Sports around the World: History, Culture, and Practice

Article excerpt

Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice. Ed. by John Nauright and Charles Parrish. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012. 4 vols. acid free $415 (ISBN: 9781598843002). E-book available (ISBN: 9781598843019), call for pricing.

ABC-CLIO first published a reference work on world sports in 1996 with Levinson and Christensen's Encyclopedia of World Sport: From Ancient Times to the Present, a three-volume set that featured entries on hundreds of individual sports. That work was reimagined under the same editors by Berkshire Publishing in 2005 as the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport, with additional entries on the social and cultural aspects of world sports. That set is about to go into a third edition in 2013. Meanwhile, ABC-CLIO returns to world sport with this Nauright and Parrish four-volume work.

Following an introductory section of general articles in volume 1 on such topics as Imperialism and Sport, Sexuality and Sports, and Sports Medicine, this set is organized geographically: volume 1 covers Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania; volume 2 covers Britain and Europe; and volume 3 covers Latin America and North America; while volume 4 is a series of appendixes that list all Olympic medalists as well as winners and champions in other international competitions and both college and professional leagues across the globe.

The sections for each geographical area feature alphabetically arranged articles pertaining to the region. For example, the section on the British Isles includes pieces on sports (Cricket, Darts, Tug-of-War), organizations (Gaelic Athletic Association, Imperial Cricket Council, Marylebone Cricket Club), teams and leagues (The Old Firm, Premier League, Rugby League), places (Murrayfield Stadium, Wembley, Wimbledon), events (Doggett's Coat and Badge, Hampden Park Riot of 1909, Olympic Games of 1908, 1948 and 2012), people (Sir Stanley Matthews, Harry Vardon, David Beckham), cultural artifacts (Chariots of Fire, Footballers' Wives, This Sporting Life), and topics (Gender and Sport, Hooliganism, Muscular Christianity). …