Saturday, December 16, 2023

Sport Management online program internship application

Hi Sport Managers. This post includes instructions for students in the online B.S. Sport Management students to apply for internships. Undergraduate and graduate residential students must contact Dr. Amanda Wheeler Gryffin or check out the residential student internship information website. Students in the online M.S. Sport Administration program should contact Dr. LaVetter or check out the internship instructions in the learning platform (canvas). Their respective emails are awheeler@astate.edu and lavetter@astate.edu

Internship

"Capstone experience for Exercise Science, Health Promo­tion, and Sport Management majors. Enrollment must occur during the last semester of degree program. Must have completed all departmental requirements, including C or better in all major courses."

Internship activities

BSSM students will complete 240 hours of sport management work in a vetted organization (i.e. sales, marketing, management, compliance, communication, etc in the sport industry). Activities outside the scope of sport management will not count towards the 240 hours. In the internship site, you will be supervised. by a vetted site supervisor. Examples of sport management internship can be found in this blog entry

The activities completed and their appropriateness to sport management will be evaluated by a faculty supervisor via student and supervisor submissions on the learning platform. These include, but are not limited to, internship objectives, career objectives, weekly logs, supervisor evaluations of the student, and student evaluations of the internship site as well as their program. For information on weekly logs check out this blog entry. All internship hours myst be accrued through the duration of the internship term.

Credits

A-State online allows a maximum of 6 credits per term. Each internship course is three (3) credits. An intern must complete two 3-credit courses to meet the major requirements. Keep in mind Summer I and Summer II sessions are 5 weeks long and Fall I, Fall, II, Spring I, and Spring II sessions are 7 weeks long. Each term requires 120 internship hours for a total of 240. 

Application deadline

  • Fall internship: July 1st.
  • Spring Internship: November 1st.
  • Summer Internship: March 1st. 
Late applications will be approved for the next available term. 

Internship application process

Before holds are removed and you can register for an internship section you must get the site and supervisor vetted. Here are the requirements: 

  1. Review internship application instructions
  2. Meet eligibility requirements
    • All major course requirements should be completed
    • Student should have completed at least 100 hours of coursework
    • 2.00 GPA required
      • A-State requires all transfer students to have a 2.0 GPA in all A-State coursework and 2.0 GPA in all major courses to graduate. 
    • C or better in all major courses
  3. Demonstrate eligibility
    • Provide a PDF of your degree evaluation
  4. Submit completed application to internship coordinator (Dr. Benavides)
    • Application
    • Site agreement
    • Background check
    • Internship liability insurance
    • Degree evaluation
  5. Register for internship via the CRN provided by internship coordinator
For the internship manual click the picture below: 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Special Olympics & S.O. Arkansas


All, what a wonderful discussion and presentation we had today in Sports in Society. Well done everyone! Here are the resources that were passed around (see photo) as well as the video of our presenters and Cash's presentation on injuries. When we hear all this, what comes to mind on how we can apply this information to Sport Management? How do you plan on using this information on your professional development? Do any other Sport Management opportunities open up when listening to and of the presenters?  

Newman, B., Fidge, J., Haskins, A., Holt, C., & Dexter, W. (2022). Injury trends in special olympic athletes from the 2018 USA games. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 32(6), 620-922. https://doi.org/10.1097/JSM.0000000000001033

Check out Cash's slides here


Saturday, August 26, 2023

Olympic reurbanization and small business




    The study revolves around Beijing's urban renewal for the 2022 Winter Olympics. This transformation aims to create an Olympic hub and necessary facilities. Small businesses in the area are often ignored in such projects, which is the study's focus. It aims to shed light on how Olympic-driven renewal impacts local businesses and contribute insights for event organizers and city planners.

    The research looks at the "right to the city" framework proposed by Lefebvre, exploring how it clashes with the neoliberal agenda embraced by Olympic host cities. Small businesses, frequently overlooked, become the study's main focus to understand the impact of these dynamics on them.

    Urban regeneration's relationship with neoliberalism and the right to the city framework is discussed, highlighting winners and losers – large corporations and disadvantaged locals. Previous studies spotlighted negative effects on London's small businesses during the 2012 Olympics. This study, set in China's socialist backdrop, aims to see how this translates in a different context.

    The case study methodology examines the impact of renewal before the 2022 Winter Olympics on Beijing's small businesses. Interviews with 14 proprietors reveal both positive and negative effects. Positive aspects are modest, tied to increased activity during construction. Negative outcomes fall into themes of "sacrifice as patriotism" and "no right to the city."

    Despite willing sacrifice, business owners express frustration at being excluded from decision-making. This echoes the "patriotic professionals" concept, revealing the complexity of their responses. The study concludes that the "right to the city" framework applies to Olympic cities, showing how exclusion impacts small businesses.

