Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Olympic History: Boycotts, Protests, Scandals and Violence

The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of
practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which
requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play

–4th Fundamental Principle of Olympism, from The Olympic Charter

Sochi Olympic Rings at Olympic Park
by Atos International [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games open tomorrow in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea. The Olympics provide a platform for nations from around the world to unite in celebrating athleticism and sports achievement. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) aims to promote sports competition and education free of any discrimination, and theoretically at least, all political disputes are set aside during the Games. Despite the IOC’s goals for international peace during the Games, there have been many disruptive and controversial incidents that have been associated with the Olympics throughout history. Below are some notable events that have challenged the Olympic ideal of promoting international peace and understanding.


Women were not permitted to compete in the first modern Olympics, held in Athens, Greece in 1896. Four years later, at the 1900 Paris Olympics, female athletes made their debut, but only 22 women out of a total of 997 athletes competed in just five sports. Since then, more sports and events were gradually introduced that allowed women to participate. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei had never had a female athlete compete in the Olympics until the 2012 Summer Games in Sydney, when all three countries included women in their delegations for the first time.

Jesse Owens via Library of Congress [public domain]

The 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany offered Chancellor Adolf Hitler a chance to promote his claims of Aryan racial superiority. Jewish athletes were banned from Germany’s Olympic team, and African American Jesse Owens became the first U.S. track and field athlete to win four gold medals at a single Olympics. Owens was only one of 18 African American athletes on the U.S. team that year, and despite winning 14 medals (eight of them gold), they received little recognition when they returned home. While white Olympians were invited to the White House to be congratulated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the same honor was not extended to the black athletes.


Frank Joklik, head of the organizing committee for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, resigned after admitting payments were made to members of the International Olympic Committee during the bidding process to select the location of the Games. The bribery allegations also resulted in the expulsion of six IOC members. The Games were still held in Salt Lake City, but under new chief executive Mitt Romney.


At the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, U.S track and field athlete Marion Jones became the first woman to win five track and field medals at a single Olympics—three gold and two bronze. In 2007, after an investigation, the IOC stripped Jones of all of her medals after she admitted that she had used a banned substance.

14 Russian athletes who competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia were disqualified for violating anti-doping rules and stripped of their medals (ten total, including four golds). 19 Russian athletes have been banned from the Games for life as a result of an IOC investigation into allegations of widespread doping among Russian competitors. The scandal resulted in Russia’s Olympic team being barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


Olympic History at SJSU (San Jose, CA 2009)
by mksfly [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Foter.com

While many Olympic celebrations have been the target of protests, one of the most iconic took place in the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City. After two U.S. sprinters earned medals in the 200-yard dash, they decided to take a stand for human rights. Tommie Smith (gold) and John Carlos (bronze) mounted the medals podium wearing no shoes and black socks to symbolize poverty among black Americans, beads and scarves to protest lynching, and Olympic Project for Human Rights badges. Then each bowed their heads, raised a black-gloved fist and stood silently as their national anthem played. Amid international outrage and condemnation within the U.S., the two Americans were suspended from the U.S. team, given 48 hours to leave Mexico, and were later stripped of their medals. In 2005, the San Jose State University alumni were honored when a bronze statue was erected on the campus, and in 2016, they were invited to a reception at the White House.


During the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, Germany, the U.S. men’s basketball team entered the gold medal game against the Soviet Union with seven gold medals with a perfect 63-0 record in Olympic competition.  With the U.S. leading as time expired, the officials granted an improper timeout to the Soviets and put three seconds back on the clock, allowing the Soviet team to score another basket and win the game 51-50. The team boycotted the medal ceremony, refusing to accept their silver medals. Nearly 50 years later and despite numerous invitations to the athletes to accept them over the years, the medals remain in a vault in Lausanne, Switzerland.

President Jimmy Carter announced that the U.S. would boycott the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. 64 other nations also refused to attend. In retaliation, the Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, joined by 14 other Communist bloc socialist countries. Other boycotts of the games occurred for various political reasons in 1908 (London), 1936 (Berlin), 1956 (Melbourne), 1964 (Tokyo) and 1976 (Montreal).


On September 5, during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, a group of Palestinian terrorists stormed the Olympic Village apartment of the Israeli team, killing two and taking nine others hostage. A failed rescue attempt at the Munich airport resulted in the death of all of the hostages, along with five of the terrorists and one West German policeman.

