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The Development of Sport

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The Development of Sport

In this assignment I will be talking about how sport has developed
from pre industrial revolution to my post industrial revolution. And
also going to talk about the development of governing bodies and
briefly the development of one sport.

Time line of sport

Medieval period (1200 - 1485)

* People had little time or energy for recreational activities

* Leisure time activities were originally confined to feast days

* Games were local in nature, each village having its own particular
activities for feast days

* From time to time the government banned traditional activities in
favour of archery training

Tudor and Stuart period (1485 - 1714)

* Traditional folk games and activities flourished in Tudor times

* Puritanism greatly reduced the opportunities to play and types of
activity allowed

* After the restoration in 1660, traditional activities were revived

* Sport moved away from its former links with merrymaking and

Hanoverian period (1714 - 1790)

* The government largely ignored play and sport

* People of all classes enjoyed their leisure to the full

* Increasing industrialisation demanded regular working patterns

* There was some pressure for Sunday to be a day of rest

* Large gatherings for sport often meant social disorder

* Regular, organised, rule-governed sport on a national scale

* Changing times (1790 -1830)

* Traditional sport was under attack from all sides

* Factory owners wanted a regular working week

* Property owners feared the damage caused by large crowds

* Churches criticised idleness, drunkenness and slack morality

* Commercialisation of sport developed, especially in horse racing,
cricket and prize fighting

Victorian Sport (1830 - 1901)

* Sport developed in the context of industrial capitalism and class

* Sport became linked to a moral code defined by the middle classes:

* It was accepted that sport developed character and morality

* Competition had to be fair and rule-governed with similar
conditions for all players

* Sport was to be played, not for reward, but for its own sake

* Nationwide sport developed through the influence of technology,
the public schools and the national governing bodies

* For the masses, Saturday afternoon free from work was the turning
point, enabling them to play and spectator

* Amateur and professional sport became increasingly separated

* Working class sport in school was limited largely to drill and
therapeutic gymnastics

Edwardian Sport (1901 - 1918)

* Organised sporting involvement expanded rapidly across all classes

* Increasingly, the different classes played their sport separately

* Public school athleticism still dominated sport

* Male working class influence increased, notably in football in
England and rugby in Wales. However, working class women were
largely excluded from sporting involvement

* Commercialisation of sport continued with large numbers of
spectators and increased numbers of professionals in major sports

* Sport was increasingly a matter of national concern

* Between the world wars (1918 - 1940)

* Steady growth in sports participation continued for all classes of
society, although working class worm were least involved

* Most sports were still class orientated

* Football (in all its versions) continued to increase in popularity
and by the 1930s, was the most popular sporting activity

* Lack of facilities became an issue, particularly when national
teams failed

* There was little government involvement in sport, apart from
physical education in schools

* School physical education moved from therapeutic exercises to
recreative physical training

* Commercialisation of sport expanded rapidly, especially the
provision for spectator sport

* Sport, as a part of a national culture, now extended to the
majority of the population

British Sport (1940 - Today)

* An improved standard of living has enabled greater participation
in sport for most social groups

* Amateur administrators only reluctantly allowed commercial forces
to enter the world of sport

* Professional sportspeople had a long battle to be given fair

* Television coverage increased in importance for sport and the

* The definition of amateurism for competition was replaced by the
concept of eligibility

* Central government involvement in sport has always been

* There has been a long standing under funding of sport by central

* An advisory Sports Council was established in 1965 and the
independent executive Sports Council in 1972

* Physical education was established in the 1944 Act for its
educational value

* The movement approach conflicted with traditional games teaching

* Physical education moved away from educational values towards
physical recreation and more recently towards health-related

* Various academic qualifications in physical education stimulated
scrutiny of the subject (for example, BEd, CSE, GCSE, A-Level)

* Physical education is now established in the national curriculum
as a foundation subject

Pre Industrial Sport

Medieval England

From round about 1066 to 1485 in the Middle Ages. Most of Britain’s
population lived in rural areas. Around this time third was a growing
towns life. These people had city jobs such as lawyers and doctors.
Society was split into 3 social groups lower, middle and upper class.
Sport during this time was also split down class lines. The lower
class would play rough folk games such as football. The middle class
had archery and crossbow tournaments and the upper class had their
tournaments. Sport did not have class barriers in spectating.

