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Laurence Chalip

The United States is struggling to hold its own in international competitions. The Amateur Sports Act mandates that the USOC and its NGBs should build American sport performances by fostering sport participation throughout the country, and by enabling sport research. However, data from the past 16 years of sport participation demonstrate that participation is declining in many of our key sports, while others show inconsistent or merely ephemeral growth. Further, sport research is no longer pursued by the USOC, and it is not funded by any U.S. government agency or private American foundation. Consequently, the American sporting culture is eroding, and the United States is becoming a client nation when it comes to sport research. A review of the formation of The Amateur Sports Act shows that it was formulated to address Cold War concerns. Consequently, the Act failed to consider sport development, as the Act’s primary purpose was to engender a rationalized private sport system through which to build teams that could beat communist athletes. A reassessment of The Amateur Sports Act in light of contemporary conditions, suggests that greater attention to participation and research are necessary, but that such attention will require establishment of a foundation to nurture sport participation and to fund sport research. The foundation’s mandate would include creation of clubs and leagues to enable year round and lifelong sport participation, enhancement of the availability of sport facilities for club and league use, guidance for grassroots development of sport, and establishment of clear pathways for athletes. The template for such a foundation was created in the 1960s but never implemented. The time is ripe for it to be implemented now either by incorporating its mandates into the new Foundation for Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition, or by establishing a foundation that specifically targets sport development.

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Robert G. Lockie, Matthew D. Jeffriess, Tye S. McGann, Samuel J. Callaghan and Adrian B. Schultz

Context:

Research indicates that planned and reactive agility are different athletic skills. These skills have not been adequately assessed in male basketball players.

Purpose:

To define whether 10-m-sprint performance and planned and reactive agility measured by the Y-shaped agility test can discriminate between semiprofessional and amateur basketball players.

Methods:

Ten semiprofessional and 10 amateur basketball players completed 10-m sprints and planned- and reactive-agility tests. The Y-shaped agility test involved subjects sprinting 5 m through a trigger timing gate, followed by a 45° cut and 5-m sprint to the left or right through a target gate. In the planned condition, subjects knew the cut direction. For reactive trials, subjects visually scanned to find the illuminated gate. A 1-way analysis of variance (P < .05) determined between-groups differences. Data were pooled (N = 20) for a correlation analysis (P < .05).

Results:

The reactive tests differentiated between the groups; semiprofessional players were 6% faster for the reactive left (P = .036) and right (P = .029) cuts. The strongest correlations were between the 10-m sprints and planned-agility tests (r = .590–.860). The reactive left cut did not correlate with the planned tests. The reactive right cut moderately correlated with the 10-m sprint and planned right cut (r = .487–.485).

Conclusions:

The results reemphasized that planned and reactive agility are separate physical qualities. Reactive agility discriminated between the semiprofessional and amateur basketball players; planned agility did not. To distinguish between male basketball players of different ability levels, agility tests should include a perceptual and decision-making component.

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Selenia di Fronso, Fabio Y. Nakamura, Laura Bortoli, Claudio Robazza and Maurizio Bertollo

The aim of the study was to examine differences in stress and recovery across gender and time (preseason and play-offs) in a sample of amateur basketball players of the Italian league (C division). Fifty amateur basketball players (33 men and 17 women) age 17–30 y (23.5 ± 9.19 y) participated in the study. Twenty-eight athletes (16 men and 12 women) completed the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Sport (RESTQ-Sport) in the preseason phase, after a training period of 21 days, and in the competition phase during the play-off period. Repeated-measures MANOVA showed significant differences by gender and preparation phase. Univariate follow-up ANOVA highlighted differences by gender on physical recovery, sleep quality, and self-efficacy, with higher scores in men. Moreover, differences between preseason and competition phases were shown on emotional stress and fatigue, with higher scores on emotional stress and lower scores on fatigue in the competition phase. These findings suggest that RESTQ-Sport could be a useful tool for coaches to monitor stress/recovery balance in male and female team-sport athletes during different periods of the season.

