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Using Hypergames to Model Difficult Social Issues: An Approach to the Case of Soccer Hooliganism Author(s): P. G. Bennett, M. R. Dando, R. G.

Sharp Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of the Operational Research Society, Vol. 31, No. 7 (Jul., 1980), pp. 621635 Published by: Palgrave Macmillan Journals on behalf of the Operational Research Society Stable URL: . Accessed: 03/04/2012 15:44
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J. Opl Soc. 31,pp.621to 635 Res. Vol. Press Printed Great in Britain Pergamon Ltd1980. Research Ltd ? Operational Society


Using Social

Hypergames Issues: of An Soccer

to Approach

Model to

Difficult the Case

Hooliganism P. G. BENNETT

Operational Research Dept, University of Sussex M. R. DANDO School of Peace Studies, University of Bradford and R. G. SHARP Operational Research Group, British Airports Authority In this paper, Hypergame Analysis is used to produce predictive models of the social conflict of "soccer hooliganism". The purpose of this form of analysis is to help model interactions in which the parties involved may have quite differentperceptions of the "game" being played. Soccer hooliganism is considered in terms of an interaction between two main parties?the "hooligan fans" and the "authorities". Recent empirical studies are used to help build up representations of some possible "games" that may be seen by each side. From the resulting hypergames, predictions are derived as to the likely outcome under various circumstances. Also considered are possible effects of taking the interaction through several "rounds". Finally, some practical conclusions are drawn, both about the problem of how best to respond to soccer hooliganism, and about the methodological question of how to approach the analysis of such social conflicts in a systematic way.

INTRODUCTION The problem toward to contribute It is often argued that the O.R. scientist should have something but also of those where complex, the analysis not only of well-defmed technical problems, in the U.K. is one well-known Soccer hooliganism "messy" social issues predominate.1'2 of this type of problem: it would be disappointing if the sort of systematic example O.R. claims to be able to provide could not throw at least some light on it. A analysis model is given here allowing some conclusions to be derived from clearly-specified hy? This involves attempting the recently developed potheses, using hypergame approach.3'4 to be to represent the "perceptual games" that the different parties may see themselves and then bringing these together. Predictions then be made by examining playing, may the likely results of actions taken by each party from its own standpoint and then the others in the context of their own?perhaps interpreted by radically different?games. This last factor gives this case a particular sort of complexity. Previous hypergame studies have dealt with decisions taken in the context of warfare5 or business competition.6'7 With some exceptions, the parties in such cases tend to inhabit perceptual worlds that are roughly similar, and so agree to some extent as to what the conflict is about. The O.R. civil administrator, or respectable policeman, magistrate reporter (or law-abiding and the natural tempta? scientist) has very little in common with the football hooligan, tion is simply to dismiss such behaviour as "mindless violence" which defies rational Is this so, or are these fans playing a defmable game of their own with its explanation. own rationale, but whose moves are particularly difficult to interpret? It can be argued8'9 that sociologists and Ingham11 such as Marsh and his associates10 have gone some way toward unravelling the "internal logic" of life on the terraces. They do so by setting out to discover people's own explanations for what is going on. Hyper? into a structural repreallows these essential elements to be incorporated game Analysis 621

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of the interaction. The strategic structure of the problem is analysed here as if sees what is happening in terms of a simple game, which can be written down form. It is not claimed that those involved necessarily reason in exactly this model is used to reflect accounts of their general viewpoints, on the simple the parties may behave as if they thought in this way. and analysis up a hypergame model of the simple type used here are as

of model construction of setting

The principles follows:

who may be (a) The players are specified, i.e. the interested parties in the interaction, individuals or groups or organisations. of the situation is Each player's perception then specified in game form: i.e. for each player p ... for each of the players?-including (b) The strategies (or options) that p perceives himself?are listed, (c) The preferences of each player as perceived by p, over the outcomes generated by the above strategies, are estimated, a mapping from each player's (d) Finally, the games so defined are linked, by introducing strategy set as defined in his own game onto the set for him in each of the other players' to the model) the actions entailed by these games. This specifies how (according strategies would be interpreted by the other players. Not all the player's strategies need be so mapped, nor need the mappings be one-to-one. This process generates a "simple" hypergame. One may go on to consider "higherorder" perceptions, i.e. each player's perception of each player's perception of the strate? of this in turn, and so on. That is, one can gies and preferences, each player's perception define higher-order hypergames in which perceptual hypergames (rather than just games) are defined for each player. The general properties of these can be explored.12'4 But here, all higher-order to be "degenerate", are assumed for simplicity i.e. each perceptions sees only a game, believes that all the others see this same game, etc. player The hypergame system is then analysed using some general solution (stability) concept. Various criteria have been proposed, which can be applied both to games and to hyper? for "acceptable games. Here, the recently-developed concept of the "axis" (mnemonic is used.12 This is the most general concept: outcomes stable according to the solution") be other criteria, e.g. those of a- and jS-stability used in previous hypergame papers?will included in the axis in every case. The definition of the axis centres around the notion of the deterrability of improvements, both for single players and for coalitions. This idea is rather complex in its general form, but can be explained for the simple two-player here as follows. systems encountered First consider individual moves. A move to a more highly-preferred outcome (an im? provement) for a player is deterrable if the other player has a response to it that leads to an outcome less preferred by the first player than the original one. Note the weakness of this criterion: any response may act as a deterrent, regardless of whether the latter player would actually prefer to carry it out. For an outcome to be in the axis of the hypergame, no player must perceive himself to have an undeterrable improvement from it. the two players may be able to act as a coalition. To do so, in the sense Additionally, used here, they must merely be able to co-ordinate their actions. No "pooling of aims" is implied. Outcome u is defined to be an undeterrable improvement from outcome s for the coalition if (i) Both players prefer u to s (i.e. u dominates s). (ii) Neither player perceives the other to have a unilateral outcome that he (the first player) does not prefer to s.



