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Level Playing Field

A level playing field refers to a situation in which all participants compete under the same conditions and with the same chances of success. This English idiom is often used to discuss the subjects of fairness or equality in life, the world of business, sporting events or any situation in which there is competition. The expression level playing field and can also be used as a verb, i.e. to level the playing field. Let’s look at both forms in the following articles/editorials:

Creating a level playing field for women in politics
- idea.int, 8 March 2008, Vida Helgesen
Egypt Protests Level Playing Field for Women
- voanews.com, 8 February 2011, Jerome Socolovsky
Equality in education: Creating a level playing field in formative years is vital, but many people are denied a fair education from the start
- ourfutureplanet.org, 11 March 2012

The three examples above refer to groups of people - women and the poor - who often do not have the same chances of success as others. They would like to have a
level playing field, i.e. to have the same advantages as their competitors.
The following commercial for the World Anti-Doping Agency talks about the importance of having a
level playing field in the world of sports. They feel that bringing an end to doping would level the playing field. Do you think that the commercial communicates its message well? Can you think of other situations/areas in which you would like to see a level playing field?

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