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Douglas Booth and John Loy

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Edited by John W. Loy and George H. Sage

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James Curtis, John Loy and Wally Karnilowicz

Recent research has shown that there are “death dips” for suicide around major ceremonial occasions, and for certain public holidays in particular. This research suggests that the suicide-dip phenomenon is caused by increased social integration associated with such occasions. Elsewhere in the literature, sociological interpretations of major sport events indicate that they, too, serve as ceremonial occasions and play an integrative role in society. Building from these two sets of observations, we test the hypothesis that suicide rates for the national population (1972-78) are lower than expected during and just before two sport ceremonial days: the last day of the World Series and Super Bowl Sunday. Comparisons are made with suicide patterns around two civil holidays—the 4th of July and Thanksgiving Day—for which suicide dips have previously been reported. The results for both the sport events and the civil holidays show that suicides are comparatively low just before and during the ceremonial days and comparatively high just after them. The effects for the sport ceremonies are weak, but the common elements in the patterns of findings for the sport events and civil holidays suggest that the suicide-dip phenomenon extends to these sport ceremonies.

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John W. Loy, James E. Curtis and James M. Hillen

This paper replicates Grusky’s (1963) study of the playing position-leadership recruitment relationship among North American professional baseball clubs in a different cultural context, comparing it to Japanese professional base-ball organizations over a 40-year period. Overall, the Japanese results are consistent with the North American findings, with the more central or high interaction positions contributing more leaders or field managers. However, the relationship is considerably weaker for the sport in Japan. There were also significant cross-cultural differences in the consequences of players having held the positions of pitcher and catcher. Alternative interpretations of the results are offered, and the implications of the results for choices of appropriate research strategies are presented.