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PCA Resource Center

The Ethics of Flopping

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Jack Bowen, a past Double-Goal Coach® award winner, is an author, water polo coach and philosophy teacher at Menlo School in California. To see him in action and to hear what his players say about him, see this video, made when he won the PCA Double-Goal Coach award.

At the 5th annual Institute of Sports Law and Ethics (ISLE) Symposium at Santa Clara University, Bowen discusses the morality of flopping. He believes that flopping is immoral because players who flop are deceiving the referee, taking something they don’t deserve and wrongly punishing someone for something they didn’t do. It’s also expressly against the rules.

Yet, flopping in soccer is often accepted in society. Bowen considers how cultural relativism makes the morality of flopping murkier. As a coach, consider Bowen’s stance on the morality of flopping when you’re teaching young players how to respect officials, opponents and the game.