Games within games: gambling and trickery in professional running

Mewett, Peter 2004, Games within games: gambling and trickery in professional running, in TASA 2004 refereed conference : proceedings : revisioning sociology, Australian Sociological Association, St. Lucia, Qld., pp. 1-11.

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Title Games within games: gambling and trickery in professional running
Author(s) Mewett, Peter
Conference name Australian Sociological Association. Conference (2004 : Beechworth, Vic.)
Conference location Latrobe University, Beechworth
Conference dates 8-11 Dec. 2004
Title of proceedings TASA 2004 refereed conference : proceedings : revisioning sociology
Editor(s) Richmond, Katy
Publication date 2004
Conference series Australian Sociological Association Conference
Start page 1
End page 11
Publisher Australian Sociological Association
Place of publication St. Lucia, Qld.
Summary Professional running is an overtly gambling sport in which a clear objective is to maximise winnings from the bookmakers, which is achieved through a careful concealment of a runner’s ability. Professional runners seldom win more than one significant race. Races are deliberately lost until runners acquire a sufficiently lenient handicap to significantly improve their chances of winning a race of their choosing. Successes, kudos and identities in this sport are evaluated from the cleverness of the win, largely measured by the trainer’s effectiveness in executing a gambling coup. The money prizes given to runners may be significantly bettered from gambling winnings and making the most of these is the major emphasis for most successful runners and trainers. Drawing from an ethnographic study of this sport in Australia, the paper argues that the gambling strategies of runners and trainers can be understood as zero-sum games.
ISBN 0959846042
Language eng
Field of Research 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2006 TASA
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Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Social and International Studies
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