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Konstantinos Koukouris

Disengagement from sport is examined from a phenomenological perspective. This perspective permits committed adult athletes to explain in their own time and their own words why they ceased participating in formally organized competitive sport. Thirty-four former advanced and elite athletes were interviewed. The constructed case study method provides the opportunity to examine causal relationships among all factors leading to disengagement from sport, and follows a “holistic” method of analyzing interviews (cognitive mapping). Former athletes identified the problem of settling into a job and financial constraints as the primary factors influencing their disengagement from sport. Most athletes left sport voluntarily and experienced elements of rebirth rather than social death.

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Maithe Cardoso de Araújo and Kathrin A.M. Mießen

The aim of this study was to investigate the evolution of competitiveness in elite women’s soccer, comparing the goal difference mean between the first FIFA Women’s World Cup (W1991) and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 (W2011), twenty years later. Analogous Men’s World Cups (M1990 and M2010) and the first one (M1930) were analyzed for comparative purposes. A total of 192 matches were taken into account and their final result was obtained through official match reports. The overall goal difference (GD) was 1.6, with GD of one occurring 44.3%. Percentage of matches finished with a GD of more than three was 30.7% in W1991 and only 6.3% in W2011. Mean of GD in W2011 was significantly lower than in W1991 (1.38 ± 1.10 vs. 2.81 ± 1.96, U = 226.0, z = -3.085, p = .002), while between M1990 and M2010 it did not differ statistically (1.21 ± 1.05 vs. 1.23 ± 1.23, U = 1639.5, z = -0.146, p = .884). In contrast to the comparisons to W1991, differences between W2011 and M2010 as well as M1990 were not significant. However, GD in W2011 was significantly lower than in the M1930. The results demonstrated that elite women’s soccer has shown a notorious development with regard to the competitiveness, approaching the status already achieved by men. This fast progress represents new challenges for the sports sciences and football associations.

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Bryan E. Denham

Drawing on data gathered from high-school seniors in the 2008 Monitoring the Future Study of American Youth (N = 2,063), this research examined the explanatory effects of competitive sports participation on alcohol consumption and marijuana use using race and noncompetitive exercise frequency as controls. Among males, competitive sports included baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and weightlifting, and among females, sports included softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, and volleyball. White males reported greater alcohol consumption than Black and Hispanic respondents, with competitors in baseball, football and weightlifting consuming alcohol more frequently. The use of marijuana did not depend on race, but baseball players and weightlifters reported significantly more use. Among females, race differences did not emerge in ordinal regression models testing effects on alcohol consumption, but participants in every sport reported drinking alcohol more frequently. White female athletes also appeared to smoke marijuana more frequently. Overall, results suggested comparably strong effects for female sport environments while male behaviors varied by race, noncompetitive exercise frequency, and sports competition. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are offered.

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Kristin J. Heumann and Pamela D. Swan

Jumping rope (JR) is known to enhance Os Calcis Stiffness Index (OCSI) in postpubertal girls; however the effects in prepubescent girls are unknown.

Purpose:

Qualitative Ultrasound (QUS) indices were compared between competitive JRs (N = 19) and normally active (NA, N = 18) girls 9–12 years old.

Methods:

Heel QUS, height, weight, percent body fat (bioelectrical impedance), and Tanner Sex Stage (self-report) were measured.

Results:

JR were significantly younger and had less body fat than NA (p < .01). No other between group differences were found. OCSI was not different between groups even after correcting for fat mass (p > 0.3). Broadband attenuation (BUA) was correlated with Tanner stage (R > .40; p = .01).

Conclusion:

QUS of the heel bone is more related to pubertal status than to JR participation in young girls. Prepubertal girls who perform high intensity jumping have similar bone quality measures as normally active girls.

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Naomi Fejgin

Longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of 10th graders (National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up) were used to assess the net effect of athletic participation on student outcomes after controlling for student background and 8th-grade measures of the dependent variables. The analyses show positive effects of sport participation on grades, self-concept, locus of control, and educational aspirations, and a negative effect on discipline problems. Analysis also shows that athletic participation is unequally distributed across gender and socioeconomic groups: Males, students from higher socioeconomic levels, students attending private and smaller schools, and those with previous experience in school and private sport teams are more engaged in high school competitive sport.

