Critics of youth sport have argued that competitive pressures engendered by adult supervision have robbed sport of its play and socialization values. Others contend that youth sport can be redesigned to enhance the benefits children obtain. This study describes an action research project designed to evaluate a soccer program that was devised as a child-centered alternative to traditional programs. On the basis of deliberations with the parent volunteers who created and implement the program, two surveys were designed: one for parents and one for children. Parents in the alternative program and in two traditional programs completed measures of satisfaction, sport involvement, purchase-decision involvement, and attitude. Children completed measures of satisfaction, enjoyment, and attitude. Analysis revealed that the alternative program is well-liked by parents and children, and that parents choosing the alternative program are psychographically distinct from parents who choose traditional programs. Necessary improvements in the alternative program were identified. Use of the study's findings and implications for sport programs and action research are discussed.
B. Christine Green
Sport development has become a leading issue for sport policymakers and sport managers worldwide. Sport development systems have two main objectives: to increase the number of participants actively engaged in sport and to enhance the quality of performances in sport. This is the foundation of the much used, but rarely examined, pyramid analogy in sport development. In this article, the pyramid model of sport development is explored, and its underlying assumptions are critiqued. Three tasks necessary for an effective pyramid model are identified: athlete recruitment, athlete retention, and athlete transitions. Recruitment requires the assistance of significant others, as well as the proliferation of many smaller, local-level sport programs. Retention requires a focus on motivation, socialization, and commitment. Advancement requires that programs be linked vertically and that athletes be aided in processes of locating and socializing into new levels of involvement. Although specific strategies for enhancing recruitment, retention, and transition of athletes can be identified from the literature, further research is needed.
Laurence Chalip and B. Christine Green
Modified youth sport programs seek to adapt sport rules, equipment, and contingencies to the needs and abilities of child participants. Research shows that modified programs can broaden the base of youth sport participation, enhance children’s affective experience of sport, and elevate the level of skill they attain. Hotelling’s location game is applied to the analysis of a modified youth soccer program. It is shown that the program struggled to retain the modifications it had implemented and was gradually compelled to adopt elements of the traditional youth sport programs it had initially rejected. This finding is consistent with predictions derived from Hotelling. It is argued that modified programs will have difficulty maintaining their distinctiveness from traditional youth sport if they are implemented within established sport club structures. A framework for facilitating the establishment and maintenance of modified youth sport programs is suggested.
Brad Hill and B. Christine Green
Modified children’s sport programs are intended to increase opportunities for participation, skill acquisition, satisfaction, and enjoyment. Unfortunately, teams in modified programs sometimes consist of more players than can participate at any one time. Barker and Gump’s (1964) manning theory is used to analyze the effects of a modified children’s soccer program that excludes children from game participation by relegating them to the role of substitutes. Participant observation and interviews with coaches, parents, and players were conducted over 2 seasons. Findings are consistent with propositions from manning theory. Children’s teams provide a better social climate, more skill development, and greater enjoyment and satisfaction when teams are not allocated substitutes. These advantages are not reduced, and are sometimes elevated, when teams must sometimes play short handed. Administrative concerns about the potential risks of fielding teams without substitutes are found to be unwarranted, and the presence of substitutes restricts opportunities for youth-sport organizations to attract and retain members. These findings suggest a framework for the design and maintenance of modified children’s sport.
Matthew T. Bowers and B. Christine Green
Youth sport participation often provides the most salient forum for connecting sport with local communities. In this phenomenological examination of preteen youth sport participants, we consider the experiences and attendant meanings derived from participation in both organized and unstructured youth sport settings within a community. Phenomenology offers a paradigm for understanding youth sport participation, not in terms of the dialectical differences between the settings, but in terms of how the experiences in the different settings inform one another in the creation of meanings for participants. The analysis reveals that playing in unstructured settings actually changes the way participants think about their experiences playing organized sports (and vice versa) with both settings providing meaningful experiences capable of connecting participants to the community. Therefore, taxonomically separating the experiences engendered in the organized and unstructured settings creates a false dichotomy that fails to account for the important meanings to emerge from their synthesis.
