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The Business of Sport, Sledging and the Corruption of Play – an Interpretation through a Huizingian-Bourdieu Lens

Abstract

Using a combined Huizingian-Bourdieu framework, this paper analyses the significance of sport’s transformation into a business and how the prevailing business structure that defines professional sport has influenced the ‘lived experience’ of those playing at sport’s elite level. Furthermore, this paper highlights how the actions of players, coaches and other participants serve to reinforce, legitimise and normalise the business characteristics of sport’s dominant business structure.

Importantly, this paper illuminates how the professionalization of sport corrupts the act of playing and indeed gives rise to play tactics, such as ‘sledging’, which both reflects the increased seriousness of sport and, in its very execution, further reinforces the dominant business structures of professional sport, all the while corrupting the essence of sport – play.

In doing so we are challenged to consider how society’s fields could be different in structure, and in the ‘lived experience’ within the field.

Open access
The Chain Reaction Between the Media and Sport. The Impact of Rule Changes in Handball

Abstract

A long, historical cooperation exists between sport and the media. The media can lift up the profile of a sport, and sport provides a marketable topic/product to talk about. Rules have been changed and playing conditions adapted to add to the glamor and spectacle of sport, thus making sport more marketable, enhancing media coverage and making it more appealing for the viewer. In the history of handball, rule changes have been introduced for the same purpose. However, changing the rules has a great effect on the team’s performance, and thus on the coaches’ work as well. There is no doubt that among the rule modifications introduced by the International Handball Federation (IHF) in 2016, substituting the goalkeeper for another court player during an attack without wearing a special shirt has had the greatest impact on the game in recent times. The main aim of the study was to carry out empirical research in order to analyze the recent rule modifications by the IHF, particularly when substituting the goalkeeper for an extra court player during an attack. The 2017 World Championship in France provided an ideal opportunity to collate data in order to explore how often and effectively teams used this rule change at the latest world event. In addition, we have also sought out the opinions of elite coaches concerning the state of current rules in handball and what they would change in order to make this sport discipline more marketable for the media and for spectators. The results show that teams substituted their goalkeeper for an extra court player when in numerical inferiority on average twice as much as when in numerical superiority and on average twice as often when losing as when winning. Surprisingly, the teams’ average scoring effectiveness was a little bit higher than when they played in numerical superiority or with an evenly reduced number of players. In addition, the outcome of focus group interviews shows that most coaches think that measuring the attacking time, introducing the third referee into the game, and having better judgment concerning the fast start-off is necessary for the betterment of the game.

Open access
Hero and Antihero: An Ethic and Aesthetic Reflection of the Sports

Abstract

In Ancient Greece, the figure of the hero was identified as a demigod, possessed of altruistic and virtuous deeds. When Pierre de Coubertin reinstated the Olympic Games, the athlete was personified as a modern hero. Its antithesis, the anti-hero, has more virtue that defects, no evil but he does not care on the means to achieve his goals. In the eyes of everyone involved in sports competition, these characters captivate and at the same time, create conflicts of ethics and aesthetics. The purpose of this paper is to perform an ethical reflection linked to principles that contribute for the human growth and accomplishment, as well as the aesthetic on the perception of the sensitive, reverberated by sensations and feelings emerging from athletes. Connecting the ethic with the aesthetic spheres, we could have in the sports a phenomenon walking toward a common point between moral and aesthetic, between the good and the beauty.

Open access
Knowledge and Attitude of Hungarian Athletes towards Long-term Sports Injuries

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate long-term sports injuries, their prevalence, general identification of and consultation about injuries, and the knowledge among Hungarian athletes related to injury prevention. A questionnaire was designed to survey athletes regarding these topics. Olympic medal winners, nationally selected athletes, and amateur athletes were surveyed, and altogether 502 completed questionnaires were obtained. The data was analyzed with the Chi-square test for dichotomous variables and the Kruskal-Wallis H-test for questions with the Likert scale to try the statistical power of the hypotheses. The results of our analysis show that athletes suffer injuries regardless of their level of play, and that athletes regard their sports to be moderately dangerous. Most athletes would compete despite the risk of permanent injury; they compete with injuries mostly of their own volition; and they will risk potential injuries or long-term health damage to gain exceptional outcomes. Success is the first and foremost desire of athletes, and the risk of injuries or even long-term health damage does not play an important role in the value system of Hungarian athletes. Sport managers and officers of sport federations must be made aware that the first line of prevention of sport injuries is comprehensive medical consultation with proper medical coverage.

Open access
Núria Puig: A Biographical-Professional Outline

Abstract

This article presents a biographical-professional outline of the career of Núria Puig. The authors place this outline in the Spanish socio-political context stretching from 1976 until the present day. A brief biography is followed successively by descriptions of formal training, mentors, institutional projects, teaching experience, and research. In the conclusion, a general evaluation is made of her professional career.

Open access
Serving the Health Care and Leisure Needs of Ethnic Aged in Canada: Implications and Concerns

Abstract

Health care and leisure services, although different, are similar from the perspective that both focus on enhancing quality of life by improving health and wellbeing. Although both of these services are vitally important, some groups such as aged immigrants face a number of barriers that may limit their access to these services. This paper examines and discusses two related areas of the service sector – health care and leisure – and the growing concern to address the needs of Canada’s aging population, specifically, aged immigrants. The paper concludes with the following five suggestions for health care and leisure service providers to alleviate barriers faced by Canada’s ethnic aged: 1) Recognize that health care and leisure are closely related, 2) Understand the changing nature of society including trends in immigration, 3) Get to know society’s diversity of aged immigrants, 4) Evaluate current services provided, and 5) Establish future goals and directions.