u to an

the axis consists of those outcomes from which there is If the players can co-ordinate, neither an individual nor a coalition ("joint") undeterrable improvement. A deterrent against 622

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M. R. Dando and R. G. Sharp?Using


improvement is a perceived "sanction' by the other player, and that against a joint improvement is a possible defection from it by one player that would leave the other worse off than before. Defining the "players" in the present case of this analysis, it is usually sufficient to consider two "players":

For the purposes

(a) The set of "Hooligan" fans: i.e. that section of the crowd that typically behaves in a noisy, rowdy fashion, as distinct from the bulk of "respectable" supporters. those who have to deal with the problems (b) The "Authorities": arising from hooli? ganism, i.e. law-makers, magistrates, police, club officials etc. These and are used to keep the basic model parties are obviously very roughly-drawn, to While there is little space to do so here, the model may be elaborated fairly simple. include sub-groups within these, and other interested parties. Some possible perceptual games for each of the main parties will now be considered.




The "ordinary hooligan" Marsh's careful research suggests that much football "hooliganism" can be seen as a sort of "challenge game" which, while in fact safe, nevertheless for gives an opportunity Thus, despite the threats, mock charges and displays of bravado and "masculinity". are surprisingly few and aggressive chanting, the actual number of physical encounters harmless?a contention the available statistical evidence.8'9'13'14 relatively supported by This general pattern, seen at most league matches, will be called here "Playing Hooligan". this erupts into something more serious (though still bounded by some Occasionally, serious injuries which may be termed "Real Hooliganism". rules), important Though remain rare, this is qualitatively different from the former pattern. A third option for the fans is to conform to the Orderly Behaviour favoured by the bulk of "non-hooligan" supporters. to have? From their point of view, What options do the fans perceive the authorities which we term "Tolerant" and there would seem to be two main types of response, with minor "Tough". The former is represented by a fairly discreet police presence, misdemeanors manner. "Tough" policies are symusually treated in a good-humoured bolised by a large and obvious police presence, perhaps with dogs or horses, together with the frequent use of tactics such as mass searches. An initial model of the fans' view is thus a 3 x 2 game with the following strategies: Fans Orderly behaviour (Beh.) Authorities Tough response (Tou.) Tolerant response (Tol.)

Play hooligan (P.H.) Real hooliganism (R.H.)

these are treated as simultaSince either choice may be revised during the encounter, neous, rather than sequential. Preferences for the fans must now be specified. It may be supposed that they prefer the authorities to act tolerantly. Regarding their own actions, it seems that most "hooligans" rather than get normally prefer to play at hooliganism to be "picked on", involved in anything genuinely dangerous. But if they feel themselves it becomes a point of honour to cause as much trouble as possible. The reference to "honour" is quite deliberate. As one might expect in a culture setting such such store on of virility, the fans greatly value courage ("bottle") and loyalty to the demonstrations of all is to avoid "loss of face". To let oneself group. But the most important motivation be "pushed around" without fighting back would be utterly shameful. This suggests one of 623

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(most preferred)

(least preferred)

Or (b). As above, but with the ordering of outcomes <R.H., Tou.> and <Beh., Tol.> reversed. In this case, the fans are rather more aggressive: they would prefer to have a Either (even "play") completely. fight with the authorities rather than forgo hooliganism order may be the more accurate reflection of real life: indeed, this may well vary from to be match to match. It is shown below that this has little effect on the conclusions drawn from the model. What preferences might the fans believe the authorities to have? Most seem to assume That is, they are seen to prefer tolerance that the latter wish to respond "appropriately". the situation does not get out of hand with an outbreak of real to toughness provided Their overriding concern however, is perceived (probably quite rightly) to hooliganism. be for orderly crowd behaviour. That is, their preferences may well be seen as follows:

as fairly "benign"? to this model, the fans see the authorities that according this perceived prepared to be tolerant provided the fans do not go too far. Combining ordering with each of the two possible sets for the fans themselves generates the percep? tual games of Figures 1(a) and 1(b). These have the following properties: from which neither player would have an indivi? Game 1(a). There are two outcomes dual undeterrable <R.H., Tou.> and <P.H., Tol.>. (For example, suppose improvement; the authorities were to move away from <R.H., Tou.>. While they might achieve a more outcome?i.e. <Beh., Tol.> or <P.H., Tol.>, they could find themselves in highly-preferred the less-preferred <R.H., Tol.>, which represents a deterrent against their move.) <P.H., dominates <R.H., Tou.>, which suggests that if this is how the game is seen, the Tol.> former is an obvious result to "aim for". This is strongly reinforced if the two sides can is not too that they may be able to co-ordinate act as a coalition. The suggestion since they are in a position to monitor each other's behaviour. If so, <P.H., far-fetched, in the axis: it represents a joint undeterrable Tol.> is the only outcome improvement from <R.H, Tou.>. Game 1(b). In this case, there is another outcome in the axis, whether or not the players from can co-ordinate, viz. <Beh., Tol.>. The fans now have no undeterrable improvement with "Tou.". Note this, since they will be worse off should the authorities respond however that if the fans move to "P.H.", the authorities obtain a less preferred outcome by using this sanction. So if the fans see the game in this way, this deterrent will appear "credible" only if the fans believe that the authorities are prepared to act against their Note 624

P. G. Bennett, Case (a)

M. R. Dando and R. G. Sharp?Using Case(b)


Authorities Tou. Beh Fans P.H. R.H. I, 5 2 ,3 \4, 2J Tol. 3,6 (?33 5,1 Fans Beh. P.H.

Authorities Tou. 1.5 2 , 3 Tol. 14,6. (?74 5,1

R.H. C3.2)

Fig. 1. Possible perceptual gamesfor "Hooligan Fans". Notation: Figures in cells denote perceived ordinal preferences, with more highly-preferred outcomes assigned higher numbers. Those for the fans ('row player') are shown first. Outcomes in the axis when individual moves only are considered are ringed thus: ^""^ ? Outcomes in the axis when coalition ('joint') moves are also ' considered are ringed thus: (^~^) ?

own immediate interests?and to run the risk of the fans moving in turn to "R.H.". So it seems much more likely that even in this game, the fans would expect the authorities to with" <P.H., Tol.>, in which case this again becomes the anticipated outcome. In "put up what follows, case (a) is used in building up the hypergames. But similar conclusions it is additionally follow throughout assumed that the fans do using game (b)?provided not see the authorities' possible "Tough" sanction against "P.H." to be credible. The nutter: an awkward special case

research has uncovered several distinct sub-groups within the world of the Sociological terraces.15 One is made up of characters commonly called "nutters" (or "loonies"). These are a small minority of the hooligans, who do not appear to appreciate the implicit rules of the normal "hooligan challenge game". They repeatedly "go over the top", in ways that positively invite retribution. (The nutter is distinct both from the harmless exhibitionist "clown" and from the "hard case", who is violent, but in a more self-controlled There way.) While tolerated by the others, he is generally regarded as rather ridiculous. are many ways in which one might set about modelling the world of the nutter. One of only "Playing Hooligan". point that seems plain is that he does not see the advantages nutters seem generally not to respond to any attempt at deterrence, but Furthermore, will persist in their behaviour even when the consequences of doing so will clearly be very painful. Our main concern here is with the possible effects of this on the interaction as a whole between the authorities and "hooligan" fans. As will be seen, these can be out of all proportion to the relative numbers involved. THE AUTHORITIES' PERSPECTIVE

The nature of the decisions In responding to hooliganism, the authorities must make decisions of a different kind to those made by the fans, or any other party. They have the responsibility to maintain for them is between distinction order, and so the paramount public "acceptable" while perhaps disapproved behaviour?which, of, can be tolerated?and "unacceptable" the when deciding whether or not to intervene, actions, which cannot. Furthermore, exact position of this dividing line is crucial. Given responsibility for controlling a crowd, the authorities have a fairly complex series of decisions to make. Some of these are generally made well in advance of the event. Firstly, the resources to be made available must be determined. Having set the level of force available, the next (and logically independent) set of decisions concerns its deployment. In terms of general policy, there is here the choice between "High Profile" and "Low Profile" roles. In the former case, the forces are made to appear as powerful as of readiness to act vigorously at the slightest sign of possible, and to give the impression In the latter, this overt threat is deliberately trouble. played down. Either of these 625


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represents a coherent policy for which arguments can be made. Finally, the decision must be made whether or not to intervene?i.e. to attempt physically to force a change in crowd behaviour. This decision is different, not only because of its intrinsic importance, but because it is made when the event is actually under way. A significant consequence is that the decision can be based on the observed behaviour of the crowd. Those made beforehand, by contrast, can only be founded on indirect evidence, e.g. on reports of previous encounters. the dynamic approach to the analysis of games,16 the intervention "endFollowing game" that may be seen by the authorities is considered first. This is then linked with the fans' view, and the resulting hypergame analysed. Finally, the possible effects of the authorities' preparatory moves are examined.

