• Baseball: Myths and modernization

      Bloyce, Daniel; University College Chester (Routledge, 2004-04-01)
      This book chapter discusses the processes behind the development of baseball and in particular, the myth that baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in 1839.
    • Delivering a sports participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: evidence from sport development workers in Birmingham and their experiences of a double-bind

      Lovett, Emily; Bloyce, Daniel; Smith, Andy; Edge Hill University; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2020-03-11)
      Legacy promises from London 2012 meant that those working in sport in local, non-host areas in Britain were expected to facilitate more sporting opportunities for local citizens. Legacy preparations occurred in the context of many other constraints that stemmed from Government budget cuts and provision of leisure-time sport and other leisure activities. This paper presents new evidence on a significantly under-researched area of leisure studies, namely: the experiences of those delivering leisure-sport opportunities in a non-host city and how they responded to national legacy promises. Using Elias’s concept of the double-bind, we explain the ‘crisis situation’ in which some local sports workers were enmeshed and how their acceptance of ‘fantasy-laden beliefs’ of expected demonstration effects from mega-events exacerbated their ‘crisis’ (Elias, 2007). We also draw upon participants’ post-Games reflections to consider how future host nations may wish to leverage greater leisure-sporting legacies from a mega-event.
    • Effects of a four-week touch rugby and self-paced interval running intervention on health markers in active young men.

      Dobbin, Nick; Bloyce, Daniel; Hughes, Stephen; Twist, Craig (Springer, 2020-03-29)
      Background: Modified team sport activity has been proposed as effective exercise modality for promoting markers of health that are comparable or greater than continuous forms of activity. However, research using modified team sports is currently limited to sedentary populations using 2-3 sessions across a minimum of 8 weeks. Aim: To investigate the effects of a four-week touch rugby and self-paced interval running intervention on a range of health markers in active men. Methods: Sixteen participants (age 26.4 ± 6.4 years) were matched for age, demographic and physical activity before completing a single touch rugby (n = 8) or running (n = 8) session per week for four weeks. Measures of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate (RHR), body composition and biochemical status were recorded pre- and post-intervention. Results: ANCOVA analysis revealed between-group differences for impedance (P = 0.027), fat mass (P = 0.008), percentage body fat (P = 0.008) and fat free mass (P = 0.002), with greater changes after touch rugby. Systolic blood pressure decreased for both groups with greater reductions observed after touch rugby (P = 0.002). No between-group difference was observed for RHR, interleukin-6 or C-reactive protein (P > 0.05). Contrasting internal, external and perceptual loads were observed. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that a single session of touch rugby over a 4-week period elicited greater improvements in body composition and SBP that self-paced running, with both equally beneficial for improving RHR, diastolic blood pressure and improved inflammatory status in active young men.
    • 'Friends as enemies': A sociological analysis of the relationship among touring professional golfers

      Fry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester (SAGE, 2015-08-06)
      This paper examines the relationship among male touring professional golfers from a figurational sociological standpoint. The paper is based on 20 interviews from players with experience playing at various levels on the EPGA professional tours and a level ‘above’ that. The results indicate a workplace culture where many begin to adopt the attitudes and behaviors that encourage the development of networks of temporary ‘we-group’ alliances. The ‘touring’ aspects of professional golf means many players strive to forge these alliances to help reduce feelings of loneliness, isolation, and homesickness while away for long periods of time. Such stresses are intensified given the globalization of sport generally and the associated increases in labor market migration that has become commonplace. The urge to develop friendship networks constrains players to behave in a manner expected of them rather than in a way that reflects their actual emotions, such as maintaining a positive attitude during difficult times like spells of poor performances and time away from their families. The relationships among players on tour is, however, non-permanent and/or partially changeable. Players are ‘friends’, characterized by togetherness and camaraderie, while, at the same, showing evidence of tensions and conflict as they are ultimately in direct competition with each other for a share of the overall prize money. Key words: professional golf, workplace relations, sport labor migration, figurational sociology, friendship networks
    • From public issues to personal troubles: individualising social inequalities in health within local public health partnerships

