April Henning and Jörg Krieger
When the International Association of Amateur Athletics (IAAF) changed its name to International Association of Athletics Federations in 2001, it was more than an acknowledgment of the organization’s acceptance of professional athletes. Rather, this change symbolized a shift in thinking about the nature of athletics, what athletics competitions represented, and the commercialization of the sport that had been decades in the making. This article will consider the IAAF’s pursuit to maintain control over global athletics through its transition from an amateur sport federation to a professional sport governing body. Drawing on official documents and personal archives of IAAF officials, the authors trace the internal views and debates, beginning with the IAAF’s fight to maintain amateurism against collective pushback over issues of athlete pay, to the full acceptance of professionalism. The main focus of this article lies in the transition period in the 1980s and 1990s. The authors show how dropping the amateur from the name reflected not only the new embrace of professional athletes, but also the organizational turn away from amateur athletics. The authors will identify the processes that finally forced the breakdown of amateurism and ushered in a new era of professional athletics.
This study explains how the Council of Europe (CE) influenced the international anti-doping movement from the 1960s until the establishment of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999. As a European regional intergovernmental organization, the CE endeavored to cultivate a unified Europe by guiding countries in harmonizing their laws and by facilitating cultural exchanges. This mission led the CE to recruit sport as a tool for cultural exchange and to in turn enact anti-doping legislation. Moreover, given its structure, the CE’s work in anti-doping took the form of harmonized international legislation that helped lay the foundations for an international anti-doping movement. Ultimately, the CE’s work served as a touchstone for many sport organizations, especially the International Olympic Committee and its efforts to manage doping in elite sport. This kind of involvement, including collaboration in the setup of WADA in 1999, makes a plausible case to consider the CE a main, rather than periphery, player in anti-doping history and one of the greater influencers regarding the international anti-doping governance structure and legislation.
Siegfried Nagel, Karsten Elmose-Østerlund, Jenny Adler Zwahlen and Torsten Schlesinger
Policy makers often ascribe sports clubs an important societal role, as they can encourage the integration of people with a migration background. Questions then arise as to the extent that members with a migration background are integrated in sports clubs and what the factors are that play a role in this integration. The data for this research are drawn from a comparative study of 10 European countries. The analyses take a multidimensional approach to social integration and differentiate between the dimensions of understanding/acceptance, interaction, and identification. The results show that members with a migration background are relatively well integrated, but less so than other club members. There is a positive association between social integration and the volunteering, participation in competitions, long-term membership, and sports activities in teams.
Kathleen E. Bachynski
On November 1, 1959, a flying hockey puck broke the nose of goalie Jacques Plante. Thereafter, he insisted on wearing a face mask, a decision that signaled a broader introduction of safety equipment into North American ice hockey. This paper examines how head and facial protection became a standard requirement for playing hockey in North America at amateur and professional levels of the sport. During the mid-twentieth century, national governing bodies confronted growing safety concerns amid rising participation in organized hockey. Yet in the absence of league-wide mandates, players generally did not sustain helmet use. From the 1950s through the 1970s, masks for goalies and helmets and facial protection for skaters were mandated to protect against injuries. In the context of contemporary concussion concerns, the history of debates over hockey head and face protection illustrates the array of social, cultural, and organizational factors behind measures to protect athletes’ health.
Neither the history of volleyball nor of its governing body has received much scholarly attention. As such, the objective of this study is to highlight the institutional history of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) through the organization’s response (or lack of response) to the corrupt practices known as “volleygate” that have embroiled the volleyball world since the mid 1980s. Through this sociohistorical study of the FIVB, many of the challenges facing modern international sport federations can be recognized and critiqued. Yet, despite its moral failings, the show must go on.
Travis R. Bell and Victor D. Kidd
Baseball and rap music are often not considered culturally or historically synonymous, but a shift appears underway. This research examines how 239 rap lyrics reach across the formerly confined (mostly racialized) boundaries of baseball to engage the sport through its reference to 128 baseball players. A thematic analysis explores how the languages of baseball and rap culture intersect through linguistic translation. The authors develop a broad understanding of the positive and negative “baller” references, and how it could affect the future growth of baseball role models for Black youth athletes. Thus, baseball “text” as a source language translates to rap “text” as a target language to form a commonly constructed language at an intersection of music, sports, and masculinity.
Trenton M. Haltom
Families and sports are spaces for “doing” and “undoing” gender. The author presents qualitative interviews with 30 American men who recall their parents’ involvement in the gender atypical sport of baton twirling. The author analyzes the data using “doing” and “undoing” gender as well as “hard” and “soft” essentialism frameworks. Mothers are often supportive of their sons’ twirling, contributing to “undoing” gender and relaxing “soft essentialism.” Fathers do not see baton twirling as a normative pathway to manhood or masculinity, thus reinforcing “hard essentialism.” Fathers often take on an absentee role in their sons’ twirling. In rare cases, fathers “do” gender by reformulating their sons’ twirling into a more recognizable sport. Findings consider how parents navigate gender when sons cross gendered boundaries in sports and the consequences for gender inequality.
Recent scholarship suggests that women in martial arts and combat sports have increasingly begun to undo gender by challenging gender norms and constructing new femininities. Most of this research, however, has focused on gender dynamics within martial arts and combat sports settings, rather than outside of them. For this study, I conducted semistructured interviews with 40 professional women’s mixed martial arts athletes to examine the extent to which these women challenged gender norms in their intimate relationships. My data revealed that because they possess traits that are traditionally interpreted as masculine, many of the heterosexual women in my sample actually oversubscribe to gender norms in their intimate relationships to combat feelings of feminine insecurity. I argue, therefore, that rather than undoing gender, these women overdo gender in their intimate relationships. This study provides a cautionary tale to the celebrations of undoing gender for women combat sports athletes.
This study contextualizes replay within the discourse of sport media. Drawing on discourse as theory, the author articulates how replay functions within the sportscast as adjudication, arguably the most compelling yet contentious aspect of the live sportscast. Not only does replay function within sport media discourse, but it also operates within a broader cultural context. Given sport media’s key locus within the entertainment industry, the use of replay is a key technological innovation that has brought even more consolidation and coordination between sport media and the sport leagues and organizations. Replay is media’s contribution to maintaining the veneer of integrity through a quest for certitude. As an analytical strategy, the intertextuality of replay provides an opportunity to interrogate whose interests are being served and consolidated in the mobilization of this technology within affective economies that satisfy a neoliberal sensibility.