Industrial and post industrial development of sport

  • Created by: Tooth04
  • Created on: 25-04-22 11:10

Development of rational recreation

As Britain began the industrial revolution in 1780, sport and pastimes developed as a causation of societal changes - these activities were termed 'rational recreation'. 

-Rational recreation - 19th century, sport pastimes for the lower class were designed by the newly established middle class to be well ordered, organised and controlled.

-Rational suggests a use of logic and structure beginning to be incorporated, refelcting a more industrially based society. 

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The Wenlock Olympian games

In 1850, the Wenlock Agricultural Reading Society (WARS) created a class called the Olympian class as a means to promote physical and intellectual improvements for the people in Wenlock, where successful participation in outdoor recreational challenges was rewarded with prizes to encourgae participation. 

-The first Wenlock games took place in October1850, acting as a forerunner for the modern olympic games. Events included were; quoits, running, football, cricket and hurdles.

-Rules were written and drew athletes from all over the country. A band led the procession of flag bearers, officials and competitors as they mrached to the event. A crown of laurel leaves were placed on the head of the winners at a medal ceremony. 

-Dr William Penny Brooks was the orchestrator behind the annual games and the Wenlock Olympian society (born from the Olympian class) campaigned for physical eduaction to be on the national school curriculum. 

-De Courbertin was inspired by Dr Brooks and established the International Olympic Committee and the modern olympic games in Athens 1896. 

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The industrial revolution on development of ration

-Industrial revolution (1780-1900) marked the change froma rural, feudal based society into an industrial capaitalist society controlled by the urban middle class. (HITFOR).

-Migration of lower classes into urban spaces looking for work in newly built factories decreased space to play traditional games and led to overcrowding. 

-Lack of leisure - shift from 'seasonal' to 'machine' time led to long 12 hour days, 6 days a week. 

-Lack of income - low wages and poverty, little spare income for lesiure activities. 

-Poor health - poor working and living conditions leading to pollution were compounded by a lack of hygenie that left little energy to engage in sport or leisure. 

-Loss of rights - restrictions placed on mob games and blood sports by chnaged in criminal law.

-A lack of public provision - no access to private facilities or no personal equipment for the lower classes.

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The industrial revolution on development of ration

-Whilst the first half of the 19th centruy saw a decline in rational recreation, gradual improvements eventaully held a positive effect. 

-Health and hygeine improved as improvments in housing and council provisions such as baths to improve cleanliness enabled more energy and willingness to participate.

-Factory Acts and Saturday half-days led to increased wages with more disposbale income to participate in sport alongside more time. 

-Emergence of a new middle class, mostly men who took advantage of business opportunities in the IR, changed behaviour in sport. Promoted playing to a high moral code, strict rules and regulations etc - creation of NGBS.

-Improvements in transport and communication via steam trains and roads meant teams abd spectators could travel and leagues were established. Also became cheaper to travel.

-Industrial patronage led to the creation of factory teams and facilties were provided. 

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As large numbers of people moved from rural places to urban places, many violent sports like mob football were banned, which led to masses being introduced to new entertainment. 

-Lack of space - space was premium in urban areas leading to the creation of purpose built facilities (e.g. football grounds).

-Large working class populations - large voolumes of people requiring new entertainment meant mass spectator numbers at sports like rugby and football. 

-Loss of traditional sports - as sports like mob football were banned due to a more civilised society, new sports were able to emerge. 

-Change in working conditions - as working condition simproved through higher wages and more leisure time, sports attendance and participation went up. 

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The transport revolution

The development of steam trains and railways increased spectator and participations opportunities and spread interest in sport.

-Movement of teams and spectators - the development of the railways and steam trains enabled fast and further country, leading to nationwide fixtures and codefication of rules.

-Improved access to different parts of the country - nationwide train travel enabled sport to develop nationally, involving clubs with leagues. 

-Cheaper train travel - train travel became relatively cheap and affordable which led to working classes following their teams and sporting heroes home and away. 

-Improved access to the countryside - activities such as rambling became popular as rural areas were reachable and affordable via train travel. 

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Social and cultural influences on the development

-Communications - gradual improvements in educational provision for the working class in the second half of the 19th century led to improved reading and writing. 

'Communications' e.g. newspapers increased from this, knowledge and awareness of sport such as knowledege of results. 


-The Church - promoted sport through promoting civilised behaviour, with church halls improving the morale of the working classes. Sport was viewed as a good way of promoting christian values. 