      Mead, Rebecca; Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Lancaster; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2020-05-20)
      This paper explores public health policy implementation through partnership working at the local level by examining how local actors from public health and the wider workforce, make sense of and work on social inequalities in health. An ethnographic case study was used to examine policy implementation in one local strategic partnership in north-west England during a period of significant resource constraint. Semi-structured interviews were the primary method of data generation. Sensitising concepts from figurational sociology were used to develop a theoretical account of how local policy implementation directed at narrowing social inequalities in health tended to give rise to relatively fragmented and short-term services, projects and practices, which focused on lifestyle factors and behaviour change. Theorising partnership work as figurations goes some way to explaining the apparent paradox among participants who expressed a relatively detached appreciation of wider social influences, alongside emotional involvement in their work. This process of individualisation explains how local professionals tended to conceptualise health inequality and the social determinants of health as personal troubles. Individualisation meant that the social reality of working in partnerships on difficult issues was simplified. Thus, any scope for working on the social determinants of health tended to be overlooked. The extent to which this was intentional or a matter of struggling to see opportunities, or a mixture of the two, was difficult to discern. Although the policy landscape has changed, the findings give some insight into understanding how local collaborative processes reproduce local public health work underpinned by lifestyle choices.
    • “It is always going to change” – examining the experiences of managing top-down changes by sport development officers working in national governing bodies of sport in England

      Thompson, Anne; Bloyce, Daniel; Mackintosh, Chris; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester
      Research question: This article examines how sport development officers (SDOs) employed within national governing bodies of sport (NGB) managed Sport England’s top-down policy changes from 2008 to 2015. The main research question examines the experiences of SDOs as they responded to, and managed these changes at the community level. Research methods: In-depth, semi-structured interviews gathered qualitative data from 18 employees from four NGBs, including 6 SDOs, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), senior managers and a representative from Sport England, with responsibility for policy formulation. Results and Findings: SDOs felt increasingly constrained in how they worked due to the intensification of a top-down and cyclical process of change, a result-orientated approach and the sporting habitus of SDOs. These factors combined to create resistance among some SDOs as the power differentials within the interdependencies formed, which contributed to the unintentional outcome of elongating the time taken to implement policy on the ground. Implications: This article has developed more object-adequate insights into how SDOs have responded to, and managed top-down policy implementation. The article suggests recommendations for policy-makers, Sport England and NGBs, to consider the dynamic interdependencies in which employees are bound and a more rounded and processual view to policy formulation and implementation
    • John Moores and the ‘professional’ baseball leagues in 1930s England

      Bloyce, Daniel; University of Chester (Routledge, 2007-03)
      This article discusses an attempt, inspired and mainly financed by John Moores, to establish baseball in England in the 1930s. ‘Professional’ leagues were set up in 1936 in Lancashire, Yorkshire and London. However, the English press, particularly the national press, failed to support the development of baseball in England.
    • ‘Life in the Travelling Circus’: A Study of Loneliness, Work Stress, and Money Issues in Touring Professional Golf

      Fry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; Myerscough College; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 2017-06-31)
      This article examines the effects of globalization on the well-being of migrant professional athletes. Interviews with 20 touring professional golfers reveal that players experience many of the personal problems – such as loneliness, isolation, low decision latitude, low social support, and effort-reward imbalance – which have been identified as “strong predictors of mental ill-health” (Leka & Jain, 2010, p. 65). Feelings of loneliness and isolation developed as players were regularly apart from family and friends, and spent most of their time with other golfers whom they had somewhat superficial relationships with. These feelings coupled with, for many, uncertain income generated through golf added further to their work-related anxieties. Overall, results highlight the importance of considering how workplace anxieties and vulnerabilities impact on athlete migrants’ health and well-being.
    • Local status and power in area-based health improvement partnerships