The "intervention"


At this stage, the authorities have a choice between intervention ("Int") and nonintervention while perceiving the fans to have the options of "acceptable ("Non-int"), behaviour" ("Acc") and "unacceptable" ("Unacc"). As with the fans' game, these choices are treated as effectively simultaneous. The authorities' preferences. If the authorities' own priority is to maintain public order, they will always prefer those outcomes in which the crowd's behaviour remains "accept? able". Suppose that if this happens, they prefer not to intervene. But if the crowd behaves indeed a duty?to do so. These assumptions "unacceptably", they feel a preference?and suffice to establish the following preference order:

Perceived crowd preferences. The authorities perceive the crowd to might reasonably have any of several possible preference patterns. These may be classified with respect to the two variables of "acceptability" to provide a taxonomy of possible and "intervention" crowd types?as seen from the authorities' viewpoint, using their suggested conceptual scheme. This has three main divisions. are perceived to be entirely "passive", i.e. to prefer to keep their the bounds of "acceptability" and to have no intervention by the them? aims coincide almost exactly with those of the authorities two preference orders for the crowd consistent with these two on their relative importance). In each case, the result is a aspirations (depending "no-conflict" one with an outcome ranked '4, 4'. That is, the <Acc, game?i.e. result is the most highly preferred by both sides. Not surprisingly, this is Non-int.) in the axis in each case: it is the sole axial outcome if the two sides can co-ordinate. So if the authorities see the situation in this way, they will reasonably conclude that they can safely let the crowd continue its activities with minimal interference. for troublesome" crowd may be defined as one with a preference (ii) A "potentially not to inter? still preferring the authorities behaviour per se?though unacceptable vene. Once again, two sub-cases arise: this time, the difference between them is of some importance. If the desire to behave unacceptably is stronger than the wish to (i) Many gatherings behaviour within authorities. These selves. There are 626

P. G. Bennett, avoid intervention,

M. R. Dando and R. G. Sharp?Using will have the following

Hypergames preference order:

then the crowd

For a crowd with the opposite set of priorities, the ordering of the two intermediate outcomes is reversed. such perceived crowd preferences with those Combining assumed for the authorities generates the games of Figures 2(a) and (b) respectively. that might be considered is that a crowd may deliberately wish (iii) The final possibility to provoke the authorities into intervening, for example, to make political capital from their ensuing "brutality". Clearly, one can again construct preference orders based on such possible aims, and several variants similarly arise. Which of these general types is likely to tally most closely with the authorities' view in this case? The bulk of all football crowds are "passive", and seen as such. The "hooligan area of the element", which during the match usually confines itself to some well-known a recognised special case. (Similar divisions operate in other contexts, ground, constitutes A reasonable is that these "hooligan e.g. in many political demonstrations.) assumption fans" are seen as "potentially The "provocative" troublesome". model probably has little relevance here. This is not to deny that the hooligans the are seen to be provoking authorities: the point is that they are generally assumed to be trying to get away with in order to make a political point is?it may doing so. Deliberately inviting retribution dissident rather than the common well be thought?the of the sophisticated prerogative hooligan. (However, such a model might well fit the behaviour of the "nutter", albeit for different reasons.) Consider therefore the games of Figure 2. Analysis of the games with "potentially troublesome" crowds

In the game of Figure 2(a), whatever the authorities do, the fans can be expected to for them from both since there are undeterrable behave "unacceptably", improvements to this is clearly to The authorities' best response <Acc, Int.) and <Acc, Non-int.). intervene, and the resulting outcome <Unacc, Int.) is the only one in the axis. There are two The game of Figure 2(b) is a form of "one-sided Prisoners' Dilemma". the axial outcomes?<Unacc, Int.) and <Acc, Non-int.). Although the latter dominates because the fans are former, the move to it is not a joint undeterrable improvement, and so could perceived to have a unilateral improvement Non-int.), away to <Unacc, not be relied upon to honour their part of such a deal. In fact, the admission of a coalition between the two sides has no effect on the axis of either of these two games. is the obvious result to "aim for" in this game. From the Nevertheless, <Acc, Non-int.) authorities' point of view, this should be attainable provided the fans realise that they Case (a) Authorities Int. Acc. Crowd Unacc. Crowd Unacc. Non?Int. Acc. Case (b) Authorities Int. Non-int.

Fig. 2. Authorities'' perceived "Intervention"game (with "Potentially Troublesome"crowd type). 627


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and get away with it. For their actual "intervention" will not be able to misbehave the authorities can adopt a "wait and see" policy, observing the crowd's behav? decision, iour and being ready to act if necessary. So in the first game, a player in the authorities' position is liable to anticipate (Unacc, instead. <Acc, Non-int.> Int.>, while in the second there appears a chance of obtaining The game that is in fact perceived may well vary from case to case. A very real possibility is that the authorities may perceive that the game will depend on how they prepare, i.e. for interven? that by showing the "hooligan fans" from the start that they well-prepared Game" tion, they can make <Unacc, Int.> less attractive to them. Then the "Intervention of Figure 2(b) rather than Figure 2(a). The conse? will be played under the conditions are explored in the section below dealing with the authori? quences of such perceptions moves. ties' preparatory