Plaque in front of the Israeli athletes’ quarters commemorating the victims of the Munich massacre. The inscription, in German and Hebrew, reads: The team of the State of Israel lived in this building during the 20th Olympic Summer Games from 21 August to 5 September 1972. On 5 September, [list of victims] died a violent death.
Honor to their memory.
by High Contrast (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 DE], via Wikimedia Commons

On July 27, during the first week of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, a homemade pipe bomb exploded during a late-night concert at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. There were two deaths, and at least 111 others were injured. The bomber, Eric Robert Rudolph, wasn’t captured until 2003, despite an intensive 5-year nationwide manhunt and a $1,000,000 reward.


On January 6, 1994, just one month before the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, figure skater and Olympic contender Nancy Kerrigan was leaving the ice after practice for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. A mysterious man attacked and struck above her right knee, forcing her to withdraw from the competition due to the injury. Tonya Harding was crowned the 1994 Champion, and just five days later, the attack on Kerrigan was linked to Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. A media frenzy ensued, with countless reporters following and harassing Harding constantly.  Kerrigan went on to win a silver medal in the 1994 games, while Harding finished in eighth place, was later stripped of her national championship and permanently banned from all amateur skating competitions.

Possibly the biggest Olympic scandal ever was in the news recently. Three USA Gymnastics board members resigned after former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar pled guilty in November 2017 to multiple counts of molesting female athletes, many of them children. Several Olympic gold medalists were among the 156 victims who gave impact statements at his pre-sentencing hearing. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison on January 24. MSU president Lou Anna Simon also resigned in the wake of the scandal. The U.S. Olympic Committee then called for the resignations of the entire 21-member board of USA Gymnastics.

* * *

The upcoming Games in PyeongChang have already stirred controversy. North Korea’s decision to send a delegation to the Olympics, and the agreement by the two Koreas to compete with a combined women’s ice hockey team have sparked protests in Seoul where activists and defectors from North Korea have burned and ripped photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea also pulled out of a planned joint Olympic cultural event and appears to be planning a huge military parade on the day before the opening ceremonies.

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Leading Issues in the News: Protests in Sports

Washington Redskins Kneel During the National Anthem

By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Washington Redskins National Anthem Kneeling) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

At the beginning of the 2016 NFL preseason, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ignited a firestorm of controversy by sitting down during the national anthem. He explained his reason for sitting as follows, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.” In the 49ers final preseason game, Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem instead of sitting as a way to show more respect to military members while still protesting the anthem. Throughout the 2016 season, several NFL players joined Kaepernick in “taking a knee” during the anthem.

The protests became more widespread at the start of the 2017 season after President Donald Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. In the games following Trump’s comments, more than 200 players kneeled while other teams linked arms in solidarity.

The protests are not confined to just the NFL. Soccer players and WNBA players have protested by kneeling or by staying in the locker room during the national anthem. Major league baseball player Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics knelt during the anthem, while NHL player J.T. Brown of the Tampa Bay Lightning raised his fist while standing on the bench during the national anthem.

Although the protests have generated controversy, they have also started conversations over racial discrimination, police brutality and freedom of expression.

This is not the first time athletes have used the world of sports to make a stand over social issues.

Protest at the 1968 Summer Olympics

Extending gloved hands skyward in racial protest, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City on Oct. 16, 1968. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman is at left. (AP Photo) (Credit: Public Domain)

At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised a fist while the national anthem played during their medal ceremony. The gesture was viewed as a “Black Power” salute and became front page news around the globe. The athletes stated they were there to express African-American strength and unity, protest black poverty, and remember victims of lynching.

On October 17, 1968, the International Olympic Committee convened and determined that Smith and Carlos were to be stripped of their medals for violating the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit.

Forty-nine years later, that moment at the Olympics continues to reverberate through sports.

Learn more about the current national anthem protests as well as the historical context by visiting SIRS Issues Researcher and eLibrary. Not a customer? Free trials are available.

9 Baseball Museums for Fans of America’s National Pastime

Map of Baseball Museums

9 Baseball Museums for Fans of America’s National Pastime

On Sunday, July 30, the Class of 2017 will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Three former players will take their place among the greats who have played the game before them. While Cooperstown is one of the most well-known baseball museums in the world, it is not the only one dedicated to America’s pastime.  In no particular order, here are 9 other museums for the baseball fan.

1. Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Louisville, KY: The Louisville Slugger factory has been providing baseball players with its wooden bats since 1884. The museum highlights the role Louisville Slugger plays in baseball’s past, present and future.

2. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, MO: This museum is dedicated to preserving the history of African-Americans in baseball. Visitors can view exhibits on the founding of the Negro Leagues, integration with Major League Baseball, baseball in Latin America, and current African-American players.

3. Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Library, Greenville, SC: Located in Joe Jackson’s former home, this museum displays records, artifacts, photos and other memorabilia associated with one of the few baseball players to receive a lifetime banishment from the game of baseball.

4. Field of Dreams Movie Site, Dyersville, IA: Fans of the classic baseball movie Field of Dreams have been flocking to this site ever since the movie’s release. Visitors can tour the family farm that served as the Kinsellas’ home in the movie and step foot on the same field where Ray Kinsella played catch with Shoeless Joe Jackson.

5. The Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame, St. Petersburg, FL: Located in Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, this museum includes artifacts and exhibits on one of the greatest hitters in the game. While Ted Williams is the centerpiece of the museum, other hitters on display include Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio and David Ortiz.

6. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Collection at the History Museum, South Bend, IN: The History Museum hosts a permanent exhibit dedicated to the women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The collection includes photographs, programs, film footage and playing equipment used by the teams.

7. World of Little League Museum, South Williamsport, PA: This museum tells the story of Little League’s past and shows how Little League baseball has been intertwined in U.S. history. The museum also includes an exhibit on Little League baseball programs across the world.

8. B’s Ball Park Museum, Denver, CO: While not as well-known as many of the other museums on this list, the Ball Park Museum hosts a collection of artifacts from some of the greatest ballparks of the past and present.

9. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Ontario, Canada: Dedicated to preserving Canada’s baseball heritage which dates back to 1864, the Hall of Fame includes more than 100 inductees who have left a mark on Canadian baseball, and the museum includes information on current Canadian-born major league players.

Have you visited any of these museums? Share your thoughts on Twitter with #ProQuest or leave us a comment below.

Leading Issues in the News: Concussions in Sports

“I demand that football change its rules or be abolished. Brutality and foul play should receive the same summary punishment given to a man who cheats at cards! Change the game or forsake it!”

–President Theodore Roosevelt, after the Chicago Tribune reported that 18 college football players had died and 159 were seriously injured during the 1905 season

The escalating violence and the number of injuries and deaths in the early history of American football led to rule changes and equipment improvements aimed at making the game safer, both at the collegiate and professional levels. However, football players—as well as athletes in other sports—continue to put themselves at risk of injury every time they participate in a practice or game.

In the past couple decades the risks associated with repetitive head injuries have come to the forefront. Mike Webster, a Hall of Famer who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974 to 1990, became the first former NFL player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)–a progressive degenerative brain disease–after his death at the age of 50 in 2002. The release in 2015 of the movie “Concussion”, which chronicled the work of forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, who performed autopsies on former NFL players, put the public spotlight directly on this serious issue.

A recent addition to SIRS Issues Researcher’s list of over 340 Leading Issues—Concussions in Sports—is one that any student who participates in sports—as an athlete and/or fan—can relate to. It provides young researchers with an in-depth look at this problem that affects all athletes—from those participating in youth leagues to the professional athlete. The Concussions in Sports Timeline provides a history of the issue and a list of key events that have had an impact on past and current players, and highlights efforts to improve player safety and continue research on concussions and their effects.


Screen cap from SIRS Issues Researcher

Screen cap from SIRS Issues Researcher


Celebrate National Skating Month!

U.S. Figure Skating recognizes January as National Skating Month. It is a time for ice skating rinks and figure skating clubs to celebrate and promote the sport. When I was growing up, I dreamed of becoming a figure skating coach. I started taking ice skating lessons when I was five and fell in love with the sport. In honor of National Skating Month, I would like to share some interesting facts about three of my favorite female figure skaters.

