November 28, 2015

Episodes in the Life of Bounce: "All ball sports are aleatoric structures organized, to greater or lesser degrees, around bounce. Aleatoric structures—structures of planned chance—produce a reliable kind of uncertainty. We don’t know who will win and who will lose, but we know that at the end of the day, there will be a winner and a loser. A ball introduces a second, more uncertain, kind of uncertainty into the fray. Its bounce dances along the edge of our predictive capacity, always almost but never fully under control. At least in the Anglophone world, this second kind of chance—the chance of the ball—seems to be especially important to our contemporary understanding of play. While other kinds of contests are raced, run, rowed, and swum; wrestled, fenced, fought, and boxed; timed, weighed, measured, and judged; ball games are played. And only an athlete who contends with balls (or pucks, or shuttlecocks, or other third objects) earns the title “player.” We become players in and through bounce."

posted by rumple to general at 03:30 PM - 1 comment

I have been waiting to find the time to read this piece, and I'm glad I came back to it. It is incredibly interesting, and I urge anyone who has not read it yet to do so. Thanks for the informative (albeit hardly controversial) post, rumple. I'm sure it was read and enjoyed by many, even if it failed to gather any comments.

I have also been trying to come up with an exception to the "player=ball" rule, and have come up empty.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:18 AM on December 03

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