Tudor and Stuart periods

After the end of the middle ages and the beginning of the periods of
the Tudor Stuarts reign Britain was still was still a rural society
with London the only city. Most of the population’s income was from
farming. Society was becoming more commercial as feudal lords had
different more commercial sources of income. Sport was still class
split. Upper class participated in sports such as hunting on their
private land, hawking and jousting. The lower class serviced sport for
the upper class and still had their own forms of violent sports such
as mob football and battling animals in which to channel their energy.
Both sets of classes used sport to help their combat skills.

Hanoverian period

During this phase Britain became more urban people began earning money
different and people moved from the countryside to cramped urban
living, this resulted in decrease in farming goods and an increase in
consumer goods. Sports for the lower class decreased due to less time
to play.

The Industrial Revolution (18th 19th Century)

The working class endured the roughest deal. For them the term
meritocracy never existed. They had no time or money to be involved in
sports or leisure activities, and therefore tended only to enjoy sport
at festivals and one offs. The games they played were a complete
contrast to the upper classes, they has no organisation or
codification and were violent and aggressive.

From the mid 18th century the English economy underwent a vast
transformation. It had been based on agriculture. The workers had a
lot of work to do and were busy planting and harvesting. But had
longer periods of free time in this period of time. This gave them
time to enjoy leisure activities. The industrial revolution was the
time of development of factories producing a wide range of consumer
goods. Factories had workers doing longer hours (7am to 7pm and night
shift). They attracted a lot of their workers from the countryside
which they thought increase their living standard through their higher
wages they had to work longer hours which decreased their leisure
time, they also lived in worse housing conditions. Leisure activities
were a problem for factory owners because they involved excessive
drinking (caused hangovers), violent sports (caused injuries) and
gambling, which undermined work ethic. So leisure obviously affected
factories negatively. This led to the factory owners supporting middle
class efforts to clean up society and introduce new forms of morality.
The made campaigns against the leisure activities taking place and
impose work ethic on the working class this was to improve their

The agriculture industry also went on revolution with the scope of
quantity production increasing. This meant that the population of
England became better fed, healthier and had more energy for work. The
upper class forces contributed to changes in traditional sports
because their working demands made them have less time and energy to
play aggressive violent sports. Religious reformers supported these
demands and sport was eventually banned on the Sabbath. The RSPCA put
pressure on authorities to ban sport-involving cruelty to animals. The
Industrial Revolution led t a growth in the size of towns and cities
and a reduction in space for recreation. Folk football, which was
played in the countryside, was not appropriate for urban culture and
slowly disappeared.

The sports for leisure and middle class were still popular continued
throughout pre industrial forms. The 1830s to 1840s saw improvements
for the working class this cause the development of railways led to
them being able to travel to the countryside. This benefited sports
such as cricket and horse racing (they were able to watch). Also we
saw improvements in wages, which increase spending power and
improvements in living standards, which allowed money to spend on
sports events.

In the 1860s saw the development of national agreed rules known as the
codification of sport. In this time the factory owners changed their
attitude. They promoted the benefits of sports they saw sport as a way
of promoting values, which they thought, would make workers more
productive (morals like teamwork). Groups such as muscular Christians
took team sports to working class communities to teach the bible
through sport to promote the idea of a healthy mind in a healthy body.

Sport was believed to still be a minority activity. However
spectatorship and professionalism was growing in sports like cricket
and football. Around 1851 urban population grew, working population
grew and half day holidays was granted on Saturdays which led to sport
being played and watched on Saturday afternoons and this is where the
3 o’clock kick off in football matches originated.

Post Industrial (19th Century)

The end of the period of industrialisation is generally seen as being
around 1851 (post industrialisation period). Sport became structure
and rule regulated.

Folk games had the following characteristics:

* Varied, informal activities

* Simple, unwritten rules which were verbally agreed

* Regional variation of rules and specification of equipment

* No fixed boundaries for territory or numbers of participants

* Strong social divisions in activities played

* Little difference in the roles of the players

* Little distinction between the roles of spectators and players

* High tolerance of the use of physical violence and no restraints
on emotions

* Emphasis on physical force as opposed to skill

* Strong pressure from the community to participate

* Contests were only meaningful on a local level

Modern sports have the following characteristics:

* Highly specific, formalised activities

* Formal and elaborate rules worked out by appointed bodies

* National and international guidelines for standardisation of rules
and equipment

* Played on pitches with marked boundaries and specific numbers of
players on each side.