Dorothy Hamill Research Topic Screencap

Dorothy Hamill Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

Dorothy Hamill: At 19-years-old, Dorothy Hamill captured the gold medal in women’s figure skating at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Hamill quickly became known as “America’s Sweetheart” because of her sweet personality, bobbed hairstyle, and skating skills—she invented her own signature spin, the “Hamill camel.” Shortly after the Olympics, Hamill won the World Championship title in Gothenburg, Sweden. She then decided to turn professional and toured with the Ice Capades from 1977-1984. Hamill won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance in the 1983 production of “Romeo & Juliet on Ice.” She also competed on the 16th season of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2013.

Katarina Witt Research Topic Screencap

Katarina Witt Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

Katarina Witt: Katarina Witt is a two-time Olympic champion, four-time World champion, and six-time European champion. The East German figure skater captivated both judges and spectators with her technical skating skills, beauty, charisma, and showmanship. She won her first Olympic gold medal in women’s figure skating at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, and her second at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She became the first female figure skater since Sonia Henie to retain her Olympic title. Following her victory at the 1988 World Championships, Witt retired from amateur competition and embarked on her professional skating career. She toured with other world-class figure skaters, including fellow Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano and headlined her own skating shows. She ended her successful professional skating career in 2008.

Sasha Cohen Research Topic Screencap

Sasha Cohen Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

Sasha Cohen: Sasha Cohen is one of the most graceful and beautiful figure skaters of all time. Her given name is Alexandra Pauline Cohen. Sasha is a Ukrainian nickname for Alexandra. The 2006 U.S. figure skating champion is known for her flexibility, exquisite spirals, and outstanding spins. Cohen finished fourth at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Four years later, she won the silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. In addition to performing in ice shows, Cohen has also engaged in acting. She has done commercials, guest starred on television shows, and landed movie roles. Cohen made a cameo appearance as herself in the movie “Blades of Glory.” On Jan. 22, 2016, Cohen was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

You can read more about these Olympic figure skaters and the sport of figure skating in eLibrary. Check out these resources:

Figure Skating Research Topic

Dorothy Hamill Research Topic

Katarina Witt Research Topic

Sasha Cohen Research Topic

This Day in History: Miami Dolphins Finish 1972 NFL Season Undefeated

On December 16, 1972, the Miami Dolphins tallied a 16-0 victory over the Baltimore Colts, completing the first undefeated 14-0 regular season record in the history of the NFL. They are the only team in NFL history to finish a season unbeaten and untied, and then go on to capture a Super Bowl victory that made them world champions, ending with a perfect 17-0 overall record. Over 40 years later, the Dolphins remain the only NFL team to complete an entire season undefeated and untied from the opening game through the Super Bowl (or the NFL championship game).

Six players from the ’72 Dolphins team have since been enshrined in Pro Football’s Hall of Fame: Nick Buoniconti (linebacker), Larry Csonka (fullback), Bob Griese (quarterback), Jim Langer (center), Larry Little (guard), and Paul Warfield (wide receiver), along with head coach Don Shula. It had not become common practice for Super Bowl champions to be invited to the White House until after 1980, so the 1972 Dolphins never got their White House visit. On August 20, 2013, 40 years after their historic perfect season, President Obama welcomed the team to the White House to celebrate and recognize their accomplishment.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a ceremony honoring the 1972 Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during a ceremony honoring the 1972 Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins in the East Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) [public domain]

Prior to the 1972 Dolphins, the only other team to ever complete the regular season undefeated and untied is the Chicago Bears, who accomplished the feat in both 1934 and 1942. However, both of those Bears teams lost in the NFL Championship Game. In 1985, the Chicago Bears were 12-0 when they visited Miami in a nationally televised Monday night showdown. Members of the undefeated 1972 team were in attendance and watched the Dolphins claim a 38-24 upset victory. The Bears went on to an 18-1 season, capped by winning the Super Bowl, but the Dolphins’ claim on the only perfect season was still intact.

The most recent team to challenge the Dolphins’ exclusive hold on an undefeated season was the 2007 New England Patriots, who finished the regular season with a 16-0 mark. (The Patriots were able to compile a better regular season record than the 1972 Dolphins because the NFL lengthened the regular season schedule from 14 to 16 games in 1978.) New England added two playoff wins and entered Super Bowl XLII undefeated (18-0), but the dream of a perfect season fell short as they were defeated 17-14 by the New York Giants.