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Philip Davis, Peter R. Benson, Robert Waldock and Andrew J. Connorton

Female boxing debuted at the 2012 London Olympic Games. To better understand the performance aspects of the sport, video footage of eighteen 4 × 2-min bouts were analyzed. The boxers involved in the competition were of an elite level (mean ± SD), age 26.4 ± 4.6 y, height 169.3 ± 6.2 cm, and weight 60.3 ± 10.0 kg. Analysis revealed an activity rate of ~1.6 actions/s, including ~16 punches, ~3.3 defensive movements, and ~63 vertical hip movements, all per minute, over the 4 × ~132-s rounds (R). A 2 × 4 (outcome × round) ANOVA with repeated measures over the rounds was used to analyze the data. Winners maintained a higher activity rate in round 1 (R1) and R2; a higher movement rate in R2, R3, and R4; and an increased punch accuracy including the ratio of total punches to punches landed in R3 and air punches as a percentage of punches missed in R1 and R3. Specific techniques that discriminate between successful and unsuccessful female amateur boxers include the straight rear-hand and body punches, higher for winners in R1, as well as uppercut punches and defensive foot movements, higher for winners in R4. Findings highlight the current demands of elite amateur female boxing. These data will be useful for those designing training programs and may also be useful for guiding sport-specific fitness testing.

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Michael Price and Andrew Parker

This paper presents findings from an ethnographic study of a UK-based amateur rugby union club for gay and bisexual men. Positioning the club at the centre of the research, heterosexist definitions of sport are analysed with regard to their effect on the lives of players and the continued existence of the club itself. The standpoint of team members in relation to dominant hegemonic forces in sport is explored through an examination of the sexual politics of the club and the possibility for iterative challenges to gender norms within this particular sporting context. The central findings indicate that the club inadvertently promoted a liberal image towards dominant heterosexual sporting norms and, in this sense, co-opted into mainstream rugby culture.

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Kim Hébert-Losier, Kurt Jensen and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Purpose:

Jumping and hopping are used to measure lower-body muscle power, stiffness, and stretch-shortening-cycle utilization in sports, with several studies reporting correlations between such measures and sprinting and/or running abilities in athletes. Neither jumping and hopping nor correlations with sprinting and/or running have been examined in orienteering athletes.

Methods:

The authors investigated squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), standing long jump (SLJ), and hopping performed by 8 elite and 8 amateur male foot-orienteering athletes (29 ± 7 y, 183 ± 5 cm, 73 ± 7 kg) and possible correlations to road, path, and forest running and sprinting performance, as well as running economy, velocity at anaerobic threshold, and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) from treadmill assessments.

Results:

During SJs and CMJs, elites demonstrated superior relative peak forces, times to peak force, and prestretch augmentation, albeit lower SJ heights and peak powers. Between-groups differences were unclear for CMJ heights, hopping stiffness, and most SLJ parameters. Large pairwise correlations were observed between relative peak and time to peak forces and sprinting velocities; time to peak forces and running velocities; and prestretch augmentation and forest-running velocities. Prestretch augmentation and time to peak forces were moderately correlated to VO2peak. Correlations between running economy and jumping or hopping were small or trivial.

Conclusions:

Overall, the elites exhibited superior stretch-shortening-cycle utilization and rapid generation of high relative maximal forces, especially vertically. These functional measures were more closely related to sprinting and/or running abilities, indicating benefits of lower-body training in orienteering.

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Craig A. Horswill

Amateur wrestlers practice weight loss for ergogenic reasons. The effects of rapid weight loss on aerobic performance are adverse and profound, but the effects on anaerobic performance are equivocal Anaerobic performance—strength and power—may be the most relevant type of performance to the wrestler. Maintenance of or even small decrements in anaerobic performance may translate into improvements in performance relative to the weight class, the factor by which wrestlers are matched for competition. During the recovery period between the official weigh-in and competition, wrestlers achieve at least partial nutritional recovery, which appears to benefit performance. Successive bouts of (a) weight loss to make weight and (b) recovery for performance lead to weight cycling. There is speculation that weight cycling may contribute to chronic glycogen depletion, reductions in fat-free weight, a decrease in resting metabolic rate, and an increase in body fat. The latter two would augment the difficulty of losing weight for subsequent weigh-ins. Most research indicates that the suppressed resting metabolic rate with weight loss in wrestlers appears to be transient, but subsequent research is needed for confirmation.

