; championship pluralism sports tournaments; team rankings; intransitive dominance; win-loops; social choice theory; Condorcet’s paradox; championship pluralism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Smead, R. Sports Tournaments and Social Choice Theory. Philosophies 2019, 4, 28.

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