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Encouraging the Use of Innovative Practices in Sport Management

Ryan Snelgrove and Laura Wood

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Managing Conflict and Resistance to Change in a Minor Hockey System

Daniel Wigfield and Ryan Snelgrove

In March 2017, responding to a pressure to improve athlete development and enjoyment, Hockey Canada moved to change how youth are introduced to hockey by mandating the implementation of a cross-ice development program for its entry-level participants. The mandate of cross-ice programming was to ensure that all 75,000 entry-level participants received increased touches of the puck on an appropriately sized playing surface; thus, heightening their spatial awareness and foundational skills necessary to enjoyably move forward in hockey. As is common for many sport organizations, the proposed programming changes were met with resistance by some stakeholders. Surprisingly, the resistance to the programming changes evolved into a much-publicized intergroup conflict within Hockey Canada’s largest market. The dispute could not be resolved in time for the beginning of the 2017–2018 season. As a result, the defiant local leagues were granted a one-year reprieve from implementing cross-ice programming. With only a one-year reprieve granted, Hockey Canada must now determine the appropriate steps to fully implement their desired programming change and ensure that resistance-based conflicts are limited in the future.

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Cocreating Change Through Sport-Based Social Entrepreneurship

Ryan Snelgrove and Laura Wood

This article describes the design of an undergraduate course in which students learn how to cocreate change using social entrepreneurship. This approach is presented as a way of broadening sport management students’ awareness of nontraditional career opportunities and facilitating an understanding of the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed as a social entrepreneur. Drawing on situational learning theory and cognitive learning theory, the course facilitates learning through student engagement in a community of practice and weekly workshops.

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Mechanisms of Institutional Maintenance in Minor Hockey

Spencer Riehl, Ryan Snelgrove, and Jonathon Edwards

Responding to a pressure to increase athlete enjoyment and improve athlete development, governing bodies in sport have sought to adapt policies and programs. This study describes a governing association’s failed attempt at selling an optional change to some local associations. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with coaches and board members within two local minor hockey associations and executive decision makers in a provincial governing association (Ontario Minor Hockey Association) in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association sought to maintain the institution by influencing local associations to change the way minor hockey was played (i.e., adopting cross-ice play). They attempted to influence local associations through education, local change champions, and the success of other hockey associations that underwent the change. The two local associations in this study ultimately resisted a shift to cross-ice play, citing history and tradition, constrained organizational resources, operational challenges with change, and change not being mandated.

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Modifying Tradition: Examining Organizational Change in Youth Sport

Julie Legg, Ryan Snelgrove, and Laura Wood

The purpose of this study was to examine the process of change at the level of youth sport by identifying the impetus for change, responses to change by stakeholders, and factors that constrained or aided the change process. Theoretically, this study builds upon an existing integrative change model. The context of this research is two youth soccer associations in Ontario, Canada, undergoing a long-term structural redesign mandated by the provincial soccer association. Stakeholders from local soccer clubs, as well as the Ontario Soccer Association (N = 20), identified key factors influencing the implementation and success of change. Pressures to change and individual efforts made by board members, coaches, and parents were noted as aiding the change process. Limited collaboration with stakeholders, poor communication, misunderstandings of the change, and constrained organizational capacity negatively affected the change process.

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Managing a Professional Sport Franchise: An Extended Case Approach to Learning

Ryan Snelgrove, Laura Wood, and Dan Wigfield

This article describes the use of an extended case that simulates the front-office management of a National Basketball Association franchise during the off-season. Undergraduate students in an introduction to sport management course are tasked with making a series of sequential and interconnected decisions over a semester related to hiring a coach, producing a press release and press conference, analyzing player performance, creating a turnaround plan, managing a roster, establishing a culture following change, and relaunching the team’s brand. The benefits of this approach include the application of knowledge to practice, an understanding of a sport sector, making decisions in teams, adapting to new organizational environments, understanding how to make sequential decisions, and understanding how decisions are interconnected over time and across departments.

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A Systematic Methodology for Preserving the Whole in Large-Scale Qualitative-Temporal Research

Orland Hoeber, Ryan Snelgrove, Larena Hoeber, and Laura Wood

Large-scale qualitative-temporal research faces significant data management and analysis challenges due to the size and the textual and temporal nature of the datasets. We propose a systematic methodology that employs visual exploration to produce a purposive sample of a much larger collection of data, followed by a combination of thematic analysis and visualization. This method allows for the preservation of the whole, producing thematic timelines that can be used to elucidate a narrative of incidents or issues as they unfold. We present a step-by-step guide for this methodology and a comprehensive example from the domain of social media analysis to illustrate how it can be used to reveal interesting temporal patterns among tweets relevant to a noteworthy incident. The approach is useful in sport management, particularly for research related to fan behavior, critical incident management, and media framing.

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Hockey Is Not for Everyone, But It Could Be

Victoria Kabetu, Ryan Snelgrove, Kimberly J. Lopez, and Daniel Wigfield

Steve Kroger, president and COO of Hockey Canada, is contemplating how to attract and retain more young people who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in minor hockey (ages 4–18 years). Hockey Canada the governing association for amateur hockey in the country has created programs that make the sport accessible for more people to try, yet Steve recognizes there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to increase participation rates among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color athletes. Drawing on a policy paper for anti-racism in Canadian hockey, Steve tasks his team with developing strategies aimed at making the sport more inclusive and boosting participation.

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To Grow or Not to Grow: Strategy Development at PGC Basketball

Daniel Wigfield, Ryan Snelgrove, Luke R. Potwarka, Katie Misener, and Laura Wood

Mano Watsa, President of Point Guard College (PGC) Basketball, is contemplating the next direction to take his organization. His co-owner, Nicole, is adamant that the next five years should be focused on growing PGC Basketball. Like Nicole, Mano would love to see PGC Basketball continue to grow; however, he is skeptical about focusing on growth when the organization is facing some significant challenges. Specifically, PGC Basketball is faced with a low athlete annual retention rate (i.e., 20%) and camps in some regions operating below 70% capacity. In addition, Mano recognizes that PGC Basketball has issues achieving consistency within their operations to ensure quality control, promoting their summer camps within all the markets they serve, as well as attracting and retaining top talent to work as camp instructors. Mano must determine the best strategy to implement for PGC Basketball to continue its success over the next five years.