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Playing in Front of the Bench: Courtside Selection and Its Impact on Team Performance

Finn Spilker and Christian Deutscher

This paper analyzes the strategic decision of basket choice in the National Basketball Association. Before games start, the away team chooses whether to play on offense in front of their bench in the first or second half. Based on eight regular seasons and 9,308 games, we identify the standard strategy for away teams to play on offense at their own benches in the first half. Results indicate that both home and away teams score more points when they play on offense in front of their bench. More importantly, there is a strategic advantage for the away team to play with the offense in front of the bench in the second half, deviating from the standard strategy in the league. Finally, we demonstrate that the choice of the basket for the away team can partially offset the home advantage under normal spectator conditions and entirely nullify it in ghost games.

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Menstrual Cycle and Hormonal Contraceptive Symptom Severity and Frequency in Athletic Females

Laura R. Kiemle-Gabbay, Stephanie Valentin, Daniel Martin, and Laura J. Forrest (née Whyte)

The purpose of this study was to determine symptom severity and frequency in female exercisers and athletes from a diverse range of sports who have a menstrual cycle (MC) or use hormonal contraceptives (HCs). An additional aim was to explore the perceived impact of MC/HC use upon exercise and sport performance. In total, 604 self-identifying female athletes and exercisers (M = 29.4 years, SD = 9.0) from 85 sports/activities completed a survey which included: sport/exercise participation, bleeding characteristics, HC use, symptom severity/frequency, symptom management strategies, menstrual product use, and perceived impact of MC/HC use on exercise performance. The data were subject to mixed-methods analysis. Over one third (n = 225; 37.25%) of participants reported current HC use. Ninety-five percent (95.36%) of participants experienced symptoms related to MC or HC use. Physiological, psychological, and affective symptoms were all among the most prevalent. The most frequently noted severe and very severe symptoms for all participants, MC and HC users, were abdominal cramps (36.92%, 39.32%, and 32.89%, respectively), mood changes (26.16%, 25.07%, and 28.00%, respectively), and tiredness (25.33%, 25.59%, and 24.89%, respectively). Symptom impact was self-managed through medical and/or other (cognitive/behavioral) strategies. Qualitative content analysis of the data produced four overarching themes: (a) the impact of symptoms, (b) menstrual stigma and taboos, (c) protective factors, and (d) coping strategies. In conclusion, menstruation is a multifaceted, unique experience that impacts upon sport/exercise performance. Practitioners should consider athletes’ distinct needs, including the frequency of occurrence and severity of their symptomatic experiences, when facilitating menstruation-supportive training, avoiding a “one-size fits-all” approach.

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The 2022 Janus 2.0 Conference Papers: Introduction to the Special Issue

Kevin Andrew Richards, Kim C. Graber, and Amelia Mays Woods

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Nature Sport and Environmental History: Adulation or Alteration of Nature?

PearlAnn Reichwein, Pierre-Olaf Schut, and Grégory Quin

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“I Live With and By Nature”: Swedish Alpine Skiers Reflect on Professional and Lifestyle Skiing, Nature, and Snow, 1964–2023

Marie Larneby

Alpine skiing has been a popular activity since the 1950s. However, global warming leads to milder weather, melting glaciers, and reduced snowfall which deteriorates possibilities to skiing. The purpose of this paper is to sketch a contemporary history of alpine skiing and environmental awareness in Sweden through the narratives of ten alpine skiers. A temporal and spatial perspective contributes to make changes over time and meaning of places visible. The skiers share a fixed narrative: nature as central for skiing. This is not unproblematic since nature has been more adapted and modified and resulted in a crowded landscape. Nature is a space to be preserved but also as a space to enable skiing. In this constructed landscape, over time snowmaking is reconstructed to being normal, albeit not natural. A way to handle these changes is to care more for nature, travel less, ski more local, and show environmental awareness.

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Landscapes of Performance: Using Local Geography for the Testing of Sport School Pupils in Sweden, 1972–2023

Daniel Svensson

Does nature still matter in sport? In the balancing between natural and scientific training, Swedish upper-secondary ski schools have played an important role. This paper deals with specific landscape features for testing at three Swedish ski schools: Hallstatestet in Sollefteå, Hovfjällsracet in Torsby, and Stoltjonastestet in Järpen. The following questions will be addressed: How do the coaches at each school use local tests to analyze performance? How is the importance of local tests articulated, and what roles do history and nature play in this process? The paper concludes that the use of local landscapes to articulate elite performance connects ideas of measurability and scientization to the lingering tradition of natural training. Local landscapes thereby become a mediator between scientific and experiential knowledge about sport performance and point out how local sport heritage can be used for addressing environmental issues in sport.

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A Perfect Storm: Black Feminism and Women’s National Basketball Association Black Athlete Activism

Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown, A. Lamont Williams, Amanda N. Schweinbenz, and Ann Pegoraro

This article pays homage to Black Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players and their activist efforts. Such players are often-overlooked activists who are always “holdin it down” while simultaneously keeping activism at the forefront of their agenda. When the 2020 Women’s National Basketball Association season opened, the athletes in this league took the opportunity to highlight social injustice in the United States; not surprising given the history of Black feminism and athlete activism in this league. Using underwater waves as a metaphor, we examine how the intersectionality of Black feminism and Black athlete activism has largely gone unnoticed. Feminism and women’s rights movements have largely been associated with White women while Black activism has been associated with Black men. This manuscript aims to highlight the efforts of Black women and nonbinary athletes whose work has been instrumental in societal progression.

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BLinG-Health: A Peer-Led Physical Activity Program for Black Adolescent Girls—A Pilot Study

Tara B. Blackshear and Taylor Baucum

Background: Culturally relevant approaches that address low physical activity rates among Black girls are increasing, yet opportunities to engage in physical activity (PA) remain minimal. Coupled with deficit approaches to school-based PA programming, positioning Black adolescent girls as PA leaders is missing from practice. BLinG-Health aims to develop peer leaders to participate in and deliver group fitness sessions in an after-school PA program. Methods: Black adolescent girls engaged in a culturally relevant, 8-week pretest and posttest quasi-experimental pilot study examining the impact of a peer-led school-based PA intervention program in a Baltimore, Maryland, public school. After peer leaders engaged in a 12-hr fitness education, training, and certification program using the Interactive Fitness Trainers of America’s Tabata group fitness instruction and certification series, peer leaders led classmates in group fitness 2–3 days a week for 8 weeks. Peer leaders and participants completed two assessment rounds at baseline and Week 9, including height and weight, to compute body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, hip-to-waist ratio, a 12-min run/walk, and push-up test. Results: Participants (n = 7; M age = 16.43 years) significantly improved in cardiovascular endurance (p = .025) and muscular endurance (p = .013) with modest, nonsignificant changes in anthropometric measures. Discussion: Challenging deficit narratives on Black girls’ PA engagement, participants consistently attended weekly group fitness sessions and improved cardiovascular and muscular fitness. Empowering Black adolescent girls to lead group fitness sessions among peers may enhance PA engagement. Schools should consider culturally relevant programming to increase Black girls’ opportunities to engage in PA.

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Erratum. A Typology of Circular Sport Business Models: Enabling Sustainable Value Co-Creation in the Sport Industry

Journal of Sport Management