-The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) promoted the healthy body/healthy mind link.

-The clergy gave encouragement for the working classes to participate in sport. The church organised teams, set up clubs and organised competitions (Aston Villa via Villa Cross Methodist Church). Also provided facilities to play sport through playing fields . 

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The emergence of the middle class

The newly formed middle class emerged as result of urbanisation and industrialisation.

-Codification - development of strict rules as public schools created the NGBs for sport. They controlled sport and enabled them to form and run clubs (Football Association 1863). 

-Competitions - the development of leagues and competitions via middle class in public schools, universities, clubs, NGBs, factory teams and church teams.

-Public provisions - the development of public facilities via middle class 'philanthropists', factory owners, the Church, the passing of government Acts in their role as local politicians.

-Increased leisure time - as middle class factory owners, they gradually gave their workers more leisure time e.g. a saturday half day which allowed more time to watch and participate in sport.

-Move to 'professionalism' - as middle class helped in the development of early commercial/ professional sport (factory owners setting up factory and paying broken time payments in football).  

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The British Empire

Sport was seen as a good way to instill morals and spread culture across the british empire, where young educated men to become leaders of the british empire spreading sports into different cultures. 

-ex-public schoolboys and university old boys influenced the development of sport:

-Teachers - developed teams and taught traditional sporting values.

-Industrialist / factory owners - set up teams and gave workers the chance to play internationally. 

-Clergy - developed church teams and became missionaires to take sport abroad.

-Officiers in the british army - they used sport with armed services and spread sport throughout the empire.

-They formed NGBs of sport, codifing sports and established leagues that made thier way abroad. 

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Public provision and its influence on the developm

-The development of public baths in urban areas positively influenced the opportunities for working class recreation .

-Poor living conditions, disease and pollution were harsh side effects of industrialisation.

-To comabt this local authorities felt a civic responsibility to provide public washing facilities e.g. Wash House Act of 1846.

-Plunge baths were developed for swimming / recreational use, keeping people away from drinking and violence through involvement in physical activity.

-Improved productivity as workers were healthier and less to prone to serious disease. 

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The development of rational recreation.

In the mid to late 19th century, lots of NGBs developed e,g. Football Association 1863. 

-Sport was becoming increasingly popular with more widespread participation.

-More teams and clubs were forming.

-More national and international fixtures were being organised. 

-Leagues and competitions were required for the new teams.

-Codification of rules as a singe set of rules required for 'fair' play.

-Maintainence of the 'amateur ideal' to deal with professionalism and early commercialisation of sport to maintain control.

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Characteristics of rational recreation

-Respectability - non-violent in nature and emphasis on fair play.

-Regionally / nationally / regulalry played - competitions were played regionally, nationally and internationally, with watching saturday afternoon football popular for the masses.

-Stringent administration and codification - strict and complex written rules were set down by NGBs for the conduct of sport.

-Referees / officials - present to enforce rules in sport.

-Purpose-built facilities - sport took place in specially constructed grounds and pitches. 

-Skills / tactics - players had positional roles in which they became 'specialists', performers trained to improve technique. 

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  • Amateur - plays sport for the love of it with no financial gain.
  • Professional - plays sport for financial gain. 

Amateurism was associated with high moral integrity and appreciating the value of health and fitness. 

  • Gentleman amateur:
  • public school backfround, high sporting status reflected high society status. 
  • being in the social elite, wealth and free time to play sport. 
  • naturally talented, playing for character building exercise and not training. 
  • playing sport to a high moral code. 

Positive impacts -> -code of amateurism and playing to clearly set rules led to the creation of NGBs. - as the social elite they could play for the love of the game and not money.                          - they were the elite performers. -participation was seen as more important than winning. 

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19th C - Gentleman amateur vs working-class profes

-Upper / middle class vs working class - A belonged to the social elite while P were factory workers.

-Lots of free lesiure time vs very little free time - A became elite sportsmen as they had time to practise and better thier craft while P were working 6 days a week in factories, only playing on saturday half-days. 

-No desire to improve vs committed to train and perform as well as possible - A played for the love of the game and as a character building exercise while P playing for financial gain which meant they were competitive as only winners were well rewarded. 

-High morality vs low morality - A played with a high moral code with an emphasis on fair play and enjoyment while P played to win and would often use gamesmanship and take bribes. 

PI of professionalism - earning money was an avenuse of social mobility and created a dtermination to suceed. They became dedicated amnd standards improved. 

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