Comparative Studies


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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 25-04-11 12:01

Historical Determants


  • Development of English Nation began a thousand years before USA
  • Did not Have a Frontier to extend but gave expansion overseas.
  • Sport helped to develop UK traditions influencing it over the empire
  • Cricket reflected the British class system and English Values
  • Influence of UK sport came from English Public Schools
  • Taking part was more important then winning
  • Dominated ethos (moral integrity and good sportsmanship)
  • UK braced commercialism in late 20th century 
  • Developed Fair Play and Sportsmanship


  • Development little more then 200 years old (young culture)
  • History of Frontierism (Western expansion)
  • Adopted Isolation to develop new sports, reject english sports
  • Cricket didnt fit in because did not reflect values of UK
  • Traditional Universities played impact on Sports
  • Win Ethic ( Lombardianism and professionalism)
  • Cult of manliness
  • Commercialism in early 20th century
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Geographical Determinants


  • Population 62 million (high population density) Produce social interaction and communication
  • Remote areas (no areas of genuine wilderness)
  • One type of Climate (limiting potential for winter sport persuits)
  • Motorways, Rail and air routes for international communication in UK and USA influencing professional Sport
  • Railways facilitated organised sport expanding urban areas and countryside


  • 300 million with a low population density
  • Large unpopulated areas of wilderness (great outdoors) 
  • Large ranges of latitude and altitude (range of climate zone)
  • Winter climate (mountain ranges) Winter olympic games
  • Good travel for international communication same as UK
  • Professional sports like baseball were helped by railway system
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Government Policy


  • Monarch - head of State, Prime minister - head of government (which developed governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • Decentralised through local government
  • Professional sports are becoming increasingly commercialized but still controlled by Governing bodies
  • Decentralisation is less evident in Governments national curriculum


  • Strong democratic Influence
  • No hereditary class system
  • Committed to a decentralised model of control - reflected in each state
  • Decentralisation evident as there is no national curriculum - Government have little responsibility for sport (self funded)
  • Capitalist economy  (encouraged Commercialisation of sport)
  • Professional sport operates as a business to maximise profit
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Commercialism and Sport


  • Amateur ethic was dominant during 19th and most of 20th century
  • Participation was more important in 19th and 20th century
  • Strong input through governing bodies (not to a business extent)
  • Coverage in 1960's was avoided
  • 1960s only 10 sports could be shown on 2 channels
  • Was presented in a traditional Way
  • Not as much sponsorship in 1960's much slowly accepted
  • Class privilege presented the American dream from occurring            


  • Professional sports became commercial businesses
  • Lombardian ethos created an image of entertainment
  • Sport organised as a business for profit making
  • Coverage was encouraged
  • A great amount of Media
  • Sport was presented as entertainment
  • Big four embraced business opportunities
  • Dream is the keystone to american Culture (Wealth)
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Commercialism cont.

  • In later part of 20th Century - cricket and rugby changed to commercialised model
  • Associated with the golden triangle (sport, media, sponsership)
  •  Association football is the only UK sport that can match the big 4
  • UK is copying the USA model


  • Companies have known to collapse under the Media finance
  • Withdrawal of media finance can occur in the UK because of promotion and relegation 
  • However in USA relegation is not part of professional sport scene.
  • RFU is now a highly commercialised sport which had roots of public school system
  • Cricket has adopted a 2020 version which has entertainment appeal 
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Social determinants affecting Sport

  • Opportunity -  chance to take part / achieve to highest standard    
  • Provision - Conditions, equipment and facilities to take part                      
  • Esteem - Confidence in participation and reaching highest level


  • The right to freedom 
  • Working as part of a team (public schools)
  • Mixed economy plays a greater role in team work then a capitalist economy
  • Fair play over rides win at all costs
  • However winning is more important now in professional due to commercial of sport
  • Participation rather then competitive 
  • Overcome discrimination (same as USA)


  • American dream (individuality/opportunity - equal)
  • Small minority of wealthiest people in USA can dominate society
  • Win at all costs
  • Winning outcome important - but process to this more important
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Social Values Cont.