      Powell, Katie; Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Sheffield ; Hedmark University College, Norway ; University of Chester (SAGE, 2014-04-01)
      Area-based initiatives (ABIs) have formed an important part of public policy towards more socio-economically deprived areas in many countries. Co-ordinating service provision within and across sectors has been a common feature of these initiatives. Despite sustained policy interest in ABIs, little empirical work has explored relations between ABI providers and partnership development within this context remains under-theorised. This paper addresses both of these gaps by exploring partnerships as a social and developmental process, drawing on concepts from figurational sociology to explain how provider relations develop within an ABI. Qualitative methods were used to explore, prospectively, the development of an ABI targeted at a town in the north west of England. A central finding was that, although effective delivery of ABIs is premised on a high level of coordination between service providers, the pattern of interdependencies between providers limits the frequency and effectiveness of cooperation. In particular, the interdependency of ABI providers with others in their organisation (what is termed here ‘organisational pull’) constrained the ways in which they worked with providers outside of their own organisations. ‘Local’ status, which could be earned over time, enabled some providers to exert greater control over the way in which provider relations developed during the course of the initiative. These findings demonstrate how historically constituted social networks, within which all providers are embedded, shape partnership development. The theoretical insight developed here suggests a need for more realistic expectations among policy makers about how and to what extent provider partnerships can be managed. Keywords: partnership, collaboration, community services, area-based initiatives, organisational pull, figurational sociology
    • ‘Pressure to play?’ A sociological analysis of professional football managers’ behaviour towards injured players

      Law, Graeme; Bloyce, Daniel; York St John University; UIniversity of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-05-05)
      Drawing upon figurational sociology, this paper examines professional football managers’ attitudes towards injured players. Following interviews with 10 managers, as with previous research, we found that managers have an expectancy that players are rarely fully fit. Players were stigmatised when they were seemingly unwilling to play when a manager encouraged them to. However, we also found that many managers shaped, in part, by their habitus formed from their own experiences as a player, showed greater empathy towards injured players. Many claimed they would not risk the long-term health of players, although at times, managers at the lower levels felt more constrained to take certain risks. We argue this is an unintended outcome of the increasing pressures on managers to succeed with smaller squads. The increasing emphasis and reliance on ‘sport science’ enabled managers at the higher levels to have a more supportive approach to managing injuries not previously identified in existing literature.
    • Professional golf - A license to spend money? Issues of money in the lives of touring professional golfers

      Fry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; Pritchard, Ian; Myerscough College ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (SAGE, 2014-11-14)
      Drawing upon figurational sociology, this paper examines issues of money that are central to touring professional golfers’ workplace experiences. Based on interviews with 16 professionals, results indicate the monetary rewards available for top golfers continues to increase, however, such recompense is available to relatively small numbers and the majority fare poorly. Results suggest that playing on tour with other like-minded golfers fosters internalized constraints relating to behaviour, referred to as ‘habitus’, whereby many players ‘gamble’ on pursuing golf as their main source of income despite the odds against them. Golfers are constrained to develop networks with sponsors for financial reasons which has left some players with conflicting choices between regular money, and adhering to restrictive contractual agreements, or the freedom to choose between different brands.
    • A quest for relaxation? A figurational analysis of the transformation of yoga into a global leisure time phenomenon

      Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, University of Chester
      Eric Dunning and Norbert Elias began developing their concept ‘quest for excitement’ in the 1960s. In this paper we consider the concept in the context of their work on the civilizing process and leisure in the sparetime spectrum, applying it to an analysis of the global diffusion and transformation of yoga. In so doing, we develop a preliminary theoretical account of its global popularity as a leisure-time movement form. We specifically consider the extent to which yoga’s transformation from the late 19th century onwards can be understood as a socially generated psychological quest for excitement rather than as a need for relaxation. We take a long-term developmental perspective, focusing on processes of globalization to explain the transformation of yoga into an increasing variety of forms. We argue that its global popularity is linked to its transformation into a diversity of styles, which provide flexible, individualized, non-competitive and health-oriented leisure opportunities that have become attractive to an increasing number of people. We conclude that the contouring of yoga in this way reflects the socially generated leisure time needs of complex societies. Our preliminary theoretical account, informed by the work of Dunning and colleagues illuminates how yoga, as a polymorphous social practice, provides leisure enclaves which can lead to an upsurge of satisfying emotions and hence can be psychologically restorative.
    • Research is a messy process: A case study of a figurational sociology approach to conventional issues in social science research methods

      Bloyce, Daniel; University College Chester (2004)
      This article aims to provide an overview of a figurational approach to research methods by utilising a case study of specific research undertaken into the global diffusion of baseball. The article outlines the figurational approach to research in general; in other words, what 'doing' figurational research entails and provides outlines of how this approach necessarily impacts on one's research strategy, design and methods, respectively.
    • Sport policy and development: An introduction