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Tim Berrett and Trevor Slack

Sport sponsorship is frequently described as a strategic activity, and thus, it is influenced by both competitive and institutional forces. Using a sample of 28 Canadian companies, this study explores the influence of competitive and institutional pressures on those individuals who make decisions about their company's sport sponsorship initiatives. The results show that the sponsorship activities of rival companies were influential in a company's sponsorship choices. This was particularly the case in highly concentrated industries. We also show some evidence of a first-mover advantage in sponsorship decision-making but found preemptive strategies to yield little competitive advantage. In addition to these pressures from the competitive environment, institutional pressures from companies in the same geographic area, in the form of mimetic activity, in the form of involvement in social networks, and through the occupational training of the decision makers—all played a role in the choices made about what activities to sponsor.

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Joel Maxcy and Michael Mondello

Free agency was reintroduced to professional team sport leagues in the 1970s. Sport enthusiasts expressed concern that competitive balance would diminish as star players congregated to large market cities. However, the economic invariance principle rejects this notion, indicating that balance should remain unchanged. This article empirically examines the effects of changes in free agent rules on competitive balance over time in the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL). Regression analysis using within-season and between-season measures of competitive balance as dependent variables provides mixed results. The NFL and NHL provide evidence that an aspect of competitive balance has improved, but results from the NBA indicate that balance has worsened since the introduction of free agency. We conclude that the ambiguous results suggest that the effects are not independent, but instead depend on the interaction of free agent rights with other labor market and league rules.

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Stefan Kesenne

This article uses economic theory to examine the variables that affect the competitive balance in a professional sports league and the impact of revenue sharing. The generally accepted proposition that revenue sharing does not affect the competitive balance in a profi t-maximizing league has been challenged by many. It is shown that the competitive balance and the impact of revenue sharing not only depend on the relative size of the market of the clubs, but that they are also affected by the objectives of the club owners and the importance to spectators of absolute team quality and uncertainty of outcome. Furthermore, the clubs’ hiring strategies, including the talent supply conditions, turn out to be important elements affecting competitive balance and the impact of revenue sharing.

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Barbara A. Brown

The high attrition rates observed among young athletes, particularly adolescents, have been attributed to and studied primarily as outcomes of negative aspects of the organization and administration of competitive youth sport. The present study extends this research by examining withdrawal from competitive sport roles in the broader context of the role constellation and lifestyle of adolescent girls. A conceptual framework was developed to examine the process of withdrawal from the role of competitive age group swimmer. It was hypothesized that withdrawal is influenced by six categories of factors: (a) the salience of gender-role stereotypes; (b) the diversity and salience of the opportunity set; (c) the degree of social support from significant others for the sport role; (d) the extent to which the athlete role is perceived as central to personal identity; (e) the extent to which positive and negative outcomes are associated with sport involvement; and (f) the degree of commitment to the athlete role. Survey data were collected from 211 former swimmers and 193 currently involved age group swimmers in Ontario, Canada. It was concluded that a combination of factors from a variety of sources interact to influence the role transition.

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Dennis L. Smart and Richard A. Wolfe

This paper addresses the determinants of intercollegiate athletic program success. We built our arguments on a recent development in the strategic management literature, the Resource-Based View (RBV) of the firm. Our purpose was to investigate the source of sustainable intercollegiate athletic program success. In making our arguments, we briefly reviewed the RBV literature and addressed appropriate success criteria for intercollegiate athletics programs. An exploratory investigation of Pennsylvania State University's football program led to the conclusion that the resources responsible for its enduring competitive advantage are the history, relationships, trust, and organizational culture that have developed within the program's coaching staff. An organization that possesses such organizational resources may sustain a competitive advantage by exploiting its human and physical resources more completely than other organizations. The paper concludes with discussions of the potential generalizability of our findings, their implications for theory and practice, and suggested future research directions.