* Less evidence of social differences between players

* Strict distinction between the roles of playing and spectating

* Low levels of violence tolerated and high restraints of emotion

* Emphasis on skill rather than on physical force

* Activities are freely chosen

* Contests have local, national and international significance.

The development of modern sports led a need to develop rules and have
the put into force with officials and administrators. The key features
of modern sports were the development of governing bodies of sport to
fulfil these and other functions.

The Football association (FA) was formed in1863; Rugby football Union
was formed in 1871. The jobs of these associations was to implement
rules of the handling of their games

Twentieth Century Development

Globalisation of sport

Forms of sport being played in England in the late nineteenth century
quickly spread around the world through mainly the influences of the
British Empire. (Soldiers played sports in the countries they were
stationed in). By the end of the nineteen-century the Olympic movement
under the influence of the French was finding its feet and getting
more and more nations involved. At the end of the 19th century and the
beginning of the 20th century the IAAF (international amateur athletic
federation), with 184 member countries, FIFA (federation international
football association) 178 countries members, IOC (International
Olympic committee) had 171 country members.


The increasing playing demand of sports such as rugby, football and
cricket meant that players had to devote increasing amounts of time
and energy to their sports. By the end of the 19th century these
sports had professional players. As the standards raised payments to
compensate for wages they would have otherwise earned. Professionalism
was initially looked down upon because upper classes thought sport
should be played purely for enjoyment. There was class divides, which
remained until the latter part of the 20th century between upper class
amateurs and working class professional. In the latter part of the 20th
century professionalism was accepted part of all sports and necessary
to uphold high standards of play demanded by sophisticated audiences.

Development of sports as a profitable

As sports became more professional their expenditure increased. As a
result their had to increase the amount of money coming into sport to
pay for these expenses. Sports and their clubs increased sought
sponsorship as sources for income also they tried to make sport more
attractive and increase the number of spectators coming to matches. As
sports became more watched it drew attention to the media this opened
up new sources and funding to sports and increased profit.

Development of sport in education

The key element in sport in education was in 1944 education as, which
made it policy for for local authorities to provide adequate
facilities for the teaching of physical education. It made sports and
PE compulsory to children’s education and its now a key feature in the
national curriculum.

Inequalities in the 20th Century

The making of modern sports has been a predominantly masculine
narrative, with women marginalized or disenfranchised at most stages
of the narrative. Women's involvement in cricket too, was marginalized
early on, and Sandiford (1994) notes that cricket was seen as too much
a 'manly sport for women to particpate.even for the tennis and hockey
playing women students at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford in
the late nineteenth century. It was not until 1926 that the British
Women's Cricket Association was founded, that participation of 16-18
year females began, this suggested that sports was still strongly sex
typed. This enforces inequalities in society as people have images and
expectations to live up to, or risk being ridiculed.

This merely confirms the class and 'race' inequalities established in
Britain in the early 20th century.


Class, gender and 'race' are all inter-linked; they overlap and share
some similar issues. It is clear from studies in inequality in
society, that financial, 'racial' and sex typing have influenced
British sport for many years. Although the introduction of the
national curriculum in 1991 saw one of the first major attempts to
reduce inequality; no separation between class, gender or race, with
everyone participating in the same activities with the same
opportunities. However, private schools are exempt from the national
curriculum and thus are geared to more affluent games, reinforcing the
polarisation of the classes.

While Gruneau argued that mass participation in sport during the
second half of the twentieth century has meant that class inequality
in sport has apparently declined and there is now a leisure mass
instead of a leisure class". Ruling class ideology is still evident
today and although there have been attempts to reduce its effects,
people are still influenced. The prevention or reduction of inequality
is a large and important issue. Attempts by the women's liberation
groups and the government to establish schemes that allow access to
equipment for all - 1997 “Sport for All campaign.” However, strong
inequalities still exist in the form of oppression by the ruling
classes, stereotyping of women and 'racial' discrimination. But it has
come a long way and continues to improve.


Advanced Studies in Physical Education and Sport Author: Paul Beashel
and John Taylor

Bitec National Sport and Exercise Science Author Jan Stafford Simon
Rea and John Chance

Class notes

The Sports Process. A Comparative and Developmental Approach

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Development of Sport." 25 Apr 2014

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