  • Even most democratic system can not give fair and equal opportunity (class system and WASP domination - ethnic group) 
  • WASP in USA was dominating culture
  • In UK was based into social class with barriers (which are less now)
  • UK and USA organisation and structure is less defined
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Physical education and School Sport


  • Curriculum subject up to age of 16 
  • High status
  • Determined by government
  • Perceived as a essential education experience
  • P.E has been placed to achieve high academic results


  • Daily P.E has been withdrawn in many states
  • School board controls curriculum
  • Individual states have control - strong teacher autonomy
  • P.E considered limited educational value

Awards are given to schools who are delivering a high standard of p.e in Primary schools, secondary schools, and across the school sport partnership 

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Strategies to promote physical Education


  • Sports colleges (receiving additional funding to increase opportunities)
  • School Sport partnerships (Bring together sport college with schools to increase participation)
  • Professional development (Of teachers and coaches improving quality of lessons)
  • Step into sport (young people 14-19 to be involved with sports leadership)
  • Club links (Strengthen links between schools and sport clubs)
  • Gifted and talented (Help young people with an ability to develop core skills)
  • Sporting playgrounds (Primary school playgrounds promoting play)
  • High quality physical education and school sport (how a school can improve the quality of p.e)


  • Physical education for process (Improve quality)
  • Adapted physical programmes  (special needs)
  • Title IX government legislation  (gender/equality)
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Outdoor education


  • Part of national curriculum - organised by schools
  • Benefits: Cognitive challenge, Leadership, Environmental appreciation, physical challenge, social experiences
  • Drawbacks: Expensive, may not be a local natural environment, health and safety, important lessons may be missed, teacher cover will be needed for missing lessons


  • Summer camps - not organised by schools
  • 3 types: State sponsored camps (less wealthy children), Camps sponsored by businesses, Commercial camps (extremely expensive)
  • Benefits: Self discovery, new skills, Independence, active healthy lifestyle, knowledge, enrichment, cultural experiences, challenge 
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Inter school sport/ Inter-mural sport


  • Teachers, organise fixtures, local schools leagues
  • organised as extra - curricular activities after school
  • Take place on school fields 
  • Free to watch 
  • Sponsership not widespread
  • P.E teacher in charge
  • P.E not considered to be a high status in sport
  • Scholarships are not very common
  • Little media attention
  • Participation more important
  • Available to all children


  • National advisory body controls competition 
  • takes place in evening to attract spectators
  • Played in high school stadiums 
  • Heavily rely on sponsership
  • Best players awarded scholarships
  •  media attention (large crowds)
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Participation Rates


  • 30% of young people are overweight
  • 38% of adults overweight
  • Fitness levels have reached an all time low
  • Mass participation rates are higher in UK
  • Reason for greater participation in UK may be due to the traditions of amateur commitment and team involvement
  • Significant increase in gym membership in the UK

Strategies that promote Mass participation

  • Sportsmatch (Clubs and faciliity organisations)
  • Special interest groups (Groups that tend to not participate in sport)
  • Sport England (Promotes Mass participation)
  • National Governing Bodies (funding for young people to take up sport)
  • Local Initiatives (Community sport providers for all abilities and age groups)
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Participation Rates cont.