    In conclusion, the study suggests well-planned renewal engaging local stakeholders can uphold the right to the city. Limitations include a single sample and data collection during the pandemic. Still, the study advances understanding and calls for further research in diverse contexts.

Rocha, C. M., & Cao, G. (2023). Impacts of urban regeneration on small business in preparation to host the beijing 2022 winter olympic games. Sport in Society, 26(6), 985-1002. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2022.2088357

Photo: Olympic Observation Towers in Beijing by zhang kaiyvy 


Sunday, August 20, 2023

eSports job market


    The esports industry has long been hailed as a realm of opportunity for gamers, with its promise of massive prize pools and unprecedented growth. However, a closer look shows this is not the case. The article assigned this week dives into the esports industry, highlighting the unequal distribution of income and opportunities in this field.

    At first glance, the allure of esports as a gateway to riches for all may seem tempting. Yet, as the study shows, such a perspective obscures the truth that the majority of competitive gamers, even the professionals, do not reap the rewards of top-tier prizes. Elite earners skews the expectations of aspiring players, discourages constructive critique of the industry, and masks the inherent disparities ingrained within.

    The research takes on the challenge of dismantling these prevailing narratives, aiming to expose the reality of income inequality within the esports arena, particularly concerning tournament prize pools. A meticulous analysis of major esports events spanning from 2005 to 2019, drawing data from Esports Earnings, uncovers the deep-rooted income inequality and gender disparities. The article further paints a portrait of the structure underpinning the esports landscape, characterized by the influential role of game developers and professional event organizers.

    The evolution of esports is retraced back to its origins in the 1990s, when pioneers introduced prize-based tournaments. The article highlights the pivotal impact of game developers like Activision Blizzard and Valve Corporation, whose annual world championships have catapulted certain games into the spotlight. The landscape of esports tournaments varies, ranging from open-system setups exemplified by "The International" in Dota 2 to the franchised model of the "Overwatch League." Players’ revenue streams include salaries, prize money, and streaming proceeds, although budding professionals predominantly rely on prize winnings and streaming. However, these trends coexist with persistent gender inequalities, a dearth of regulations, and a lack of player protections, giving rise to long hours, job instability, and truncated careers.

    The study concludes despite the immense promise, the esports realm is plagued by significant income inequality, effectively nurturing a burgeoning class of low-earning competitors. This study shines a spotlight on the unique hurdles that esports players face, calls for a deeper comprehension of industry dynamics, and advocates for equitable practices and regulations to level the playing field.

    Delving into the review of existing literature and the methodology employed, the study is contextualized within the global trend of escalating income inequality, which leads to the uneven distribution of resources. Income inequality's paramount component, earnings disparity, is dissected due to its profound influence on societal divisions and individual life outcomes. While traditional class-based theories once explained earnings inequality, contemporary shifts point toward the growing prominence of within-occupation inequality. The notion of "rent destruction" encapsulates the phenomena of lower/middle-income individuals losing out on rent-generation power, while the highest earners consolidate more substantial returns. This inequality dynamic echoes throughout esports, where corporations like Activision-Blizzard influence the playing field. The study employs the lens of within-occupation inequality, positing that the lavish earnings of a select few serve as a catalyst to motivate the larger player population while minimizing expenses.

    Incorporating the concepts of aspirational labor and hope labor, the study intriguingly demonstrates how extreme inequality acts as both motivation for players and a veneer of opportunities. By addressing research inquiries pertaining to prize-based earnings inequality in esports, the study employs data culled from Esports Earnings, concentrating on players earning above $3000 annually. The investigation harnesses Lorenz curves and Gini coefficients to cast light on the burgeoning income and inequality trends within the esports labor market. Notably, even the most popular games encounter growth and inequality dynamics, underscoring the widespread nature of the phenomenon.

    Results from the study show while earnings in the esports sector are on the rise, inequality is growing in tandem. The data points to a pattern wherein high-earning individuals are increasingly monopolizing earnings growth, resulting in an ever-widening chasm between the lowest and highest earners. This research goes beyond mere observations, striving to unravel the mechanics of within-occupation inequality in esports and the ways in which it shapes both player motivations and industry trajectories.

    The ensuing segment engages with the study's findings concerning earnings inequality, class reproduction dynamics, and gender imbalances in the esports realm. Anchored in data spanning from 2005 to 2019, the study employs diverse metrics to comprehend how earnings distribution evolves over time and how inequality manifests itself.

    Earnings Inequality: The study homes in on players earning beyond the $3000 (adjusted to 2019 dollars) threshold, tracing income distribution through the Lorenz curve model. This analysis unearths three distinct temporal periods:

  • The years from 2005 to 2009: Characterized by fluctuating inequality, mirroring the volatility of an emerging industry.

  • The stretch spanning 2009 to 2014: Marked by consistent inequality escalation, hinting at a trajectory towards greater disparity.