(A): THE



Analysis of the authorities' likely model of the situation indicated that provided both sides act "reasonably" relative to their perceived aims, one would expect no serious clashes between them. Examination of the fans' possible view showed much the same. But what happens when these two perspectives are brought together? In the suggested for the fans, the options for each side were considered as they might be classified by game the "hooligan fans" themselves: with the authorities' similarly game. To set up the the linkages between the games must be specified, i.e. mappings between the hypergame, two strategy spaces to describe how each side's options are likely to be interpreted by the other. The authorities' options were described in their own suggested game as "Intervention" and "Non-intervention", and in that for the fans as "Tough" and "Tolerant". Suppose first that the fans would interpret intervention as "Tough", and non-intervention as "Tolerant". is an over-simplification: it is argued below that (This latter assumption non-intervention is more probably a necessary condition for being seen as "tolerant", but not a sufficient one.) For the interpretation of the "hooligan fans'" options by the authorities, the mapping is not one-to-one. The fans distinguish the authorities between three modes of behaviour, will find entails actions that the authorities only two. Clearly, "Real Hooliganism" while "Orderly Behaviour" will be seen-as "Acceptable". To this extent, "Unacceptable", of the situation?as can be seen by suppressthe two sides have very similar perceptions the "Play Hooligan" strategy in the fans' game. The crucial variable here, however, is ing the authorities' interpretation of the fans' behaviour when the "Play Hooligan" option is and ill-mannered? This can be seen as essentially harmless?if chosen. noisy boisterousness: an acceptable way of "letting off steam". Or it may be seen as something The answer given from what the fans would see as "Real Hooliganism". indistinguishable to this seems to vary from case to case.13 Clearly, the criterion of "acceptability" may itself vary somewhat, particularly since it represents an amalgam of many concerns (such as the amounts of damage, injury and disruption caused, the safety of third parties, etc.) here. The are important that may be given different weights. Furthermore, expectations more that hooliganism is anticipated, the more one will be prepared to observe its indicators, That this has a and to see "playing hooligan" as genuinely dangerous and unacceptable. crucial effect on the stability of the system will now be demonstrated. are given The relevant hypergames are shown in Figure 3. The strategy mappings the arrow from "Beth." in the left-hand game to "Ace." in the other schematically: indicates that if the fans were to adopt their "Orderly Behaviour" strategy, this would be is of the hypergame seen by the authorities as "Acceptable", and so on. An outcome given by a choice for each player as defined in his own game. If each of these strategies is of each individual mapped onto the other player's game, this also defines an outcome of "Non-int." for the authorities game. For example, a choice of "Beh.' for the fans and 628

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With Play

'Acceptable' by Authorities


Tol. Non-int. [BeTT \P. H. [RTT AccT] Unacc.

Fans 'Game

Authorities Game

(Axial outcomes in the hypergame are ringed.)

(b) With Play Hooligan' seen as 'Unacceptable' by Authorities Tou Tol Beh. RH. R.H Fans Game Acc. Unacc. Int. | 1,3 (2~2^) |Non?Int 3,4 4 , I

Authorities Game Fig. 3. "Intervention"hypergame.

This also "translates" into <Beh., Tol.) in gives the hypergame outcome <Beh., Non-int.). the fans' game, and <Acc, Non-int.) in the authorities'. includes the activities that result from definition of "acceptability" If the authorities' is as in Figure 3(a). In the main, this mirrors the "playing hooligan", the hypergame <R.H., Int.) stability properties of the two separate games. There are two axial outcomes, and <P.H., Non-int.). The latter dominates the former, but the move to it is not now a The fans perceive it as such, but in the authorities' view joint undeterrable improvement. the fans cannot be trusted not to defect. Rather, they perceive that <P.H., Non-int.) can be maintained the threat of intervention deterrence?i.e. should the fans by only by deviate. Nevertheless, this is still the outcome one could reasonably expect to prevail. In believe they can afford to be a tacit agreement has been set up. The authorities effect, tolerant: because their definition of "acceptability" encompasses "playing hooligan", they will see this to be confirmed. The fans' expectation of a tolerant response will likewise be borne out, and all will be set for a comparatively happy afternoon. Even this (relatively) ideal state of affairs may, however, be upset by some local disturbance getting out of hand. This where the actions of the "nutters" can be of such significance. Their presence means that there will always be a few in the crowd who will act "unacceptably"?and as possible. If the authorities enjoy doing so as ostentatiously of a change to unacceptable behaviour interpret this as symptomatic by the "hooligan" fans as a group, they will feel bound to intervene. This tough response will naturally be communicated back to the main body of fans: pride dictates that they meet what they see as "unfair treatment" with real hooliganism. This in turn serves to reinforce the authori? ties' perception of what is happening: the "tacit agreement" has completely broken down. The nutter can thus have a triggering effect not unlike that of a particle passing through a cloud chamber. of as "Unacceptable", the hypergame // the authorities classify "Play Hooligan" The potential Figure 3(b) results. This has markedly different properties. point of tacit O.R.S. 31/7?F 629