      Bloyce, Daniel; Smith, Andy; University of Chester (Routledge, 2009-08-06)
      This book discusses the development of sports policy, government involvement in sports policy, the development of community sports, school sports, elite sports development, and the development of mega-events such as the Olympic games.
    • Sporting celebrity and conspicuous consumption: A case study of professional footballers in England

      Law, Graeme; Bloyce, Daniel; Waddington, Ivan; York St John University; University of Chester
      Association football is a lucrative sport with high financial rewards for top players. However, there has been little empirical work on the lifestyles of professional footballers. Based on interviews with 29 current and former male professional footballers, this paper examines the relationship between money, status and image management within and outside the changing room. The concept of conspicuous consumption is used to help explain players’ attitudes to money, their relationships with others within the football environment and how they advertise their earnings in an environment where open discussion of wages is seen as taboo. Our findings suggest that professional footballers are expected to display a particular image of the professional footballer and this constrains players, even those on lower incomes, to buy expensive clothes and accessories in order to be accepted by others. Players who do not conform to the expected image may be subject to sanctions by their teammates.
    • Sports administration on the hoof: The three points for a win ‘experiment’ in English soccer

      Bloyce, Daniel; Murphy, Patrick; University of Chester (Routledge, 2008)
      This article discusses the impact of the three points for a win reform introduced in 1981 by the English Football League.
    • Theorising lifestyle drift in health promotion: explaining community and voluntary sector engagement practices in disadvantaged areas

      Powell, Katie; Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Sheffield, Hedmark University College, University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2017-07-24)
      The past two decades have seen an increasing role for the UK community and voluntary sector (CVS) in health promotion in disadvantaged areas, largely based on assumptions on the part of funders that CVS providers are better able to engage ‘hard-to-reach’ population groups in services than statutory providers. However, there is limited empirical research exploring CVS provider practices in this field. Using ethnographic data this paper examines the experiences of a network of CVS providers seeking to engage residents in health promoting community services in a disadvantaged region in the North of England. The paper shows how CVS providers engaged in apparently contradictory practices, fluctuating between an empathically informed response to complex resident circumstances and (in the context of meeting externally set targets) behavioural lifestyle approaches to health promotion. Drawing on concepts from figurational sociology, the paper explains how lifestyle drift occurs in health promotion as a result of the complex web of relations (with funders, commissioners and residents) in which CVS providers are embedded. Despite the fact that research has revealed the impact of targets on the work of the CVS before, this paper demonstrates more specifically the way in which monitoring processes within CVS contracts can draw providers into the neoliberal lifestyle discourse so prevalent in health promotion.
    • Violence, competition and the emergence and development of modern sports: Reflections on the Stokvis-Malcolm debate

      Green, Ken; Liston, Katie; Smith, Andy; Bloyce, Daniel; University College Chester (SAGE, 2005-03-01)
      This article discusses the place of violence reducation in the socio-genesis of sports. It focuses on the debate between Dominic Malcolm and Ruud Stokvis.
    • What happened to the legacy from London 2012? A sociological analysis of the processes involved in preparing for a grassroots sporting legacy from London 2012 outside of the host city

      Lovett, Emily L.; Bloyce, Daniel; Edge Hill University; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2017-02-01)
      Preparations for London 2012 included promises for a sporting legacy across Britain. APS data suggest that, despite a slight spike in 2012, we have not experienced the rise in participation promised. The importance of preparations for legacy were well documented but little research has examined these processes. We examine planning for sporting legacy within a non-Olympic city in England, Birmingham. 37 semi-structured interviews were conducted with people delivering sport in Birmingham to provide a figurational analysis of relationships involved. The change in government during the economic recession saw budget cuts and a reduction in sport development personnel. Whilst various organisations struggled financially, others wanted to link to legacy. This increase in groups involved led to confusion and the unintended outcome of ‘initiativitis’. In trying to leverage legacy, a strategic approach to managing potential opportunities with clear communication of opportunities is vital. A belief in inherent inspiration cannot be relied upon. Key words: London 2012, sport legacy, figurational sociology, Birmingham, initiativitis, school sports partnerships, policy, inherent inspiration, demonstration effect