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Volume 17 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024): Special Issue—Social Media and Sport Communication: Research Studies

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Volume 34 (2024): Issue 2 (Mar 2024)

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Volume 18 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 2 (Mar 2024)

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Social Media and Sport Research: Empirical Examinations Showcasing Diversity in Methods and Topics

Jimmy Sanderson and Gashaw Abeza

This commentary introduces the second of two special issues in the International Journal of Sport Communication centered on social media and sport. The empirical studies presented in this issue illustrate both the diversity of topics and methodological approaches utilized by researchers working at the intersection of social media and sport. Research articles in this issue analyze topics ranging from sport consumer behavior to online fan communities to coaches’ perceptions of activism-related content posted on team social media accounts. The research presented here also employs a variety of methodological approaches including experimental design, critical discourse analysis, rhetorical analysis, and applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Collectively, these studies offer a foundation on which future research in social media and sport can build to continue to enhance our understanding of social media’s impact on the sport world.

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Volume 41 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Effects of a 6-Week Repeated-Sprint Training With Voluntary Hypoventilation at Low and High Lung Volume on Repeated-Sprint Ability in Female Soccer Players

Mounir Ait Ali Braham, Youva Ouchen, and Xavier Woorons

Purpose: To investigate the effects of repeated-sprint training with voluntary hypoventilation at low (RSH-VHL) and high (RS-VHH) lung volume on repeated-sprint ability (RSA) in female athletes. Methods: Over a 6-week period, 24 female soccer players completed 12 sessions of repeated 30-m running sprints with end-expiratory breath holding (RSH-VHL, n = 8), end-inspiratory breath holding (RS-VHH, n = 8), or unrestricted breathing (RS-URB, n = 8). Before and after training, a running RSA test consisting of performing 30-m all-out sprints until exhaustion was implemented. Results: From before to after training, the number of sprints completed during the RSA test was increased in both RSH-VHL (19.3 [0.9] vs 22.6 [0.9]; P < .01) and RS-VHH (19.3 [1.5] vs 20.5 [1.7]; P < .01) but not in RS-URB (19.4 [1.3] vs 19.5 [1.7]; P = .67). The mean velocity and the percentage decrement score calculated over sprints 1 to 17 were, respectively, higher (82.2% [1.8%] vs 84.6% [2.1%] of maximal velocity) and lower (23.7% [3.1%] vs 19.4% [3.2%]) in RSH-VHL (P < .01), whereas they remained unchanged in RS-VHH and RS-URB. The mean arterial oxygen saturation recorded during training at the end of the sprints was lower in RSH-VHL (92.1% [0.4%]) than in RS-VHH (97.3% [0.1%]) and RS-URB (97.8% [0.1%]). Conclusions: This study shows that female athletes can benefit from the RSH-VHL intervention to improve RSA. The performance gains may have been limited by the short sprinting distance with end-expiratory breath holding, which provoked only moderate hypoxemia. The increase in the number of sprints in RS-VHH seems to show that factors other than hypoxia may have played a role in RSA improvement.

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The History of Physical Activity Promotion in Physical Education and Suggestions for Moving Forward

Erin E. Centeio and Timothy A. Brusseau

Physical activity (PA) is an essential component of the physical education classroom, whether it is used to practice motor skills, increase motor competence, or provide experience and opportunities to nurture lifelong PA participation. This chapter outlines the history of PA in the school setting, beginning with physical education and expanding through a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program model including PA during the school day (e.g., recess and classroom-based activity), PA before and after school (including active commuting), staff involvement, and family and community engagement. We begin by discussing the theoretical underpinnings of PA in the school setting and then outline previous research around PA implications. Ideas and suggestions for how the field of physical education and PA in schools can move the field forward together to embrace PA during the school day while being culturally and socially just are presented. Finally, future directions and implications for research are discussed.

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Impact of Prolonged Sport Stoppage on Knee Injuries in High School Athletes: An Ecological Study

Hannah Knapic, Ellen Shanley, Charles A. Thigpen, Albert Prats-Uribe, Cynthia D. Fair, and Garrett S. Bullock

Context: In March 2020, public health concerns resulted in school closure throughout the United States. The prolonged sport cessation may affect knee injury risk in high school athletes. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare risk of knee injuries in high school athletes during 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 academic years, and stratify by gender, severity, mechanism of injury, injury type, and knee anatomic region. Design: Historical–prospective cohort study. Methods: This historical–prospective cohort study included 176 schools in 6 states matched by sport participation in control and COVID years from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021. Injury rates per 1000 athletes per year were calculated with 95% confidence intervals. A negative binomial regression was performed to assess potential differences in knee injuries between academic years. Results: 94,847 and 72,521 high school athletes participated in the 2019–2020 (19–20) and 2020–2021 (20–21) seasons. Knee injury risk was higher in the 20–21 season (19–20: 28.89% [27.82–29.96]; 20–21: 33.82% [32.50–35.14]). Risk increased for male athletes from 2019–2020 to 2020–2021 (19–20: 29.42% [28.01–30.83]; 20–21: 40.32% [38.89–41.75]). Female knee injury risk was similar between years (19–20: 25.78% [24.29–27.27]; 20–21: 26.03% [24.31–27.75]). Knee injuries increased by a ratio of 1.2 ([95% CI, 1.1–1.3], P < .001) during 2020–2021. Conclusions: Knee injury risk and relative risk increased among males in 2020–2021. Results indicate changes in knee injury risk following return from COVID shelter in place among high school athletes and implicate potential negative downstream effects of interrupted sports training and participation on high school injury risk.

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An Overview of Physical Activity Research Evolution in Africa: The Global Observatory for Physical Activity—GoPA!

Adewale L. Oyeyemi, Andrea Ramirez Varela, Estelle V. Lambert, Eduardo Ribes Kohn, Pedro C. Hallal, and Michael Pratt

Objective: To describe the evolution of physical activity (PA) research in Africa, examine income and gender inequalities, and discuss future possibilities. Methods: A secondary analyses of the Global Observatory for Physical Activity data on PA research in Africa (1950–2019). Results: We identified 514 PA articles from 47 African countries in the past 70 years. Majority (83.1%) of the articles were published between 2012 and 2019. Fifteen countries had no publications. Six countries (South Africa [n = 156], Nigeria [n = 85], Ethiopia [n = 44], Ghana [n = 41], Kenya [n = 39], and Cameroon [n = 20]) accounted for about 75% of the publications. Most articles were observational (92.4%), single-country studies (78.4%), with male first (58.4%) and last authors (68%), and were classified as surveillance studies (45.1%). Few studies addressed interventions (5.8%) and policy (3.5%) or used device-based PA measurement (14.0%). The number of articles per country was positively related to human population level (r = .552, P = .000) and gross domestic product % spent on research and development (r = .301, P = .040). The publication rate per 100,000 people was positively related with the human development index (r = .349, P = .016) and negatively with the gender inequality index (r = −.360, P = .019). Conclusions: Our results provide an overview and status of PA research in Africa, highlighting country differences and gender inequalities in authorship. The findings may be used to benchmark the evolution of research in the region and to inform areas for improvement. There is an urgent need for more PA interventions and policy studies in Africa.