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Marcus Smith, Rosemary Dyson, Tudor Hale, Matthew Hamilton, John Kelly and Peggy Wellington

This study examined the effects of serial reductions in energy and fluid intake on two simulated boxing performances separated by 2 days recovery. Eight amateur boxers (age: 23.6 ± 3.2 years; height 175 ± 5 cm; body mass [BM] 73.3 ± 8.3 kg [Mean ± SD]) performed two simulated boxing bouts (BB) under normal (N-trial) and restricted (R-trial) diets in a counterbalanced design over 5 days. The trials were separated by a 9-day period of normal dietary behavior (X-trial). BM was recorded on days 1, 3, and 5 of each trial. Simulated bouts of three, 3-min rounds with 1-min recovery were completed on days 3 (BB1) and 5 (BB2) of each 5-day trial. Punching force (N) was recorded from 8 sets of 7 punches by a purpose-built boxing ergometer. Heart rate (fC) was monitored continuously (PE3000 Polar Sports Tester, Kempele, Finland), and blood lactate (BLa) and glucose (BG) were determined 4-min post-performance (2300 StaPlus, YSI, Ohio). Energy and fluid intakes were significantly lower in the R-trial (p < .05). Body mass was maintained during the N-trial but fell 3% (p < .05) during the R-trial. There were no significant differences in end-of-bout fC or post-bout BG, but BLa was higher in the N- than the R-trial (p < .05). R-trial punching forces were 3.2% and 4.6% lower, respectively, compared to the corresponding N-trial bouts, but the differences did not reach statistical significance. These results suggest that energy and fluid restrictions in weight-governed sports do not always lead to a significant decrease in performance, but because of the small sample size and big variations in individual performances, these findings should be interpreted with care.

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Anastasios Kaburakis, David A. Pierce, Beth A. Cianfrone and Amanda L. Paule

The NCAA maintains a balance between amateurism and the increasing need for generating revenue. In this balancing act, there are various policy considerations and legal constraints. These legal and policy entanglements bore such class action suits as Keller v. Electronic Arts, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Collegiate Licensing Company (2009) and O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association and Collegiate Licensing Company (2009), which question current revenue generating practices of the NCAA. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of NCAA Division I men’s football and basketball student-athletes toward amateurism and the particular use of student-athletes’ likenesses in college sports video games. Findings point to a lack of clarity and understanding of the agreements and consent forms student-athletes sign annually. Respondents demonstrated confusion in regard to financial aid opportunities, parameters of their scholarships, and whether they endorse commercial products. A majority of respondents expressed the desire to receive additional compensation. Recommendations include clarification and focused rules’ education from compliance and financial aid officers, as well as introducing new amateurism policy, concurrently avoiding costly litigation.

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Tara K. Scanlan, David G. Russell, Kristin P. Beals and Larry A. Scanlan

Prospective interview data obtained using the Scanlan Collaborative Interview Method (Scanlan, Russell, Wilson, & Scanlan, 2003) allow further testing and expansion of the Sport Commitment Model (Scanlan, Carpenter, Schmidt, Simons, & Keeler, 1993) and provide a deeper understanding of the commitment process. We examine the Model constructs of Sport Enjoyment, Involvement Opportunities, Involvement Alternatives, Personal Investments, Social Constraints, and a potential new construct, Social Support, to understand how and under what conditions each of the constructs operates. The data from 15 New Zealand All Black rugby players support the Model predictions, show its generalizability from American youth sport to amateur elite-level New Zealand athletes, and suggest possible Model expansion and modification.