Open access
Talent Selection and Management in View of Relative Age: the Case of Swimming

Abstract

Based on our empirical research, through the analysis of the birthdates of young competitive swimmers, the present paper aims to examine the system of talent selection and management in Hungarian competitive swimming complemented with a new element. The research population consisted of the registered junior competitive swimmers participating in the new talent management program of the Hungarian Swimming Association (N=235; average age: 11.44) due to the decision of the Coaches’ Committee. Our research was based on the analysis of documents and databases. Besides the descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests and the Kruskal-Wallis test were applied. The results show that swimmers born in the first three months of the year are still more likely to be recruited in the program than their relatively younger counterparts. Furthermore, as a potential effect of the new program, the dominance of the first quarter of the year is also characteristic among those eligible for the next level of talent management. The new selection system of Hungarian swimmers is still highly sensitive to the relative age. Thus, it is recommended to further investigate the functioning of the new talent management program in terms of selection and success.

Open access
Acceleration and Speed Performance of Brazilian Elite Soccer Players of Different Age-Categories

Abstract

This study aimed to compare vertical jump ability (squat-jump [SJ] and countermovement-jump [CMJ]), relative to body mass mean propulsive power in the jump-squat (MPP-REL JS), and the 0-5, 5-10, and 10-20 m acceleration and speed among soccer players from the same professional club, divided into age-categories (U15 [n = 20], U17 [n = 53], U20 [n = 22] and senior [n = 25] players). The tests were performed at the start of the preseason in indoor facilities. The magnitude-based inference approach and the standardized differences (based on effect sizes) were used to compare the age-groups. The SJ, CMJ, and MPP-REL JS increased across the age-groups up to U20, the latter being similar to senior players. Interestingly, the 0-5 m acceleration was likely and possibly higher in U15 players compared to U17 and senior players. Although soccer athletes improve their unloaded and loaded jump abilities across the age-categories (plateauing during adulthood), the same does not hold true for acceleration capacity, from the early phases of players’ development (i.e., U15). Strength and conditioning professionals should seek effective strategies to minimize impairment in maximal acceleration performance of elite soccer players throughout their prospective training programs.

Open access
The Acute Effects of Different Forms of Suspension Push‐Ups on Oxygen Consumption, Salivary Testosterone and Cortisol and Isometric Strength

Abstract

Suspension exercise systems are being used in strength and conditioning facilities, fitness centers, rehabilitation centers and home gyms. Though some evidence exists regarding the impact of training with these systems, more work is needed for a better understanding. The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the acute effects of an exercise session with 2 (hands only) and 4 straps (hands and feet) in the push-up exercise compared to a work-matched bench press exercise session. The participants for this repeated measures, cross-over investigation were 18 healthy college-aged males (age: 24.8 ± 3.5 yrs, body mass: 81.8 ± 7.8 kg, body height: 178.9 ± 4.5 cm). The conditions were 6 sets of 10 repetitions of suspension push-ups using two straps (DUAL) for the hands, fours straps (QUAD) for hands and feet and a traditional bench press exercise matched to the average resistance during the suspension push-up. The participants performed all repetitions at a controlled cadence. Expired gases, and heart rate were monitored continuously during the exercise session. Pre and post exercise saliva samples were collected to quantify changes in testosterone and cortisol. Upper body isometric strength tests ( UBIST) were performed (Post, 1 hr, 24 hr, 48 hr) to evaluate changes in force production during recovery. Data analysis via repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant trend for increased oxygen consumption in the QUAD condition compared to the bench press (p = 0.019). Additionally, both suspension conditions resulted in a reduced respiratory exchange ratio as compared to the bench press (p < 0.05). A significant main effect was noted for time in all conditions regarding isometric strength (p < 0.001), but no differences between conditions were revealed. Testosterone and cortisol responses did not differ between conditions. Based upon these data, it appears that when matched for work, suspension exercise results in equivalent reductions in muscle force, but greater oxygen consumption compared to isotonic exercise.

Open access
Analysis of Scoring Sequences in Matches of the Portuguese Premier League

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the sequences of the first two goals scored in soccer matches in accordance with a range of different match contexts. Data from 1506 matches played in the Portuguese Premier League during six consecutive competitive seasons (2009-10 to 2014-2015) were analysed using descriptive statistics and the chi-square test in order to verify the association between variables and a Cox regression analysis was used to predict the time the second goal was scored in function of the time of the first goal scored in the match and the scoreline. The results revealed a higher frequency of the second goals being scored in the second half of a match (58%) and in the last 5 min periods of each half. A positive association was found for home teams and score-doubling goals (58%), as well as for away teams and score-equalizing goals (56%). For home and away teams the score-doubling goal of a match was strongly and positively associated with a win outcome for home (93%) and away teams (92%), while the score-equalizing goals were associated with a draw (home and away teams: 44%) and loss outcome (home: 33% and away teams: 32%). Finally, the Cox model showed that if the first goal was scored in the second half of the match, the probability of the second goal being scored was three times higher compared to the first half.

Open access