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Alexander Fink and Daniel J. Smith

Profit-maximizing organizers of sports contests have an incentive to implement rules that increase the attractiveness of sports contest for spectators. But prohibitively high enforcement costs can prevent organizers from implementing certain rules. We argue that in these instances unofficial norms can potentially complement the official rules and add to the attractiveness of a contest. If contest participants who have an encompassing interest in the contest face low enough monitoring and sanctioning costs, they can enforce unofficial norms among themselves. Thus, organizers of sports contests may find it beneficial to avoid instituting rules that inhibit the emergence of unofficial norms. We provide evidence in support of our contention from the Tour de France.

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Zachary Wahl-Alexander and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Purpose: To examine the influence of negotiations between students and graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) on GTAs’ instruction within university physical activity classes. Method: Participants were 10 GTAs working in one university. Data collection and analysis were guided by constructs from the classroom ecology paradigm. Data collection techniques employed were non-participant observation, informal and formal interviews, and document analysis. Data were analyzed using analytic induction and constant comparison. Results: The type, focus, and extent of negotiations in GTAs’ activity classes varied considerably depending on whether or not they had received prior pedagogical training, gained experience of teaching physical education in schools, and were familiar with the content. Conclusion: Our findings suggest two courses of action be taken if quality activity courses are to be delivered. First, such classes should be taught by GTAs with pedagogical training and teaching experience. Alternatively, previously untrained and inexperienced GTAs should be given extensive preparation.

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Zachary Wahl-Alexander and Matthew D. Curtner-Smith

Purpose: To describe the influence of negotiations on instruction when preservice teachers taught elementary students using a skill theme approach. Methods: Participants were nine preservice teachers from one physical education teacher education program enrolled in a 9-week early field experience. They taught kindergarten, first-, and second-grade students (N = 203). Constructs from the ecology paradigm and previous research on negotiations guided data collection and analysis. Data were collected through nonparticipant observation, informal interviews, critical incident reflections, document analysis, and formal interviews. Deductive and inductive qualitative techniques were employed to code and categorize the data. Findings: A unique and mainly positive pattern of negotiations was revealed as were some new forms of negotiation. Students were also shown to initiate negative negotiations to change content they perceived as gender inappropriate. Conclusion: These findings could be used as the basis for educating preservice teachers to negotiate more effectively when teaching by skill themes.

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Zachary Wahl-Alexander, Matthew D. Curtner-Smith and Oleg A. Sinelnikov

Purpose: Previous research has indicated that preservice teachers (PTs) and students take part in negotiations during the instructional process which can significantly impact the nature and quality of instruction. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of a training program on the ability of PTs to negotiate while teaching lessons in multi-activity (MA) and sport education (SE) units. Methods: Participants were 13 PTs enrolled in a middle school early field experience (EFE). They taught 13-lesson MA and SE soccer units to 94 students aged 10 to 13 years. The training program included a two-session workshop prior to the EFE and multiple follow-up observations with feedback throughout the EFE. Data were collected by utilizing seven qualitative techniques and analyzed using analytic induction and constant comparison. Results and Conclusions: The key finding was that the training program was effective in that it enhanced PTs’ ability to negotiate with their students. In addition, the study provided more evidence indicating that different patterns of negotiations take place within MA and SE units and that generally negotiating within SE is a more positive experience for teachers and students.

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Jemma L. Hawkins, Alexander Smith, Karianne Backx and Deborah A. Clayton

Previous research has suggested that gardening activity could be an effective form of regular exercise for improving physical and psychological health in later life. However, there is a lack of data regarding the exercise intensities of various gardening tasks across different types of gardening and different populations. The purpose of this study was to examine the exercise intensity of gardening activity for older adult allotment gardeners in Wales, United Kingdom following a similar procedure used in previous studies conducted in the United States and South Korea by Park and colleagues (2008a; 2011). Oxygen consumption (VO2) and energy expenditure for six gardening tasks were measured via indirect calorimetery using the portable Oxycon mobile device. From these measures, estimated metabolic equivalent units (METs) were calculated. Consistent with Park et al. (2008a; 2011) the six gardening tasks were classified as low to moderate-high intensity physical activities based on their metabolic values (1.9–5.7 METs).

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Sarah Shaw, Tina Smith, Jenny Alexanders, Thomas Shaw, Lois Smith, Alan Nevill and Anna Anderson


To investigate half-marathon runners’ frequency of use of recovery strategies, perceptions regarding the most beneficial recovery strategy, and reasons for using recovery strategies.


Cross-sectional survey.


186 participants of the 13.1 mile BUPA Great North Run 2013.


A questionnaire was developed which required participants to indicate how frequently they used 12 different recovery strategies, identify which recovery strategy they believed to be most beneficial, and rank 6 reasons for using recovery strategies in order of importance. Data were analyzed using a Friedman nonparametric ANOVA and additional nonparametric tests.


All participants used recovery strategies. Stretching was the most commonly used recovery strategy (P < .001), whereas the use of nutritional supplements was the most commonly selected most beneficial recovery strategy. More than 50% of respondents indicated that they never used strategies such as kinesio tape (80%), hydrotherapy (78%), or ice baths (71%). A significant difference was observed between reasons for using recovery strategy (χ2 (5) = 292.29, P < .001). Reducing muscle tightness (rank 4.87) and reducing injury (rank 4.35) were the most frequently chosen most important reasons for using recovery strategies. Minor sex and age differences in the responses were identified.


Recovery strategy usage appears to be widespread among half-marathon runners; however, disparities exist between the frequency of use and perceived effectiveness of different recovery strategies. Further research in this area is needed to facilitate the development of recovery strategy guidelines which are both evidence-based and practically relevant.

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Jessica G. Hunter, Alexander M.B. Smith, Lena M. Sciarratta, Stephen Suydam, Jae Kun Shim and Ross H. Miller

Studies of running mechanics often use a standardized lab shoe, ostensibly to reduce variance between subjects; however, this may induce unnatural running mechanics. The purpose of this study was to compare the step rate, vertical average loading rate, and ground contact time when running in standardized lab shoes versus participants’ normal running shoes. Ground reaction forces were measured while the participants ran overground in both shoe conditions at a self-selected speed. The Student’s t-test revealed that the vertical average loading rate magnitude was smaller in lab shoes versus normal shoes (42.09 [11.08] vs 47.35 [10.81] body weight/s, P = .013), while the step rate (170.92 [9.43] vs 168.98 [9.63] steps/min, P = .053) and ground contact time were similar (253 [25] vs 251 [20] ms, P = .5227) and the variance of all outcomes was similar in lab shoes versus normal shoes. Our results indicate that using standardized lab shoes during testing may underestimate the loads runners actually experience during their typical mileage.