Fairness (A) is the fairness of meeting expectations. Regardless of whether a particular practice is equitable (appealing to fairness (B)), or meritocratic (fairness (C)), tourneys are often judged to be unfair because they’re not run the way that people expect them to be run.
Most of the discussion of fairness on tourneygeek concerns fairness (B) or fairness (C). There’s a good reason for that – tourneygeek seeks, where it can, to provide clear answers to questions or whether something is more or less fair, and so tends to concentrate on the two sorts of fairness that are, at least to some extent, quantifiable. Fairness (A), in contrast, is unquantifiable because people’s expectations tend to be qualitative rather than quantitative. Thus disputes about fairness (A) can rarely be definitively resolved.
But this does not mean that fairness (A) is unimportant, or that there’s nothing sensible to say about why some fairness (A) claims are stronger than others.
The strength or weakness of a fairness (A) argument depends on two factors: the source of the expectation, and the degree to which that expectation is relied upon. Considering the source goes to whether the expectation is reasonable, and considering the degree of reliance goes to whether the expectation is consequential.
The next two posts will work through an example to show how considerations of source and reliance might help us assess the strength of a fairness claim in a particular context.