This season, with three games left in the regular season, the Carolina Panthers remain undefeated at 13-0. Stay tuned to find out if they can duplicate the perfection achieved by the 1972 Miami Dolphins team.

eLibrary has over 100 Research Topic pages related to the NFL and its teams, coaches, players and commissioners. To view a few of them related to this post, check out the links below:

Chicago Bears

Don Shula

Miami Dolphins

National Football League

New England Patriots

Super Bowl

Bringing Sports Into the Classroom in a Cross-Curricula Way

So it’s the end of the year, and your students know it. Maybe there are a few days left of school, maybe there are a few weeks…but the fact remains: it’s June. Your kids are ready for summer fun! Perhaps you could grab their attention from windows and daydreams with a cool activity.

Sports trivia!

I’m going to give you two good excuses for bringing sports discussions in the classroom. Firstly, it’s Sports America Kids Month. Secondly, SIRS Discoverer offers lots of ways to discuss sports while tying it to history, math, and social and cultural studies.

Did you know that the White House has a tennis court? It was built behind the West Wing in 1902. Hmmm…I wonder if your students could find out who was president in 1902? (Answer: Theodore Roosevelt) The tennis court was moved seven years later because the Executive offices were expanding—who was president then? (Answer: William Howard Taft)

In 1933, an indoor swimming pool was built for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Why? He needed physical therapy because he was disabled by polio. In 1975, an outdoor swimming pool was installed for President Gerald Ford, who loved to swim.

White House Swimming Pool By NARA, via Wikimedia Commons

White House Swimming Pool
By NARA, via Wikimedia Commons

A few other presidents put their personal sports or exercise preferences into action at the White House, too. Which president loved to bowl, and had a bowling alley constructed? (Answer: Richard Nixon) Which president loved to golf, and asked that a putting green and sand trap be created at the White House? (Answer: Dwight D. Eisenhower) Which president enjoyed jogging as exercise, and requested a jogging track? (Answer: Bill Clinton)

Culture and sports may be a fun end-of-the-year topic. For a broad overview, you can share this article with your students. It talks about sports and their significance to societies around the world. Or, you can get more specific and discuss the origins of certain sports. For example, did you know that lacrosse was created and played by Native American tribes? Teams were made up of 100 to 1,000 men (no girls were allowed), and matches lasted up to three days! The game is different now—and, of course, lots of girls play—but its roots remain in battle-like games played 600 years ago.

Baseball, sometimes called the American pastime, may have been invented in England! A similar game, called Rounders, was played there during the 18th century. One hundred years later, the game of baseball was so popular in the United States, that soldiers and prisoners-of-war even played it during the Civil War.

Union prisoners at Salisbury, North Carolina, play baseball in 1863

Courtesy of Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress [Public Domain],
via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer

Here’s another piece of sports-origins trivia: A game similar to tennis was first played more than 800 years ago—by French monks! European royalty soon learned and played the game, and it was then referred to as “royal tennis.” The word “tennis” is thought to have derived from the French word “tenez,” which means what? (Answer: “take this”)

Some sports figures have helped transform society. If you haven’t yet talked about Jackie Robinson with your students, Sports America Kids Month may be a great time to do so. He changed the world of baseball—and the world itself—in 1947, when he became the first African American man to play Major League baseball. In the 1970s, tennis player Billie Jean King helped all women in sports when she proved her skills, tenacity, and might—on and off the tennis court.

Take a few minutes before the end of the school year and have a bit of fun with your students. They might want to be outside playing sports…but you can give them the next best thing: sports inside! Join SIRS Discoverer and our June Spotlight of the Month in celebrating Sports America Kids Month…and the end of the school year.

The Science of Sports

RA Dickey Research Topic

RA Dickey Research Topic on ProQuest eLibrary


Tonight, when you sit down to watch the World Series match up between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants and you watch the pitcher throw a curveball or the batter swat a fastball, stop for a moment and put on your science hat. How does the pitcher throw a baseball like that, and how does someone hit a ball so far that was thrown to them so fast? Why does a knuckleball pitch move as if some mysterious force was controlling it?

And what does all of this have to do with physics and sports science? Although the knuckleball is still sort of a mystery, throwing a curve or slider and hitting a baseball has everything to do with gravity, forces and motion. Professional athletes don’t need to know the technical aspects of physics, but team coaches, managers, physicians, and physical training specialists do to varying degrees, and they need to make sure the players understand some aspects of it. And, of course, understanding sports science and physics isn’t lost on other sports. Knowing how to throw a football in a proper spiral to insure a proper trajectory and distance is vital. In Golf, knowing the geometry and biomechanics behind the golf swing has become an integral part of a professional golfer’s and their teacher’s knowledge.