Won Jae Seo and B. Christine Green
The Internet has become a significant tool for sport marketing. Professional sport teams’ Web sites are now an important component of their marketing mix; yet, little is know about users’ consumption motives for Web sites, particularly sport teams’ Web sites. The purpose of this study was to develop a valid, reliable instrument to measure motivation for sport online consumption. The Motivation Scale for Sport Online Consumption (MSSOC) was developed in three phases. A literature review identified 102 potential motives in Phase 1. A second, qualitative phase refined and classified the potential item pool, resulting in 67 items. Exploratory factor analysis (N = 175) was used to generate a 10-factor, 40-item scale. The revised instrument was used in a second study (N = 371). Structural equation modeling was used to confirm the factor structure of the instrument and to reduce each subscale to 3 items. The final scale consisted of 10 dimensions of motivation: fanship, interpersonal communication, technical knowledge, fan expression, entertainment, economic, pass time, information, escape, and support. Subscale internal consistency ranged from .77 to .90. All 10 dimensions were positively correlated with Web commitment (.20 < r2 < .63), providing evidence of convergent validity. Potential uses of the scale are discussed.
Laurence Chalip, B. Christine Green, and Brad Hill
The effect of destination advertising and sport event media (advertising and telecast) were compared experimentally on nine dimensions of destination image and on intention to visit the host destination. Participants' images of Australia's Gold Coast were collected in the United States (long-haul market) and New Zealand (short-haul market) following exposure to one of eight media conditions. The event telecast, event advertising, and destination advertising each affected different dimensions of destination image. There was a wider array of effects in the American market than in the New Zealand market. Some effects of each form of media were negative, with event media having a negative impact on participants' image of the destination's natural environment. Destination image was significantly related to intention to visit the host destination, but the dimensions that affected intention to visit were different for the two countries. Among the New Zealand sample, the dimensions of destination image affected by event media and the destination advertisement were not those impacting intention to visit.
Sheranne Fairley, Pamm Kellett, and B. Christine Green
Volunteers have become essential to the delivery of sport events. Megaevents, such as the Olympic Games, rely on a large number of volunteers for the successful running of the event, some of whom travel to volunteer. This study investigates the motives of a group of people who volunteered at the Sydney Olympics as they prepared to travel to volunteer at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Four key motives were identified: (a) nostalgia, (b) camaraderie and friendship, (c) Olympic (i.e., subcultural) connection, and (d) sharing and recognition of expertise. The motives identified distinguish event volunteer tourists from other volunteer tourists and from other event volunteers. It is suggested that the recruitment, retention, and reacquisition of event volunteers will be served by understanding the motives and experiences of repeat event volunteers.
Marlene A. Dixon, B. Christine Green, Arden Anderson, and Peter Evans
Adolescent sport participants, particularly girls, continue to drop out of sport at alarmingly high rates, which presents an opportunity for new sport programs to enter the marketplace to better cater to those participants. Starting new sport programs, however, presents significant challenges, including acquiring and mobilizing resources in innovative ways. Using theory in sport development and the resource-based view, the authors examined six emergent sport programs for girls within the United States and United Kingdom to identify the resources obtained and mobilized to create new and distinctive sport opportunities in a crowded marketplace. Following a case study approach, data from site visits and interviews with 137 individuals were analyzed using within- and across-case analysis. The findings reveal the resources needed to grow the programs, the ways in which those resources are attained, and strategies to mobilize resource bundles to maximize sport opportunities by differentiating programs from traditional, mainstream sport opportunities. The findings also highlight the distinctive opportunities and challenges for sport organizers in both top-down and bottom-up sport development systems. This study informs theory in sport development and provides insight for creatively designing and delivering sport opportunities that expand overall sport participation for adolescent girls.
Stacy Warner, Brianna L. Newland, and B. Christine Green
Volunteers provide an essential human resource to sport organizations. Yet measures of motivation and satisfaction have had limited impact on an organization’s ability to improve their volunteer systems. This study applied the Kano Method to categorize volunteers’ perceptions of their experience into four dimensions of satisfaction: Attractive (or Satisfiers), Must-Be’s (or Dissatisfiers), One-Dimensional, and Indifferent. Four types of volunteers (44 sport continuous, 47 sport episodic, 49 nonsport continuous, 176 nonsport episodic) completed a web questionnaire including 26-paired features of their experience, 26 motives, and five key outcome measures. Although motives were deemed important, alone they were poor predictors of key outcomes and were unrelated to satisfaction. Volunteers in the four contexts classified the 26 features in different ways. No Must-Be’s (dissatisfiers) were identified by any group. Although most features were identified as Attractive, the distribution of One-Dimensional and Indifferent features varied by context. One-dimensional items were only identified among features categorized as Supportive Culture, Clear Direction, and Contribution. These features should be prioritized as managers improve volunteer management systems. The Kano Method extends our understanding of the volunteer experience by providing researchers with a tool to distinguish the way volunteers conceptualize their experience. From a practical standpoint, it provides volunteer managers with an additional tool in their efforts to recruit and retain volunteers by prioritizing features that will most immediately impact volunteers.