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Wendy White Morrow and P. Chelladurai

A successful national sport organization, Synchro Canada, was described in terms of three structural characteristics (formalization, centralization, and complexity) and five processes (activities to ensure resources, work flow, control, identification, and homeostatic activities) based on evidence from documents and, to a limited extent, from interviews. Eighty-five subjects from four constituent groups (administrators, judges, coaches, and athletes) responded to a questionnaire that assessed their perceptions regarding the contributions of the selected organizational characteristics to Synchro Canada's overall effectiveness. The analyses showed that the organization's structures and processes were consistent with the literature in organization theory. From an overall perspective, the respondents perceived the structural and process characteristics as contributing to overall effectiveness. However, the coaches as a subgroup viewed the dimensions of activities to ensure resources, control activities, and centralization as detracting from effectiveness.

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R. Scott Kretchmar

The 2012 Academy meeting focused on research related to increasing levels of physical activity and promoting persistence. Speakers agreed that answers would be hard to come by but that progress was possible. Emphases for potential solutions ranged from the cellular to the cultural, from neural mechanisms to symbolic processes, from particle physics to philosophy. Strategies for intervention were diverse and refected a series of dynamical tensions—behavioral and nonbehavioral, cognitive and noncognitive, traditional and nontra-ditional, environmental and motivational, and finally medical in contrast to educational. It is likely, given the complexities inherent in increasing movement behaviors and assuring persistence, that various blends of solutions emerging from multiple points on the disciplinary landscape and honoring truths that run across these strategic tensions will be needed.

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Kevin M. Guskiewicz

“Concussion” is all over the news, and—yes—it has implications for combating chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Many parents are pushing their children away from collision sports such as football, hockey, and lacrosse because they fear the risk of chronic neurodegenerative problems later in life. However, there is good logic in emphasizing the importance of physical activities such as collision type sports, during the developmental years. Physical educators, researchers, policy makers, and coaches must work together to encourage safe play and rules changes that can keep youth and adolescents active in sports that build character, discipline, and teach teamwork. Understanding the complexity of the highly adaptable adolescent brain both prior to and following sport-related concussion is critically important in accomplishing this goal.

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Rita Liberti

The experiences of women in physical education history from the nineteenth century forward offer us valuable insights toward a better understanding of the discipline since its inception. The deeply gendered histories of women in the profession are contingent upon the ways in which they intersect with other identities, including class, race, and sexuality. Dominant gender ideologies were reinforced and resisted in women’s physical education, making it a significant location to understand how bodies were constructed and reconstructed within ever-changing societal definitions of gender and athletic femininity. The contradictions and complexities that emerge as a result of the many gender tensions in play over the course of this history produce a rich site to more completely understand the discipline’s past and future.

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Jun Woo Kim, Marshall Magnusen and Yu Kyoum Kim

The purpose of this study is to provide a critical review of how consumer satisfaction research in the sport management and the nonsport literatures has developed over the past several decades, and, with that information, to propose a new comparison standard in the formation of sport consumer satisfaction. Though several alternative explanations of consumer satisfaction have been developed, expectancy-disconfirmation framework is the theoretical foundation most used in consumer satisfaction research. However, expectancy-disconfirmation theory does not allow researchers to fully assess the potential complexity of sport consumer satisfaction. Therefore, in addition to recommendations for improving the application of expectancy-disconfirmation, we also propose counterfactual thinking as an alternative comparison standard in determining sport consumer satisfaction. The proposed framework contributes to the literature on sport consumer behavior by illustrating how sport consumers use a “what might have been” rather than “what was” heuristic to explain satisfaction judgments with their sport consumption experiences.

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Larena Hill and Lisa M. Kikulis

This research examines the dynamics of strategic decision making within the western Canadian university athletic system. Using a framework developed from the Bradford studies (Hickson, Butler, Cray, Mallory, & Wilson, 1986) and Butler (1991), we focused on three key elements of decision making; complexity, politically, and the rules of the game. Using these concepts, this paper presents a case study analysis of the decision process that centered around the potential restructuring of the Canada West University Athletic Association and the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Qualitative research methods were used to collect and analyze data from documents and interview transcripts. The results show that the diversity of interests, level of influence, and both the constraining and enabling rules of the game contribute to the way the decision topic of restructuring was interpreted, what behaviors were enacted, and how the decision making process emerged to deal with this topic.

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Edmund O. Acevedo and Aaron L. Slusher

The relationship between stress and disease, in particular cardiovascular disease, has long been recognized, whereas the study of the physiological mechanisms that explain this link has only more recently received attention. The acute response to stress is generally thought to be a critically important adaptation designed to activate the system in preparation to cope with the stressor. However, prolonged stimulation of the system (acute and chronic) can lead to deleterious adaptations including the release of inflammatory cytokines (small proteins important in cell signaling) that play a critical role in the development of atherosclerosis. Scientists have therefore used a breadth of protocols and methods to identify the complexity of our fight-or-flight response and demonstrate the synergy between perception, the stress response, physical activity, and health. In addition, the critical assessment of cellular health, the gut microbiome, and genetic polymorphisms have further advanced our understanding of additional therapeutic targets against CVD.

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George B. Cunningham and Michael Sagas

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of age, ethnic, and organizational tenure diversity on occupational commitment and occupational turnover intent among coaching staffs. Data were gathered via questionnaire from coaches in 48 NCAA Division IA football coaching staffs (235 coaches). Hierarchical regression analyses, controlling for the success of the team and the number of respondents per team, indicated that the block of diversity variables accounted for 18% (p < .05) of the variance in occupational commitment and 16% (p < .05) of the variance in occupational turnover intentions. Tenure and ethnic diversity were significant predictors in both analyses, although age diversity was not. Implications are discussed in relation to the complexity of diversity and strategies to mitigate the negative effects of group diversity on group-level outcomes.

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Alison J. Doherty and Packianathan Chelladurai

The article focuses on the management and impact of cultural diversity in sport organizations. It is proposed that the potentially constructive or destructive impact of cultural diversity is a function of the management of that diversity, which is ultimately a reflection of organizational culture, or “how things are done around here.” Organizational culture is described along a continuum of valuing similarity and diversity in the organization. It is argued that the benefits of cultural diversity (e.g., creativity, challenge, constructive conflict) will be realized when an organizational culture of diversity underlies the management of that diversity. These benefits are heightened when the situation dictates a high degree of task interdependence and complexity. Implications for increasing cultural diversity and developing an organizational culture that values that diversity, as a social responsibility and a contributing force to organizational performance, are discussed.

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Hendrik Reimann, Tyler Fettrow and John J. Jeka

The neural control of balance during locomotion is currently not well understood, even in the light of considerable advances in research on balance during standing. In this paper, we lay out the control problem for this task and present a list of different strategies available to the central nervous system to solve this problem. We discuss the biomechanics of the walking body, using a simplified model that iteratively gains degrees of freedom and complexity. Each addition allows for different control strategies, which we introduce in turn: foot placement shift, ankle strategy, hip strategy, and push-off modulation. The dynamics of the biomechanical system are discussed using the phase space representation, which allows illustrating the mechanical effect of the different control mechanisms. This also enables us to demonstrate the effects of common general stability strategies, such as increasing step width and cadence.