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Saturday, July 29, 2006
Playing for Peace: The Power of Basketball to Promote Peace

ESPN's Chad Ford--who is also a professor of international cultural studies at BYU-Hawaii, with a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and an M.A. in conflict resolution from George Mason University--has two excellent articles on Playing for Peace, a non-profit organization founded in 2001 that uses the game of basketball to unite and educate children and their communities. The core idea of Playing for Peace is that when kids play basketball, they learn to work together on the court, and that makes them more likely to work together off the court. As a result, children from different and opposing demographic groups learn to view "the other side" with less fear and more objectivity. As they mature, they will hopefully continue to feel that way, thus making peace between the groups more likely. The program has been implemented with success in South Africa and Northern Ireland, and was instituted in Israel and the West Bank in December 2005.

Chad traveled to Israel back in May to see how well Playing for Peace had improved relations between Israeli and Palestinian children. Check out this ESPN article and an excerpt from Chad's Willamette Law Review article for more--they are must reads. The law review article is from the same Willamette Law School symposium on the Future of Sports Law that Chad, Rick Karcher, and I were a part of back in March.

Also, Playing for Peace will be featured tomorrow (Sunday, July 30) on SportsCenter and Outside the Lines. Check out both on ESPN. Particularly considering the current turmoil in the Middle East, any ideas for peace should be given serious consideration.


It definitely is an important tool for peace. The thing is which Islamic Extremists are going to be playing basketball. Sure the Moderates are going to go, but the ones that are sending there children to be terrorists, arent going to start sending their children to play basketball with Jews. I hope it works

Anonymous Anonymous -- 7/29/2006 9:37 PM  

It's a very good idea to teach kids to work peacefully together through something they enjoy doing.

Blogger Locke -- 7/29/2006 10:23 PM  


Thank you for bringing programs of this nature to our attention.

Through these activities perhaps we can start the process of developing trust and respect for others, rather than a desire for control and domination.

Excellent post.

Anonymous Richard Mock -- 7/29/2006 10:41 PM  

Another example of how sports can teach you virtually every life lesson. People who didn't seriously play sports growing up don't quite understand the value children and young adults can get from playing sports. There isn't a better way to reach them because it is something that the kids are actually interested in.

Having been able to coach junior high kids, I see how easy it is for a coach to make an impact on a kids life. I think years from now this could make an impact.

Anonymous Ron Jumper -- 7/30/2006 12:10 PM  

Good post. Ultimately real peace can only come through & from a Higher Authority,yet we all have to play our part in peaceful & concilliatory working & as in this case, playing together. I agree more articles with this positive nature & encouraging results need to be given a High Profile especiallly in Middle East, but in the west or anywhere tensions are frontline.

Blogger SpurgeonHavnerRevisited-ahonline -- 8/01/2006 11:42 PM  

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