  • The phase encompassing 2015 to 2019: Indicative of a stabilization in earnings distribution, characterized by more modest shifts. The Gini coefficient, serving as a measure of inequality, exhibited a steady increase over the years, indicating the mounting chasm in earnings. Different games experienced unique peak moments and trends, suggesting diverse dynamics of inequality at play. Notably, the data implies that game developers and event organizers might wield uneven prize structures as tools to draw in more gamers and promote their games, thereby contributing to the observed inequality.

    Class Reproduction: Median earnings across various games remained relatively meager, occasionally surpassing the $1000 mark. The growth in median income was seldom evenly shared among players, often stagnating or even dwindling. The proportion of competitors capable of crossing the poverty threshold fluctuated among games, yet most games exhibited an upper limit on how many players could realistically sustain themselves solely from prize earnings. The study's assertion emerges: while a handful might attain earnings enabling social mobility, a majority will need supplementary income sources to maintain their livelihoods, perpetuating a cycle of reproduction rather than upward mobility.

    Gender Disparities: Female players experienced growth in the number earning prize money and an overall uptick in total female earnings, yet glaring disparities persisted. The female players' share of total prize earnings compared to the broader labor market dwindled from approximately 2% to less than 1% in subsequent years. Highlighting the sobering reality, the highest-earning female player substantially trailed the top male player, serving as a stark reminder of the enduring gender pay gap. Although strides were witnessed in the earnings of female players, the study emphasized the persistence of gender disparities within esports earnings, underscoring the challenges in attaining gender parity.

Discussion and Implications:

A chasm looms between the triumphant narratives casting esports as a realm of boundless opportunity and the harsh reality of concentrated wealth among the elite. The study emphasizes the necessity of policy shifts, including the implementation of labor protections, to tackle the issue of inequality plaguing the esports industry. The study champions the cause of gender equality and the increased representation of females within the esports fold, highlighting the critical need for transformative initiatives. The study elegantly employs the concepts of aspirational labor and hope labor to unveil how the guise of opportunities can veil stark economic realities for the majority.

McLeod, C. M., Xue, H., & Newman, J. I. (2022). Opportunity and inequality in the emerging esports labor market. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 57(8), 1279-1300. https://doi.org/10.1177/10126902211064093


Saturday, August 19, 2023

Racial stacking

In the last two decades, a surge of research has turned its focus towards understanding the role of sports within immigrant societies. In Europe, particularly in Germany, there's been a significant emphasis on sports as a tool for integration. However, the intricate ways racism intertwines with sports have often been overlooked. While a wealth of studies explores racism's presence in sports — touching on subjects like racial disparities, biased media portrayals, and uneven representation in leadership roles — a consistent thread emerges: deeply ingrained racist beliefs persist within the realm of sports. Paradoxically, this phenomenon remains insufficiently examined within the German context, creating a gap in academic exploration.

This article hones in on one specific facet of anti-Black racism in team sports, a phenomenon coined 'racist stacking.' This refers to the conspicuous underrepresentation of Black players in pivotal and leadership roles, in stark contrast to their overrepresentation in physically demanding positions. Our central question revolves around whether this occurrence finds a foothold in German men's professional soccer and whether it should be seen as a form of institutional racism.

To challenge the concept of distinct human 'races,' we employ the term 'racist stacking' instead of 'racial stacking.' This shift highlights the significance of language in dismantling racial beliefs. Even when the construct of 'race' is employed in a socially nuanced manner, racism is far more intricate than 'race' alone can capture; it's interwoven with gender, class, migration, language, and citizenship. In this context, the terms 'Black' and 'white' signify processes of racialization, societal positions, and power dynamics rather than mere skin color.

Historically, research on racist stacking surfaced in the 1960s in the United States. It revealed a concerning trend: the systematic underrepresentation of Black athletes in pivotal roles across sports like baseball, football, and basketball. This investigative work spread to other countries and sports, soccer included, though with a primary focus on England. Strikingly, despite shifts in the sports landscape, older and contemporary studies alike point to a consistent trend: Black players are frequently confined to roles emphasizing physical prowess, while white players continue to dominate roles that involve leadership and decision-making.

Delving into racist stacking often involves scrutinizing whether Black players are disproportionately assigned less influential positions, aiming to unravel the roots of this phenomenon. Contributing factors include coaches' racial biases, socioeconomic status, self-isolation due to perceived obstacles, and a lack of role models. However, existing research often centers on empirical observations rather than delving into the underlying theoretical intricacies of the phenomenon.

This article seeks to illuminate the multi-layered complexity of racist stacking and the theoretical implications it carries. By doing so, it casts light on how racial prejudices subtly infiltrate sports institutions.