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is no longer stable. For the authorities, this agreement has been lost; <P.H., Non-int> now corresponds not to <Acc, Non-int.>, but to <Unacc, Non-int>. This is quite clearly intolerable: This leads to they can guarantee themselves a better outcome by intervening. the hypergame outcome <P.H., Int>. But there is another twist to the story. The fans see that the authorities have acted "toughly" when they were only "playing hooligan". Given this, their best response now appears to be "R.H.". That is, they again feel "honourbound" to cause real trouble! The result is the only outcome in the hypergame axis, (R.H., the authorities, this was only to be expected. But for the fans, it will come as a Int.y.For rather unwelcome surprise, as in their perceptual game there is a joint undeterrable to <P.H., Tol.>. But. even if the fans were to carry out their part of such a improvement this would not be picked up by the authorities, who class both "P.H." "de-escalation", and "R.H." together as 'Unacc.'. So the criterion of "acceptability" used by the authori? ties has an effect on the expected result that is not what one might expect at first sight. By narrowing the criterion, they may well inadvertently cause the fans to behave less acceptably. Lastly, if the authorities' perceived game is as in Figure 2(a) rather than 2(b), ^R.H., is the only axial outcome in the resulting hypergame regardless of whether they see Int.> while a behaviour: "P.H." as "acceptable". They will always be anticipating unacceptable "wait and see" policy might just allow an unstable truce to prevail at <P.H., Non-int> if this is even then liable to be upset by the slightest sign of they see this as acceptable, trouble.


(B): THE



is now extended to analyse the possible effects of the authorities' prelimi? moves. Here, the authorities cannot adopt a "wait and see" policy, but must try to nary as the same time trying to influence it. In other anticipate the crowd's behaviour?while moves.17 Though conwords, these function both as "structural" and "communication" centrating on the "deployment" decision, i.e. on the choice between "High Profile" (H.P.) and "Low Profile" (L.P.) strategies, the analysis can equally be applied to the "force If not, that decision is made known to the fans before the encounter. level" decision?if effects vanish. the structural effects are similar, but the communication

The authorities'


and "intervention" the relationships For the authorities, between the "preliminary" of the problem are fairly complex in principle. Their preparations may affect the phases see either side to "internal" orders of preference in the Intervention game. Also, they may each particular outcome of the Interven? have a preference for 'H.P.' or 'L.P.' per se?for the tion game. Consider first the former type of effect. From the authorities' perspective, have is to increase the communication effect that a 'H.P.' deployment major might effectiveness of their deterrent. This may be modelled as follows: consider the two sug? game, differing as to the fans' gested variants of the authorities' perceived Intervention now that in the for <Unacc, as against <Acc, Non-int.>. preferences Int.> Suppose with "High Profile" preparations. authorities' view, the fans will prefer the latter iffaced That is, the authorities believe that such a show of strength will show the fans that they so that they will be more inclined to behave. The public cannot "win" a confrontation, out before big matches often seem to show that this effect is hoped put pronouncements for. So let the authorities perceive that if they choose "H.P.", the intervention game will be is as in Figure 2(b), while "L.P." would lead to a game as in Figure 2(a). This perception in Figure 4(a). shown schematically is already given. But to take into The internal structure of the two "end-games" i.e. to compare on preferences, account the direct effects of the deployment options about the outcomes in one end-game with those in the other, some further assumptions 630

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(a): Perceived effect on fans'Preferences within Intervention Game. Authorities Deployment

Intervention game with internal' _ orderingas in Fig.2 (b) _L_

Interventiongame with internal orderingas in Fig.2 (a) _I_

(b): ShowingOverall Perceived PreferenceOrders Authorities Deployment

Int. Acc 2,6

Non-int. 5,8 Acc.





(Axial outcomes in the whole game (both phases ) are ringed.) Fig. 4. Authorities' view. preparatoryand interventionphases linked. authorities' perceptions are needed. Suppose that:

For the authorities


(i) The desire for acceptable crowd behaviour still dominates, i.e. all outcomes where this happens are preferred to all others. (ii) "L.P." is preferred to "H.P." if the crowd then behaves acceptably (the authorities have no desire to be unnecessarily but "H.P." is preferred otherwise (they are harsh), then better placed to intervene). The authorities perceive that the fans: (i) Always prefer the authorities to choose "L.P." ceteris paribus. i.e. prefer "H.P." and "Non-int." (ii) Have a stronger preference for Non-intervention, "L.P." followed by Tnt.' to

These assumptions now yield the complete game of Figure 4(b). It has already been shown that there are two axial outcomes of the left hand ("H.P.") end-game, <Acc, and <Unacc, Non-int.) Int.). The authorities Int.) in prefer even the latter to <Unacc, the "L.P." end-game, of which it is the sole stable outcome. So taking the game as a whole, this last result, i.e. outcome not in the axis. The authorities can <Unacc, L.P./Int.)?is guarantee themselves a better result by choosing "H.P." in the first place. 631

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should persuade the fans to behave preparations to this, they are at least well-placed acceptably (outcome (Ace, H.P./Non-int.}). Failing intervene ((Unacc, These are the two axial outcomes of the complete concep? H.P./Int.)). tual game. Even though there is an outcome that dominates both of these, i.e. <Acc, L.P., there appears to be no way of reaching it. The authorities believe that as soon Non-int>, as they choose "L.P.", the fans' preferences will be for unacceptable behaviour. Dynamic analysis thus shows that such a solution would be perceived to become unstable in the course of its implementation. The fans' perspective, and the resulting hypergame

