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  • Author: Norris R. Johnson x
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Norris R. Johnson

This paper describes an instrument developed and used with an experimental methodology in a pilot study of stacking in football and baseball. The instrument was a positional profile purporting to represent an evaluation of young athletes on a number of position-relevant traits. Respondents were asked to assign each player to a position solely on the basis of this written evaluation. The race of the profiled player was systematically varied in order to measure the impact of race on positional assignment. Preliminary results showed that coaches achieve a high degree of consensus when making assignments on the basis of the written evaluations alone, and players who have been identified as white are significantly more likely to be assigned to the quarterback position than are players identified as black. No other evidence of racial differences in positional assignment was indicated.

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Brett D. Johnson and Norris R. Johnson

One explanation for stacking in sports is that minorities are excluded from positions with the greatest opportunity for determining the outcome of the competition, with the place kicker in football cited as an example. This paper postulated that the short relief pitcher in baseball also has high outcome control, and it hypothesized that minorities would be underrepresented in that position as well. We classified major league pitchers from the 1992 and 1993 seasons as starters, stoppers, or others and tested whether race or ethnicity was a factor in assignment to these positions. The hypothesis was not supported for either African American or Latin American pitchers. Minority group members were equally underrepresented in all categories of the pitcher position.