Expanding the discourse to Germany, the text addresses how racism intertwines with stacking, particularly within the sports sector. Racism is anchored in the belief of hierarchical categorization of humans into distinct 'races,' fueling the notion of certain races' superiority over others. These beliefs have historical roots, notably during the 18th and 19th centuries, serving to legitimize colonialism, oppression, and exploitation. Remarkably, these racist ideologies persist within modern society, residing both within individuals and institutions.

Germany, a nation with a colonial past and a history of racial policies culminating in the Holocaust, is not exempt from the presence of racism and racialization processes. Yet, public discourse and academic exploration of racism, particularly anti-Black racism, have been relatively limited until recently. Rather than centering discussions around terms like 'Black and People of Color' (BPoC) to encompass experiences of racism, conversations often gravitate towards the concept of 'migration background,' inadvertently sidelining Black experiences and perpetuating racial biases.

On the sports front, international research vividly illustrates the ubiquity of racism, particularly in the portrayal of athletes through stereotypical media depictions. Our study embarks on an exploration: whether racism finds its way into the structural fabric of Germany's sports sector via a phenomenon termed 'racist stacking.' This refers to a potential pattern where Black players are excluded from positions demanding strategic aptitude and leadership while being disproportionately clustered in roles accentuating physical prowess.

Zooming in on data from the male divisions of the first and second soccer Bundesliga in Germany for the 2020/2021 season, our study meticulously crafted playing position profiles from diverse sources. This yielded the identification of seven distinct positions: goalkeeper, center backs, wing backs, defensive center midfielder, attacking center midfielder, wingers, and striker. Based on these, our research hypotheses were formulated:

  • Black players are anticipated to be underrepresented in positions reliant on tactical skills and intelligence (goalkeeper, defensive center midfielder, attacking center midfielder).
  • Black players are expected to be overrepresented in positions highlighting physical attributes (wing backs, wingers, striker).
Our dataset, comprising 967 cases spanning 36 clubs, was painstakingly assembled using information sourced from transfermarkt.de. We recorded player citizenship and primary positions, subsequently categorizing players as 'Black,' 'white,' or 'further People of Color' based on visual assessment. Acknowledging the intricate dynamics of racialization processes, we remain conscious of the limitations posed by such categorizations.

In a nutshell, our exploration delves into the intricate interplay of racism and stacking in sports, homing in on the German context. By highlighting the persistent historical grip of racist ideologies and their far-reaching influence on societal structures, we begin to unveil how these biases may potentially materialize within sports institutions. Through our study, we endeavor to unearth whether racial stereotypes play a role in determining player distributions across diverse positions in soccer.





Nobis, T., & Lazaridou, F. (2023). Racist stacking in professional soccer in germany. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 58(1), 23-42. https://doi.org/10.1177/10126902221081125


Photo: Soccer players by RF._.studio

Racial diversity in skateboarding

Skateboarding: It's more than just a sport; it's a vibrant subculture that has its own unique relationship with diversity. While conventional narratives might perceive skateboarding as a predominantly white domain, a deeper dive reveals a tapestry of racial complexity that challenges stereotypes and opens new perspectives.

Contrary to popular belief, skateboarding doesn't neatly fit into the boxes of race and diversity. Sure, racial backgrounds vary, but exclusion isn't necessarily rooted in race or gender. Instead, it's often about embracing the essence of skate culture. This intriguing interplay between skateboarding and diversity introduces three novel ways to understand this intricate relationship.

1. A Global Mosaic of Diversity
Skateboarding isn't confined by borders. It has roots in different parts of the world, breaking barriers of racial homogeneity. These diverse roots challenge historical experiences of racism and draw participants from various backgrounds. The medium of skateboarding videos serves as a powerful showcase of how diverse racial identities enrich the culture across continents.

2. Escape from Racial Norms
Skateboarding can be a sanctuary for those who defy traditional racial expectations. Unlike other subcultures, skateboarders often find escape from rigid racial politics, embracing a different kind of identity fluidity. This dynamic flips the script on the notion that skateboarding can't navigate complex racial waters.

3. Unconventional Narratives of Race
Skateboarding media doesn't conform to conventional socio-cultural analyses. Instead, it offers unfiltered stories of race, youth, sports, and urban life. These narratives are raw and authentic, breaking free from conventional cultural influences and giving voice to the unspoken stories that resonate within the skateboarding community

While this analysis uncovers profound insights, it's important to note that the landscape of racial diversity in skateboarding varies across contexts and times. This exploration isn't an exhaustive study of skateboarding history and doesn't dismiss the significance of gender and sexuality. The research is based on textual analysis of skate videos and is enriched by the author's deep involvement in skateboarding culture.

Skate videos are more than just visual records; they're artifacts that chronicle the intricate dance between race and skateboarding. They reveal the essence of where racial stories intertwine with skate culture. This spotlight on videos challenges the conventional focus on market-driven portrayals and mainstream documentaries, giving a new dimension to how we perceive skateboarding's racial landscape.

