Flopping: Is it cheating?
We’ve all seen it. You’re watching a basketball (or hockey, or soccer) game, the offensive player gets a hand placed on his shoulder and, suddenly, his head snaps back, his arms pointed skyward as he falls to the ground. Usually, he manages to turn his head toward the referee whilst still in mid-air, a look of supplication on his face. And, sadly, more often than not, the referee’s hand rises in the air as he whistles for the foul.
What you’ve just witnessed is a dive. Or a flop. Or a fall. No matter what name it goes by, this questionable tactic has been a subject of controversy for as long as it has been utilized by athletes of all skill levels.
But repeated offenders don’t face disciplinary action, and even well-known divers still get calls to go their way, which begs the question: is it cheating?
A matter of integrity
If you believe that sports imitate life, this question is essentially an ethical one. Certainly, it’s been shown that you can get away with diving, and that it can help your team win. Is this just part of the game then? Consider the Italian national soccer team, which considers “fool-ball” to be an integral part of the competition. The ability to fool the referee is as much a basic skill set in soccer as ball control.
For others, the rules of sports are meant to be followed, and diving is not only unsportsmanlike, it’s cheating. My own philosophy is that it’s a matter of integrity. If you want to play soccer, for example, then try to beat the other team by being better ball handlers, shooters, passers, etc. In other words, stick to the parameters of the sport and don’t focus your energy on cheating.
If you have a “win-at-all-costs” mentality, and are willing to take dives for the greater good, I think you’re starting to get away from the sport itself. At that point, teams or players aren’t interested in their sport, they’re only interested in winning for the sake of winning.
What do you think? Is cheating part of sports strategy? Or is it cheating that should be disciplined as such? Vote on our poll below.
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