For the fans' likely response to this, consider their frame of reference, i.e. the game of its probable mappings with that of Figure 4(b). Let the assumptions Figure 1(a)?and about the authorities' interpretation of the fans' options remain as before. For the map? of pings in the reverse sense, suppose that the fans will see "H.P." as a definite indication a "Tough" policy, while "L.P." is seen to indicate a "Tolerant" response?unless and until intervention occurs. That is, while the authorities see "H.P." and "Int" as two distinct steps (and may well do the former to avoid having to do the latter), the fans both together as indicators of "Toughness". So for them, the probably conceptualise structure is as in Figure 5. strategic The properties of the complete hypergame are now as follows. Were the authorities to choose "L.P." initially, the fans would see themselves to be in the game on the right of a 5. It has been shown that they are then likely to adopt "P.H.", anticipating figure continued "Tolerant" response, and that what in fact happens next will depend on how the authorities that the the analysis of Figure 4 showed interpret "P.H.". However, authorities are much more likely to see "H.P." as the better preparatory option. Unfortuto be in the into the fans' view, they see themselves nately, when this is translated have "got tough" without even one-person game on the left of Figure 5. The authorities waiting to see how they intend to behave. The fans' most preferred choice is now to move and apparently straight to "R.H.". This iii turn will reinforce the authorities' disapproval justify their actions. At least they are now well-placed to intervene. This they will now do, axis. which is in the hypergame resulting in outcome <R.H., H.P./Int.>, deterrence to this model, the authorities' Thus, according theory turns out to be tough, "H.P." prepar? exactly wrong. Far from persuading the fans to behave acceptably, at which ations serve to change their initial behaviour from "play" to "real" hooliganism, Authorities


Provisionally Tol." Tol. 1,5 3,6 Beh.

P.H. '4_. 2) 5,1 R.H.

Fig. 5. Fans' view of overall system. Mappings to and from Figure 4: The fans interpret... 'H.P.' as Tou.' 'L.P.' followed by 'Non-int.' as 'Tol' 'Int.' as 'Tou.' The authorities interpret... 'Beh.' as 'Ace.' 'R.H.' as 'Unacc' 'P.H.' either as 'Ace' or 'Unacc' 632

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the authori? point a clash between the two sides becomes inevitable. Paradoxically?from ties' point of view?this be avoided if the fans were to/az7 to see these preparations might as "tough". So as in the Intervention phase, much depends on how the actions taken by one side are interpreted the other. While the authorities by may intend "H.P." as a or merely as a cautious policy of being prepared for the worst, the fans see it as deterrent, a challenge that must be taken up. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The sporadic outbreaks of violence that seem to have become a feature of U.K. soccer matches may happen simply because the "hooligan fans" want it thus. But the research cited here suggests that this is not generally so. For the purposes of this paper, the of life on the terraces were taken at face value and used as "raw received accounts material" for a hypergame model, with the aim of producing possible explanations for the occurrence of unwanted levels of violence. This analysis suggests three crucial variables: moves. of the authorities' preparatory (a) The fans' interpretation of the fans' "Play Hooligan" The authorities' interpretation option. (b) (c) The triggering effect of local incidents, especially the actions of nutters. between the Some possible effects of these have been traced over one single encounter fans and the authorities. When the interaction goes through a number of iterations, some extra factors come into play. Each outcome?happy be expected to or otherwise?can have its effect "next time round". While there is not space here to explore all of these, it should be noted that a number of factors will increase the tendency to "lock into" the conflict: if these generalise from spectacular but iso? (a) Reports of previous clashes (especially lated incidents) will both reinforce the authorities' of trouble and put expectations them under increased pressure to be seen to be taking firms measures. They will thus this time round, more inclined to see be more inclined to adopt "tough" preparations "nutters" from as the real thing, and less prepared to distinguish "playing hooligan" the rest of the "hooligans". of each other's (b) Over several rounds, the parties may revise their basic perceptions have been unhappy, each will probably tend If the preceding experiences preferences. view of Each side reacts to a stereotyped malevolent. to see the other as increasingly the other, and in there (c) Eventually, true. Having been their allotted role a way ensuring that these are reinforced. will actually become is the danger that the malevolent stereotypes for so long as mindless thugs, the fans will start playing categorised "for real". Or as one fan put the matter to Marsh,

"It was on the train back from Hereford. We was all pushed into the last coach. You was Alsatian dogs snapping around and that-Like couldn't move_There cattle, So what we were. Animals ... they treated us just like animals? cattle?that's bleeding we smashed the train up." the authorities may reason that to put up with abuse while remaining toler? Meanwhile, ant is to have the worst of both worlds. The result of all this will be a strongly selfto reinforcing cycle of conflict, until each match becomes "a fight looking for somewhere in other happen". Though only one possible pattern, this is one that can be recognised of "gang warfare" contexts, e.g. in some industrial disputes or in the renewed outbreaks that (after the recent Easter Bank Holiday episodes) have become the latest object of frantic public concern as this paper goes to press. Practical and methodological implications