Certain skate videos from the early 2000s provide a canvas for racially diverse bodies to express themselves. These videos capture skaters from various ethnicities seamlessly blending gestures, clothing styles, music subcultures, and street cultures unique to their cities. This fluidity destabilizes traditional notions of race in skateboarding and showcases the culture's true diversity.

Critiques of commoditized racial diversity within skateboarding's marketing campaigns are valid but often directed at larger brands. The heart of skate culture operates on a smaller scale, where authenticity trumps profit-driven stereotypes. This intrinsic diversity challenges the perception of skateboarding as a predominantly white subculture with racial diversity as a mere accessory.

Skateboarding's global expansion and diversification are meticulously documented in skate videos. These visual narratives offer an intimate look at how gender, ethnicity, and race dynamics evolve within the subculture. While some videos may perpetuate problematic representations, they collectively enrich our understanding of the complex relationship between skateboarding and diversity.

In conclusion, skateboarding isn't just a sport; it's a vibrant cultural realm that defies easy categorization. The relationship between skateboarding and race is a nuanced tapestry, shaped by the interplay of cultural diversity, personal experiences, and global dynamics. As skateboarding continues to evolve, so too does our appreciation for its intricate connection with diversity.

McDuie-Ra, D. (2023). Racial diversity in skateboarding: Destabilising whiteness, decentring heartlands. Sport in Society, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2023.2208079

Monday, August 14, 2023

Trans* inclusion



    Picture this: a realm where the heart-pounding world of sports and the intricate tapestry of gender dynamics converge. It's a space where the roar of the crowd meets the whispers of identity exploration. The spotlight is on trans* individuals who, for far too long, have been on the sidelines of the sports arena. Recent global efforts to welcome them into the fold have been applauded, but a closer look reveals a complex tango between inclusion and fairness. Dive into the riveting exploration of trans* identities within the realm of sports and exercise, and uncover the hidden challenges that lie beneath the surface.


    We step into a realm where the past meets the present, where history's exclusion of trans* individuals from sports and exercise settings is being rewritten. In an era of advancing LGBTQI rights, strides are being made to extend the embrace of inclusivity to trans* individuals. Yet, this seemingly straightforward journey is far from simple. The very essence of being non-binary or intersex is often overshadowed by the binary structure of competitive sports. The tension between opening the doors of inclusiveness and maintaining the integrity of a level playing field becomes palpable, particularly in elite sports where questions of fairness loom large.


    The canvas becomes even more intricate in the world of gender separation. While intended to shield against discrimination, gender separation can unwittingly cast shadows of exclusion upon trans* individuals. The landscape shifts to Sweden, where the Swedish Sports Confederation (SSC) passionately champions trans-inclusive policies. However, harmonizing these policies with the age-old binary nature of sports poses a unique set of challenges. The stage is set for a riveting exploration of the interplay between gender equality initiatives, sports culture, and the formation of trans* identities.

Journey with us as we uncover the backstage story of this groundbreaking research. It all began with a spark ignited by the first author's engagement in LGBTQI rights work. This passion sparked an observation: the intricate dance between gender equality and trans* inclusion wasn't as harmonious as it seemed. With funding secured and expertise in gender studies and non-binary identities from the second author, a dynamic duo was born. Together, they embarked on a journey to shed light on the complex layers beneath the surface.


    Our cast of characters? Ten remarkable participants, handpicked from LGBTQI networks. Originally envisioned as in-person dialogues, these conversations shifted to the virtual realm due to the pandemic. Through the lens of semi-structured interviews, spanning 1 to 2.25 hours, the participants' experiences in sports and exercise unfolded organically. As the stories unraveled, the focus zeroed in on the participants' unique ways of embracing their trans* identities within the context of the study.

The curtains rise on the "Findings" section, where the stage is set for a captivating exploration of trans* identities in the arena of sports and exercise. Prepare to be enthralled as we navigate through different "waves" or patterns of diffraction that trans* individuals ride upon.


    The first wave surges forth, revealing the participants' journey of self-discovery. With candid honesty, they recount the moments when they realized they weren't confined to cis-hetero identities. This revelation, though, is not a sudden eureka moment, but a gradual process. As they tread the paths of sports and exercise, the dichotomy of gender separation emerges as both a catalyst and a stumbling block.


    The second wave crashes upon us, unraveling the intricacies of the performance of dividing practices. Trans* individuals, despite their efforts to embrace authenticity, find themselves caught in the undertow of gender separation. Even within the realm of sports, the familiar echoes of traditional gender norms resound, inadvertently reinforcing the binary separation.

The third wave introduces us to the intersection of gender equality measures with binary assumptions, version 1. The narrative delves into well-intentioned efforts at inclusivity, which, paradoxically, lend strength to conventional gender norms. As we navigate this wave, the complexities of reconciling gender equality and trans* inclusion unfurl before us.


