Friday, June 9, 2017

Judge surprised by sport definition

A High Court judge who follows football and likes cricket has said he is surprised that an official definition of sport does not regard competition as a "necessary ingredient".
Mr Justice Mostyn - who lists his recreations as "Southampton FC, Wagner and skiing" and is a member of the MCC - has raised an eyebrow in a ruling after being asked to consider whether bridge is a "sport".
He had been referred to the Council of Europe's 1993 European Sports Charter when analysing a dispute between the English Bridge Union and Sport England.
"The European Charter 1993 says ... 'Sport means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels'," explained the judge.
"What is to be noted about that definition is that a competitive element is not a necessary ingredient of a sport (which I find faintly surprising)."
Mr Justice Mostyn was told that the English Bridge Union had launched legal action after Sport England refused to recognise bridge as "a sport".
He heard that Sport England criteria were based on a definition outlined in the European Charter.
The judge ruled that the English Bridge Union had an arguable case - and said the claim that bridge was "a sport" should be analysed at a High Court trial.
Mr Justice Mostyn, whose recreations and MCC membership are listed in Debrett's guide to "People of Today", had made the decision at a hearing in London in April.
But the judge's thoughts on the Council of Europe's definition of sport did not emerge until today - when his full ruling on the case was published.
A Sport England spokesman today said no date had been fixed for the trial.
Mr Justice Mostyn had been asked to decide whether the English Bridge Union's judicial review claim should progress.
He concluded that it should - saying the claim that bridge was a sport was not "completely unarguable".
The union took legal action after its bid for recognition was refused by Sport England in November 2014.
Officials said recognition that bridge was a sport would have "beneficial consequences" for the game.

Sport, Definition of

In everyday speech, we tend to use words like ‘sport’, ‘play’ and ‘game’ rather loosely, sometimes treating them as synonyms. However, for students of sports studies, accuracy of language is very important. Linguistic precision is essential for effective communication and while it may not be problematic when talking about sport in an everyday sense, when we come, for example, to talk about the functions of sport, the differences between sport, play and games can be quite dramatic. For instance, while sports participation and spectatorship may generate very different types of emotion to those generated by non-competitive play activities, participation in physical exercise may be considerably more beneficial to health than sports participation (pain and injury).
In attempting to define and classify sports, most scholars start by ...
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Life Like the Jetsons is Closer Than You Think

yesIn the television show The West Wing, White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry famously said, “My generation never got the future it was promised…Thirty five-years later, cars, air travel is exactly the same. We don’t even have the Concorde anymore. Technology has stopped…Where’s my jetpack, my colonies on the Moon?”
The future Leo is talking about made its way into American culture in the 1960s when “The Jetsons” promised a future full of flying cars and jetpacks. For our generation, the same promise came in the form of Buzz Lightyear. So when will the hovercrafts, jetpacks, and flying cars that George and Buzz promised finally make it into garages across not only the United States, but also the world? According to New Zealand-based Martin Jetpack, the wait might finally be (almost) over.
Over the last few months, Martin Jetpack has made a great deal of progress toward a commercially available jetpack. After receiving permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, the company has conducted both unmanned and manned test flights of its P12 jetpack. According the company’s website, it hopes to have the P12 on the market as early as mid-2014.
So does this mean we’re finally on the verge of flying to work? Unfortunately not quite yet… not the least of the reasons why being that TechCrunch reported earlier this week the Martin Jetpack will cost between $150,000 and $250,000—not exactly comparable to a Honda Civic. But even assuming the price starts to come down in the next few years (and they release a colorful plastic version, the P12c), there’s still a long way to go before we turn our driveways into private airports.
Along with developing flying cars and jetpack technology, companies like Terrafugia (with it’s “Transition”) and Martin Jetpack are working to pave the way for regulation around this growing industry of new flying vehicles.
As New York Times reported last year, only in the last decade has the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created “the light-sport [aircraft] category to encourage the design of small, easy-to-fly aircraft. To meet the light-sport definition, the aircraft must have a single engine…have one or two seats and weigh no more than 1,320 pounds; maximum airspeed is limited to 138 miles per hour.” With the help of a weight exemption, the Transition was classified in this category by the FAA and able to begin delivery. It remains to be seen whether the Martin Jetpack will be able to receive similar clearance in the U.S.
For now, flying cars like the Transition still need to take off from airports, which may be feasible for longer journeys but doesn’t make it possible to fly down to the grocery store. Also, for flying cars (and potentially jetpacks), your driver’s license isn’t going to be enough—you’ll need to become a Sport Pilot, which requires that you meet medical and age eligibility, pass both knowledge and practical tests, and complete flight instruction. That may not be very different than getting your drivers license for the first time in California, but the training is definitely more expensive.
The next few years will definitely bring a wide array of questions about how we live our day-to-day lives with flying cars. How will we ensure safety when there are millions and millions of planes, jetpacks, hovercrafts, and flying cars crisscrossing the world? Will there be designated routes, speed limits, and traffic lights in the sky like in “The Jetsons?” Will there be flying car insurance? Will we drive our own flying cars, or by that time will even our flying cars be Google self-driving vehicles? How do we keep people inside and outside of these flying vehicles safe? I have no doubt that over the next few decades we will have to confront these questions the same way we did for automobiles and airplanes.
I find it hard to believe that in 1962 when “The Jetsons” first aired, its creators could have fathomed the regulated nature of air travel today or the safety concerns of a post-9/11 world. Questions about safety are likely to follow both potential jetpacks and flying cars as companies move closer to making this flying world of tomorrow a reality. Someday we might just find ourselves blasting off to “infinity and beyond,” but until then it looks like there are at least a few more years of riding BART to work, playing Jetpack Joyride on our iPhones.
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