What emerges from this study is not necessarily a plea for tolerance. Especially, it is not suggested that the activity of "playing hooligan" should be considered "acceptable". 633


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This is certainly deeply offensive to many people. The world would surely be a finer place if young teenagers did not feel forced to see two hours of mock-violence as a vital way of boosting self-esteem. This raises deeper issues about the nature of society that lie beyond the scope of this paper. However, the model does indicate that outcome (P.H., L.P./Nonint.) may be the best one can hopefor in the present circumstances. Ifit is felt that this is a worth while goal, the analysis shows some specific traps for the authorities to avoid. To do so, they have to be rather finely-tuned to the mood and the of the crowd. It may be significant "internal dynamics" here that the terrors of away Manchester United fans) often seem to have a good reputation at grounds (notably home. While perhaps visiting fans are simply too scared to pick a fight, it may also be that the "home" authorities have the experience to handle the situation well. Just as of the conflict, however, is the fans' perception of the authori? important a determinant ties. This, the authorities can influence, but not control. If the fans arrive at the game that the authorities convinced are "out to smash them", then it will be too late already for a tolerant response to work. To avoid this trap requires a reversal of the usual All too at and before potentially "deterrent" tactics employed troublesome matches. these are seen as provocations the fans. often, by Also, it is Clearly, the success or failure of a policy can only be judged empirically. in order for the authorities?or decide that any degree of quite "public opinion"?to rowdyism is intolerable and should be stamped out. But it is surely desirable first at least to give some careful thought to the model of the "other side" which one is using. An important methodological point here is that if "scientific method" has anything to contriand testing of multiple alternative models.18 Hyper? bute, it must be in the construction of generating and efficient method game analysis seems to provide one reasonably about the reasons for other peoples' behaviour, the predic? exploring different hypotheses as one tions of which can then be compared. The model outlined above is intended contribution to this process. These particular hypotheses may be true or false: no set as a full should ever be regarded as "proven". A model of this sort is not intended In of reality, but it may give results that cast light on actual situations. representation this case, although the model suggested does seem consistent with the available evidence, the main point is that it is at least testable. If, by contrast, one regards the "deterrence" view as the only one even worth considering, anything can be interpreted as validating it. If trouble is encountered, this shows the need for a more effective deterrent: if it is not, this "proves" that the deterrent worked. This is the same logic as that by which the Aztecs supported their contention that killing people made the crops grow better.19 Such behaviour is now dismissed as "irrational violence" par excellencel

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The writers would like to thank Mr Ken Bowen and Dr Nigel Howard for their very helpful comments on various drafts of this paper. The work was partly supported by S.R.C. grant GR/A/16159.

REFERENCES 1C. W. Churchman (1968) Wicked problems: Guest Editorial. Mgmt Sci. 14, B141-B142. 2S. Eilon (1977) Technician or adviser?: Editorial. Omega 5, 1-6. 3P. G. Bennett (1977) Toward a theory of hypergames. Omega 5, 749-751. 4P. G. Bennett (1980) Hypergames: the development of an approach to modelling conflicts. O.R. Dept, of Sussex (submitted to Futures). 5University P. G. Bennett and M. R. Dando (1979) Complex strategic analysis: a hypergame study of the fall of France. J. Opl Res. Soc. 30, 23-32. 6M. O. Giesen and P. G. Bennett (1970) Aristotle's fallacy: a hypergame in the oil shipping business. Omega 1, 309-320. 7P. G. Bennett (1979) Bidders and dispenser: manipulative hypergames in a multinational context. Eur. J. Ops Res. in press. 8M. R. Dando and R. G. Sharp (1978) Soccer hooliganism and the practice of O.R. Presented to 1978 Annual O.R. Conference,York University, U.K. 9R. G. Sharp (1979) An enquiry into the role of O.R. science in the study of decision-making in conflicts. Ph.D. thesis, O.R. Dept, University of Sussex 634

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10P. Marsh, E. Rosser and R. Harre (1978) Rules of Disorder. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. 11R. Ingham et al (1978) Football Hooliganism: the Wider Context. Inter-action Inprint, London. 12N. Howard and P. G. Bennett (1979) Recent development in the theory of hypergames. In preparation. 13Joint Sports Council (SSRC Report 1978) Public Disorder and Sporting Events. Sports Council, London. 14F. McElthone (1977) Report {of a Working Group Appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland) on Football Crowd Behaviour: (Appendix by Strathclyde Police Statistical Branch). HMSO, London. 15P. Marsh (1978) Life and careers on the soccer terraces. In Football Hooliganism: the Wider Context (R. Ingham, Ed.). Inter-action Inprint, London. 16N. Howard (1974) Examples of a Dynamic Theory of Games. Univ. of Ottowa, Canada. 17K. J. Radford (1977) Complex Decision Problems. Reston, Reston, Canada. 18J. R. Platt (1964J Strong inference. Science N.Y. 146, 347-357. 19K. E. Boulding (1968) The Learning and reality?testing process in the international system. In Image and Reality in WorldPolitics (J. C. Farrell and A. P. Smith, Eds). Columbia University Press.