    The fourth wave propels us into the world of roller derby, where the stage is set for an examination of gender equality measures with binary assumptions, version 2. In the quest for a sanctuary for women, gender separatism takes center stage. However, this well-intentioned act often casts an inadvertent spotlight on exclusion. The spotlight pans across the nuances of gender identity, pronouns, and physical attributes, unmasking the intricate web of eligibility and inclusion.


    As we reach the final act, the "Discussion and Conclusions" segment, the spotlight widens to illuminate the dual nature of separatist endeavors. It's a place where safer spaces are conjured, yet gender categories are inadvertently reinforced. The challenge of striking a delicate balance between gender equality and inclusion takes center stage, especially within the realm of competitive sports. The study dares to suggest that the line between sex and gender identity might be blurrier than we imagine, calling for vigilant exploration into how equality measures shape the experiences of trans* individuals within the captivating realm of sports and exercise.


    Welcome to a world where the thrill of the game meets the complexities of identity. Step onto the field, where the pursuit of fairness harmonizes with the quest for inclusion. Unravel the layers, join the dialogue, and embrace the vibrant stories that breathe life into the uncharted territories of trans* inclusion in sports. The journey has only just begun."


Picture: Blue, pink, and white flag in sidewalk chalk by Katie Rainbow

Larsson, H., & Auran, I. (2023). Trans inclusion and gender equality in sport and exercise - an (im)possible equation? Sport in Society, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2023.2233439


Saturday, August 12, 2023

Unveiling the Influence of Netball on Feminine Movement

This study dives into netball's potential impact on feminine body comportment – how women move and present themselves. Rather than innate biology, societal, historical, and cultural factors shape women's movement patterns. We explore how netball's rules and structure interact with feminine body comportment, drawing insights from women's basketball and tracing their historical roots.

Unpacking I.M. Young's theory of feminine body comportment, we unveil concepts like 'ambiguous transcendence,' 'inhibited intentionality,' and 'discontinuous unity.' Applying these notions to netball, we show how they resonate with actual movement. Dianne Chisholm's counterpoints, including 'crux' and 'flow,' are also probed, discussing their impact on movement freedom.

Our findings reflect on the implications for netball, revealing the potential reinforcement of traditional feminine behaviors through negative modalities. Simultaneously, we highlight opportunities for female transcendence through positive ones. We acknowledge the gender imbalance in netball and discuss the journey towards inclusivity for all genders.

In essence, our exploration sheds light on the intricate interplay between netball's rules, societal expectations, and feminine movement patterns. This investigation sparks broader conversations about the philosophical aspects of women's sports.


The Quest for Fluid Excellence in Netball


Imagine the seamless dance of "pure fluid action" in netball – a dynamic team sport with both practiced and confined movement. While success hinges on swift ball passing, stringent footwork rules limit movement upon ball reception.

We delve into the challenges faced by female netball players due to these rules, and how historical gender norms influence their playing style. Theories like Young's feminine modalities come into play, categorizing movement into concepts like "ambiguous transcendence," "inhibited intentionality," and "discontinuous unity." Chisholm's perspective introduces "crux" and "flow," portraying key moments and instinctive movements.

Furthermore, we explore these theories' impact on netball and other sports, drawing parallels with nature sports like rock climbing. Risk and decision-making are scrutinized. The concept of "flow" is analyzed against netball's stop-and-start nature, assessing rhythmic movement in various sports.

In sum, our exploration navigates the intricate web of rules, physicality, gender norms, and movement theories in netball and sports at large.

The Ebb and Flow of Netball's Feminine Dynamics


Diving into the realm of "flow" in sports, netball takes the spotlight. Chisholm's definition highlights flow-rich sports like gymnastics, rowing, kayaking, swimming, and cycling. However, netball's speed belies its fluctuating movement due to sudden changes, potentially causing injuries. Adhering to rules can facilitate fluid ball movement, aligning with Chisholm's flow concept.

Contemplating the feminization of sports, adaptations like netball, softball, and ringette surface, spotlighting the impact of societal perceptions on gender roles. Two paths emerge: hypothetically eliminating feminized sports or expanding opportunities for gender-integrated play. The latter challenges traditional gender assumptions.

The discourse revolves around gender integration in sports, unveiling its pros and cons. Acknowledging the historical sidelining of women's sports and concerns over coexisting spaces, we delve into roller derby as a case study, exposing various motivations for upholding women's domains.

The text evaluates netball's feminization, proposing rule updates. Amending dress codes and allowing more contact emerge as strategies to challenge restrictive behaviors while fostering inclusivity. Our paper emphasizes the need for ongoing research to grasp gender dynamics in sports, urging for broader categorizations that embrace diverse participation. Ultimately, it calls for a reimagining of netball's role in championing bodily transcendence – a journey that involves redefining categories, exploring gender integration, and confronting stereotypes.


