The present paper looks at the different positions two major international sport federations, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS), took with respect to East Germany during the 1950s. Because these positions were greatly influenced by FIFA’s and the FIS’s prior relations with Germany and by the challenges posed by global politics, this study begins by examining these relations during the interwar period. By combining information from the FIFA, FIS, and International Olympic Committee (IOC) archives with documents from the German national archives and articles published in Switzerland’s sporting press, the authors were able to highlight differences between the two federations’ approaches and show the need for studies to go beyond an IOC-centric approach.
Philippe Vonnard and Sébastien Cala
Jörg Krieger, Lindsay Parks Pieper and Ian Ritchie
In this autoethnography, I read my history of and connection to outdoor culture, with an eye toward interrogating my complicity in historical and ongoing settler-colonial violence that has rendered my love of “the mountains” both possible and ostensibly unproblematic. In so doing, I unsettle (my) understandings of the connections between land, embodiment, masculinities, and able-bodiedness, exploring how settler attachment to the mountains is predicated on and serves to perpetuate, a(n ongoing) history of land dispossession. I also, however, consider a “different temporal horizon” through a discussion of settler futurity as it relates to outdoor recreation, complicating settler mobility in the process.
Gretchen Kerr, Erin Willson and Ashley Stirling
This study sought to explore the long-term effects of emotionally abusive coaching on female athletes. Although the long-term effects of childhood emotional abuse are well-documented in the child abuse literature, this question has not been explored empirically in the domain of sport, an environment in which emotionally abusive coaching practices are known to be common. In various prevalence studies of athlete maltreatment in sport internationally, emotional abuse is the most frequently experienced form and yet the long-term implications of these experiences are not well-understood. This study involved interviews of eight retired, elite, female Canadian National Team members. The findings revealed that athletes reportedly experienced different effects depending on whether they were in their competitive careers, in the retirement transition, or in post-transition life. All of the athletes required professional psychological assistance to help them recover from their emotionally abusive experiences; for some, this process continued for six years post-retirement. The effects described by the athletes resembled the symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder suggesting an important line of future research. Until coaching practices become abuse-free, these findings also indicate a clear need for the provision of psychological supports and resources for athletes during and post-athletic career.
Nicola Brown, Jacky Forsyth, Rachael Bullingham and Claire-Marie Roberts
Colin D. McLaren and Kevin S. Spink
Emerging evidence suggests that team success is associated with communication among group members. This study built on those findings by examining the degree to which members on a winning (n = 13) and a losing (n = 13) men’s soccer team exchanged task-related information during a single head-to-head game. Social network analysis was used to compute athlete information exchange at the individual and team levels by asking players to identify the specific members with whom they exchanged information during the game. As hypothesized, athletes on the winning team had higher average individual degree centrality and higher network-density scores than athletes on the losing team. This indicates that individual members on the winning team exchanged task-related information with more of their teammates and, as a result, engaged in more collective information exchange as a team. While replication is necessary to increase generalizability, this study suggests a possible link between the degree that team members exchange information (at the individual and team level) and team performance outcome (i.e., win or loss).
Nicole Johnson, Katie Hanna, Julie Novak and Angelo P. Giardino
While society at large recognizes the many benefits of sport, it is important to also recognize and prevent factors that can lead to an abusive environment. This paper seeks to combine the current research on abuse in the sport environment with the work of the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The inclusion of risk factors unique to sport and evidence-informed practices provides framing for the scope and response to sexual abuse in sport organizations in the United States. The paper then explores the creation and mission of the U.S. Center for SafeSport, including the role of education in prevention and of policy, procedures, audit, and compliance as important aspects of a comprehensive safeguarding strategy. This paper provides preliminary data on the reach of the Center, established in 2017. This data captures the scope of education and training and the increase in reports to the Center from within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement.
Martin Roderick and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
To date, no sociological studies of professional athletes have investigated the lived experiences of sportspeople in highly publicly visible occupations that provide relatively few opportunities for backstage relaxation from role demands. Drawing on findings from a British Academy-funded project examining high-profile sports workers and employing Goffman’s dramaturgical insights, this article provides a novel examination of high-profile athletes who work in highly publicly visible contexts. This working context can render them “open” persons in interactional situations. To explore this sociologically significant occupational domain, interviews were conducted with 26 U.K.-based professional athletes (females and males) from seven different sports. For these athletes, dramaturgical demands were found to be relentless and unremitting, as backstage regions proved so challenging to access.