This paper focuses on the dispute resolution mechanisms in sport, with particular attention paid to non-professional sport and its governance. Providing a brief summary of the literature on the topic, we argue that mainly two aspects of dispute resolution mechanisms have been highlighted in academic discussion: their ethical and moral character and their legal nature. Yet, except for these two relevant approaches, a more sociological approach of understanding the nature of these processes in the context of informal networks, unwritten rules and struggles over power is largely missing. To grasp this missing piece, we identify the mechanisms used by sport associations and their members to anticipate the disputes and we distinguish between three different types of dispute resolution mechanisms: proto-disputes, formal disputes, and meta-disputes. The paper draws on rich empirical evidence gathered during a multi-sited ethnographic study focused on both sport practice and governance, carried out in the Czech Republic and Denmark.
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