Howe, O. R. (2023). Netball and the interpellation of feminine body comportment. Sport in Society, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2023.2173583

Parasport Inclusion

    The article discusses the gap between sports governing policies and the actual implementation of diversity and inclusion practices in sports, particularly for people with disabilities (PwD). The United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) advocates for equal participation in sports for PwD, but barriers like logistical limitations, lack of accessibility, discrimination, and traditional sports structures hinder full inclusion.

    The Swedish Sports Confederation (SSC) is undergoing an organizational change to enhance inclusion, with Parasport Sweden transferring responsibilities to mainstream national sports organizations (NSOs). The article focuses on the case of the Swedish Floorball Federation (SFF), which is receiving para-floorball as part of this top-down inclusion process.

    The study aims to identify conditions and factors influencing the SFF's approach to implementing inclusion, analyzing frames (organizational conditions), contextual ideology (values and goals), and patterns (daily practices) through the lens of frame factor theory.

    The study reveals challenges within the SFF's organizational frames, including a lack of clear directives, competencies, and preparedness for para-floorball. Different contextual ideologies exist, with positive views on para-floorball's integration but differing conceptions of what "inclusion" entails. Patterns show potential benefits from merging activities and shared resources but challenges in adjusting existing norms and values.

    In conclusion, the article emphasizes the importance of addressing challenges through improved governance, competence, and clear definitions of inclusion. It suggests that recognizing inclusion as a change in norms and culture is crucial. The study contributes methodologically by showing how to identify inclusion conditions during the pre-stage of change and offers insights for policymakers to enhance equal opportunities in sports for PwD.


Andersson, M., Karp, S., & Wickman, K. (2023). The pre-stage of inclusion-conditions for the mainstreaming process of parasports within the swedish floorball federation. Sport in Society, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2023.2221646


Critical analysis of Special Olympics

    Special Olympics (SO) began in 1968 with the goal of enabling individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in sports and gain visibility in society. While successful in creating opportunities, SO has faced criticism for its original segregated structure. The introduction of Unified Sports aimed to enhance inclusivity by involving athletes with and without disabilities. However, this approach has been criticized for perpetuating stereotypes. Existing research on SO has focused on athletes' motivations and positive outcomes, but less on inclusion and dropout reasons.

    Giese et al. (2022) employed a critical perspective that emphasizes ableism (discrimination against disabled individuals) and power dynamics. As such, they revealed how SO, despite its intentions, inadvertently reinforces exclusion through ableist hierarchies. They delved into Special Olympics Germany's (SOD) official documents using discourse analysis to uncover patterns of exclusion. Its objective was to deepen the understanding of disability, inclusion, and exclusion, viewing inclusion as broader opportunities and societal engagement not confined by ability expectations. The study aimed to provide a theoretically informed critique of SO and the role of ability expectations in shaping its practices.

    This perspective contrasts with the Enlightenment notion of a self that is inherently independent. Post-structuralist theorists argue that the self is shaped by influential discourses of its time, context, and authoritative knowledge systems. Subject formation occurs within power dynamics, influenced by knowledge paradigms. Subjects are molded by specific codes and frameworks dictated by societal orders.

    Discourses are systems of thought shaping self-awareness and understanding of the world. They define how a person should think, behave, and pursue goals to be recognized as a subject. Discourses offer and enforce subject formations. Neoliberal body discourses promote the "fit" and "healthy" subject prioritizing self-improvement and productivity. Sports exemplify this discourse-driven structure, where self-enhancement is central.

    These discourses and subject constructions influence individuals' lives as they engage with practices aligned with desired subject identities. Disciplinary practices regulate and shape behaviors, evident in educational and sports settings, objectifying and standardizing individuals. Individuals are directed to achieve within predetermined limits, common in competitive sports.

    The analysis merged the power-critical and ableism-critical perspectives, emphasizing the role of ability expectations in shaping subject formations. Ableism creates hierarchies categorizing individuals based on abilities. These hierarchies influence subject formations and create interconnected divisions. Competitive sports rank individuals based on abilities, excluding those not meeting standards. SO provides a space for individuals with intellectual disabilities to compete but also upholds ableist divisions and exclusions.

    The researchers analyzed SOD documents to uncover subject formations and ability expectations, identifying ableist divisions. Structured content analysis was used, with focus on divisioning and the principle of advancement within the SO sports concept. The documents included Article 1, General Rules, and Sports Concept of SOD, alongside others related to upcoming competitions.

    The principle of advancement dictates athletes must train and participate in qualifying competitions. This introduces normative ability imperatives aligned with the "homo olympicus" concept. Mandatory training inscribes ableist norms into individuals, maintaining ableist divisions. This principle can both reinforce ableist imperatives and provide a space for normalization.