Sports Science Research Topic

Sports Science Research Topic in ProQuest eLibrary

Sports science, as a discipline, studies how the human body moves during physical activity in order to maximize an athlete’s performance. It is also used to protect athletes. Studying the impacts of helmet-to-helmet hits in football and designing helmets that protect the head from brain damage is essential in professional football today.

eLibrary can help you understand how physics and sports science assists athletes in helping them not only perform better but also to protect themselves. The Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and Journal of Athletic Training both have a wealth of information in the science of human movement in the areas of biomechanics, motor behavior, and other physiological and nutrition disciplines in sports.

Check out these other resources:

Research Topics:
Sports Medicine
Sports Science

Browse Topics:
Physical Education and Sports
Science of Sports

Journal of Athletic Training (Scholarly Journal)
Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (Scholarly Journal)
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (Scholarly Journal)
Women in Sport & Physical Activity (Scholarly Journal)

Clay Matthews and Team Personnel
Are Buying Into the New Emphasis on Sports Science
Wisconsin State Journal (Newspaper)

Sports Science
Super Science (Magazine)

The Science of Sports
Carnegie Magazine

Writer Explains the Science of Sport
Tell Me More (Transcript)

Remember the BCS!

As a ProQuest editor for SIRS Issues Researcher, I cover Leading Issues topics related to sports. But sports go way beyond a work occupation for me—they are a personal passion! I especially love college football and am a huge fan of my alma mater: Florida State University. So of course, I am super excited that it’s almost time for college football season. But I’m also a little sad because 2014 marks the end of an era—the end of The Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

The Coaches' Trophy

The Coaches’ Trophy
Photo by Harrison Diamond / Independent Florida Alligator via Wikimedia Commons

The much-maligned Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is being replaced by a four-team playoff system. For 16 years, the controversial selection process—a combination of human polls and computer rankings determined the top two teams to play in the BCS National Championship Game. Now the BCS is gone and the College Football Playoff is here.

As the new season starts it is worth remembering the legacy of the BCS. Love it or hate it, the BCS left an indelible impact on college football. Here are 4 reasons why this college football fan will miss the BCS.

  1. The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the final BCS standings played for the national championship. Prior to the BCS, affiliations between conferences and bowls consistently excluded matchups between the two-highest ranked teams in the country. From 1936-1992, the AP Poll’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams only faced each other eight times in a bowl game. The BCS gave the two top teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) the opportunity to compete against each other for the national title every year.
  2. The BCS made college football a national obsession. It increased the popularity of the sport and fueled national interest in regional games. You can be sure this FSU alumni rooted for Stanford to beat undefeated Oregon last season. Stanford’s upset of Oregon cleared FSU’s path to the national championship.
  3. Every game mattered. The BCS enhanced the importance of the regular season. Every team knew that their dream of a national championship could be gone with the loss of one game. Remember last year’s Iron Bowl? In an instant Alabama’s hopes of winning a third consecutive national championship were dashed when Auburn’s Chris Davis returned a missed field goal in the last second of the game 109 yards for a touchdown.
  4. The BCS gave teams from non-automatic qualifying conferences the opportunity to be a “BCS buster.” Before the BCS we never would have seen the ultimate Cinderella Boise State playing mighty Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. In the classic David vs. Goliath match-up, the Broncos shocked the world by beating the Sooners with a Statue of Liberty play in overtime. The dramatic finish of the game is arguably one of the best in college football history.

What do you think about the end of the BCS? Comment below or tweet us at #ProQuest. 

ProQuest SIRS Discoverer: National Physical Fitness and Sports Month


Credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [public domain]

 It’s time to move it, move it! National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is here. And now that the weather is warmer, you can use SIRS Discoverer’s Spotlight of the Month to learn about all sorts of ways to be active and increase fitness as a kid of any age.

In this month’s edition, see how kids compare to parents when they were young in activity level. Also learn about yoga, archery, lacrosse, the effects of cellphones and how just 15 minutes of daily exercise has great benefits.

The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition designated May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in order to encourage individuals and organizations to participate in sports and fitness. The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports was established by Congress in 1983 knowing that people of all ages, shapes and sizes can benefit from regular physical activity.