  • 15% of American 6-19 year olds are regarded as clinically obese
  • 40 million people considered obese
  • 75% of Americans are not reaching basic activity recommendations
  • Gym and Jogging culture have been evident since 1950's
  • In the USA the emphasis is placed on the individual or groups of friends to form a team

Strategies that promote mass participation

  • Midnight leagues ( Sport during unsociable hours - Basketball)
  • Inter - mural sports (Schools playing against one another)
  • Intra-mural sports (recreational sports taking place within the high school - open to all students)
  • Little league (Organisation of junior sports that take place)
  • The Amateur Athletic Union (organisation of sport leagues and comps)
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Pathways to professional Sport


  • Association football, cricket, rugby union  and rugby league - have governing body schemas to develop talent
  • Clubs have development teams to identify professional players
  • Olympics performers are developed through the sports institutes of UK by UK sport
  • UK sport - responsibilty of producing sporting excellence (they want to acheive 4th place at the olympics). They ensure that athletic performance have a professional focus
  • Sport Institutes- provide support to elite performers. They have instigated the success of the olympic team
  • There are 4 main ones: English institute of sport, Scottish Institute of sport, Welsh institute of sport, Sports institute of nothern ireland
  • they provide: Coaching programmes, sport science and medicine, physiotherapy, nutrition advice, performance analysis, lifestyle advice.
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Pathways to professional Sport


  • Through the educational system
  • Apart from baseball
  • There is no American equivalant of UK sport
  • USA government only provides a small amount of finacial support
  • High school performer given schlorship grant
  • College sport provides the progressive step into professional sport
  • Big four make vast profits from sponsers and media interest
  • Can be under qualified if good at sport
  • Sport loses its educational value from win at all costs- more about finance
  • Coachers and trainers make a high amount of money
  • Student athlete does not get paid
  • commit to as many as 50 hours of sport per week
  • Pro draft system focuses on selecting best college players
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Equality and Discrimination


  • Centrality (sporting positions with decision-making responsibilites) - It endorsed racial hierachy (eg. positions preserve of white mainstream players)
  • Stacking (Practise of putting players belonging to ethnic minority into peripheral positions. These positions required considerable athleticism but minimal strategic influence)
  • Tokenism (Hiring a small group of people from ethnic minority to give an impression of a non discriminatory opportunity policy
  • White Flight (White players have withdrawn from basketball, increasingly being perceived to African Americans
  • Glass Ceiling (Division between two layers of society- people below can see their ambition and where they wish to occupy
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Case Study of Big Four Sports: Baseball

Origins: Boys played early forms (rounders) during colonial period. Played mainly by the youth of working class.

Nature: Bursts of action and quick sprinting (very little dead time) therefore satisfied the fast pace of American life. There are no drawn games

In Industry: Major league Baseball business is massive. 32 000 people per game attend (high commercial value)

Sport, Sponsership and Media: 

  • Most popular game in USA
  • First sport to attract media attention
  • World series (major baseball competition) 
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Case Study of Big Four Sports: Gridiron Football

Origins: Adapted from English rugby. Comes from Ivy league colleges 

Nature: High impact collision game (aggressive) Helmets and padding as physical contact. There are no drawn games

In Industry: National Football League profit making industry.  NFL is more lucrative than the premiership football league

Sport, Sponsership and Media:

  • Superbowl (viewing figures of 130 million- television commercial breaks costs 2.5 million 
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Case Study of Big Four Sports: Basketball

Origins: Invented in America at YMCA training school (successful in high schools)

Nature: Fast game (play moves quickly) quick passing movements and frequent scoring. No drawn games

In industry: Teams make up 13% of franchised sport in America. National Basketball association is organised as a business cartel. 

Sport, Sponsership, Media: 

  • Part of entertainment industry (media appeal)
  • Commercial advertising fits easily into the many breaks
  • Game of the inner city - popularity has been increased by midnight leagues
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Case Study of Big Four Sports: Ice Hockey

Origins: Adapted from icy hurly  and rules were unified by McGill university. Origins in the colleges (ice hockey national tournament for universities

Nature: High impact collision game (aggressive). High speeds, physical contact.  Hockey stick encourages violent play. No drawn games = Zero sum ethos

In industry: Popularity stimulated by Olympic gold medal success. Canadian teams relocated to america now 20 of the 26 teams are located in USA. Canadian players outnumber Americans. 

Sport, Sponsership and Media:

  • Last to join big four- has developed spectator and media appeal
  • Attractive to commercial sponsership
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