    In conclusion, the study underscores the complex and paradoxical nature of SO's claim to inclusion. It provides avenues for individuals with intellectual disabilities to access subjectification arenas aligned with dominant modes, yet maintains ableist divisions. The study proposes using SO as a laboratory for inclusive sport, challenging ableist divisions and fostering alternative subject formations.


Giese, M., Buchner, T., Mihajlovic, C., & Oldörp, F. (2022). The subject of special olympics - interrogating the inclusive potentials of a sport movement from an ableism-critical perspective. Sport in Society, 25(10), 2178-2192. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2022.2113061




Monday, July 17, 2023

Current Readings

 Hello Current Readers, 

Welcome to the Fall semester. It is 2023. I for one can hardly believe it. I wanted to upload an updated interactive syllabus for my ESPE 6643 Current Readings Seminar starting this October. I have learned this is called a fluent syllabus in some pedagogical circles, so if that is you, here is my fluent syllabus =D I am also including the module objective videos for the course. If you check me out on YouTube (link in the top right corner) you will see some of the readings summaries for practitioners. Have Fun! Maybe you will choose to join us in one of A-State's Sport Management or Sport Administration programs or related certificates one of these days. If you are a former student, hi (^o^)/ thank you for stoping by!

Best wishes, 

Dr. Benavides

Fluid syllabus

Current readings Seminar

Module 1 objectives video:


Module 2 objectives video:


Module 3 objectives video:


Module 4 objectives video:


Module 5 objectives video:


Module 6 objectives video:

Monday, March 13, 2023

So you want to be a sport manager?


Sport management professionals are responsible for overseeing sport organizations, teams, and events. Their education includes business administration, marketing, finance, and law in the sport industry. Some of their main responsibilities are: 

  1. Event planning, including logistics, scheduling, and marketing
  2. Team and athlete management, including recruiting, training, and contract negotiating
  3. Marketing strategy development and implementation to promote sport organizations and events
  4. Finance and budget management for sport organizations and events
  5. Working with legal and regulatory agencies with issues related to sports, such as contracts, liability, and intellectual property. 
Sport management is an interdisciplinary field. It combines elements of sport, business, and marketing, Professionals in this industry must have a solid understanding of the underlying elements in each field to be successful. We recommend our students initiate their practice as early as possible with volunteer activities and internships so they can practice the principles learned in the classroom and learn to troubleshoot in real life scenarios

Picture: Areal view of soccer stadium by Sergio Sauza
Blog post: (ChatGPT, personal communication, March 13, 2023)

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Blog post assignment



Let's get to writing people! In some courses we do videos, in some course we write blog posts. How fun is that! Fist let's talk about the blog post elements: The topic, the headline, the hook, and the solution. 

Notice I said the topic, not the topics. You will not be discussing multiple things, and you will not lead the reader on a treasure hunt or enchanted quest to a mystical land. Be attractive, yet concise, and keep it focused on a singular idea. 

Then there is the title. This  will show up on a search engine before your audience makes a decision to click or not to click. It should be enticing, engaging, and truthful to the content of the post. 

Let us now discuss what bloggers refer to as the hook. That is exactly what it sounds like. You are hooking readers into reading more, such as the headline hooks them into clicking, the first sentence into reading the second sentence, the third sentence into reading the forth, and on and on. Usually this is done by presenting a problem or question to which you offer a solution. For example, you have an assignment to complete (the blog post assignment, that is a question you need answered or a problem you need a solution to): hook. You are reading this post for tips on how to complete your assignment. 

That is known as the solution. In the body of the blog post, you will offer your unique take on how to solve the problem or answer the question posed on the headline. In this case I offered the headline blog post assignment. Pretty straight forward if you ask me. That is intentional, as I am not trying to attract readers from all over the internet, I am intentionally directing my students where they need to go for assignment tips. In the body I gave you the four sections I am looking for in the assignment.  

To recap, stick to a single topic (from those covered in class), have an attractive title or headline, hook the audience, and offer a solution. Good luck everyone! Remember to contact your academic assistant with questions.

Here is a beautiful example of a sports blog: https://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/2577579/unique-womens-leagues-upend-old-models-for-players-and-fans

Keep in mind these are professionals writing these blogs. Can you see how they focus on a single topic, they have a title, a hook, and a solution? More so the first one (non-sports related) than the second one (sports related) as the sport's one is more of a news blog post. It still has the principles in there, they are just more difficult to pinpoint as they have more content, interviews, stats, etc (which you do not need for your blog). You do need to cite your sources if you quote anybody or the literature, keep that in mind. 


Photo: Typewriter spells something worth reading by Suzy Hazelwood
Blog post assignment blog entry © Claudia B. Ambs.  

Here is a short and sweet example of a non-sport related communication blog entry: https://fullfocus.co/get-the-feedback-you-need-to-scale/