Do BCS Schools Have an Advantage over Non-BCS schools in APR Rankings? An Early Examination

Abstract

This paper will examine academics and athletics. In particular it will review the NCAA’s newest academic measuring tool, the Academic Progress Report. The APR was the NCAA’s response to calls for academic integrity. It is intended to ensure eligibility for student-athletes and to serve as a check and balance on athletic departments. The scores are meant to provide institutions with a clear set of goals for each team and to set a higher priority on academics in collegiate athletic departments. We will try and answer the question: Do BSC schools have an advantage over non-BCS schools in APR rankings?
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The Perceived Role of Senior Women Administrators in NCAA Division I Institutions

Abstract

The Senior Woman Administrator (SWA), originally named the Primary Woman Administrator (PWA), is a role designed to return to women a voice in the operations of intercollegiate athletic departments that was lost as a result of the takeover of the AIAW by the NCAA. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of the SWA as it exists today and as it could become in the future. The Senior Woman Administrator Survey was developed and administered to all NCAA Division I SWAs. Senior Woman Administrators overwhelmingly disagreed with the statement suggesting they have been given responsibilities that are appropriate for their job. Further, in order for SWAs to have authority that is more than advisory in nature, they must have final decision making authority in budget and personnel. Finally, SWAs indicated that their primary functions were advocating for women’s athletics, gender equity, and serving as a role model.

Introduction

Women’s intercollegiate athletics was built on the foundation of physical education programs for female students. Athletics for women was governed and administered by female physical education teachers and coaches. In the beginning, women’s athletics programs were operated with an educational philosophy emphasizing participation over competition. Demand began to rise for more competitive women’s athletics and a governing agency to ensure appropriate administration. This demand resulted in the creation of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). The AIAW began forming in the late 1960s, became fully functional in 1971, and was in control of women’s athletics by the summer of 1972 (Hult, 1994; Hult in Hult & Trekell, 1991).

The educational focus of the AIAW is well documented. The Association’s leadership was intent on maintaining a “student-centered, education-oriented model” (Hult in Hult & Trekell, 1991). The first significant attack on this unique model of intercollegiate athletics came with the Kellmeyer case in 1973. This class action lawsuit was filed by a group of tennis players and their coaches challenging the AIAW’s ban on offering athletic scholarships. The leadership within the AIAW reluctantly admitted defeat and permitted member institutions to provide athletic scholarships to female student-athletes. The Kellmeyer case is recognized as one of the Association’s first steps in moving away from its original focus on education and moving toward the more commercialized model of intercollegiate athletics used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (Hult in Hult & Trekell, 1991; Wu, 1999, 2000).

Title IX of the Education Amendments, which passed in 1972 and banned discrimination at educational institutions that received federal funds, led to reforms that made athletic opportunities for male and female students more equitable. This new legislation brought explosive growth in participation by female athletes (Hult, 1994). Title IX introduced a new standard in that opportunities for female athletes were now being compared to opportunities for male athletes in terms of the quantity and quality of the opportunities. Women sought equitable participation opportunities as well as equitable support in scholarships, benefits, and services. As opportunities within women’s sports continued to increase, the governing body for men’s athletics, the NCAA, saw both an opportunity and a threat. An opportunity in that the NCAA anticipated that, with the implementation of Title IX, women’s athletics was going to be significantly funded, and thus, discussion began within the NCAA to include women within the organization (Hult in Hult & Trekell, 2001). A threat in that the NCAA was concerned that the resources needed to support women’s programs would be redirected from the men’s programs. In an attempt to manage both situations, the NCAA made plans to offer championships for women and to eventually take over the AIAW. In 1981, women’s basketball championships were offered for women by the AIAW, the NAIA, and the NCAA (Trekell & Hult, 1991). The NCAA takeover of the AIAW in 1982 eventually resulted in the consolidation of men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic programs, which left many female administrators and coaches of women’s programs without jobs or in secondary positions (Hult, 1994). The most devastating aspect of the demise of the AIAW was that within the AIAW, women controlled 90 percent of the programs. Within the NCAA membership, women were part of an organization where 95 percent of the voting representatives were male and knew little if anything about the philosophies of the AIAW (Grant, 1989). According to Uhlir (1987) “by 1979-1980, over 80 percent of all collegiate athletic administrations were merged, and 90 percent of the merged administrations had men at the helm. Frequently, the woman displaced was more qualified—with more experience, a higher degree, academic rank, and tenure.” With the loss of jobs or the relegation to secondary positions, women lost decision-making opportunities at the campus level as well as representation at national conventions, and these opportunities have never been recovered (Acosta & Carpenter, 2002).

The role of Senior Woman Administrator (SWA), initially called the Primary Woman Administrator (PWA), was designed to return to women the administrative opportunities they had lost and to ensure that women had a voice in the administration of intercollegiate athletic programs (Hult, 1994; National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2002). Today, considerable effort is still aimed at understanding the role of SWA for those who are already in, or who aspire to fill, senior administrative roles in athletic programs because of the changes that have occurred since the AIAW-NCAA consolidation in 1982 (Copeland, 2005; Hosick, 2005). In order for SWAs to be effective administrators, their role must be clearly understood, and they must have adequate levels of influence on administrative strategies and courses of action within athletic departments not just on issues related to gender equity and women’s sports (Gill-Fisher, 1998; National Collegiate Athletic Association, 1994; Watson, 1994). When an SWA is excluded from discussions beyond gender equity, compliance, or academic advising, the role of the SWA is limited and the entire athletics department is deprived of the insight this person can provide to enhance the experiences of all.

Until the role of the SWA is clearly understood, both the SWA and her constituents will continue to be frustrated with the results of her leadership. Unless action is taken to remedy less than desirable situations, the results will have little impact (Watson, 1994). It is hoped that athletic administrators will utilize this study in examining the role of the SWA on their campuses and assist this person in contributing more fully to the overall administration of the athletic program, thus making the SWA a viable and integral member of the athletic department and campus leadership.

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of the Senior Woman Administrator as it currently exists and as it could become in the future in order to make recommendations for a more clearly understood and utilized role. In order to accomplish this, answers to the following research questions were sought: (1) Do SWAs perceive that they are being given appropriate responsibilities for their role? (2) Do SWAs perceive that they have decision-making power in budgeting? and (3) What is the SWA’s role in the advancement of women in athletics?

Method

Participants and Procedure

All NCAA Division I Senior Woman Administrators (SWA) were surveyed. Each member institution within the NCAA Division I is required to list a Senior Woman Administrator on the NCAA Institutional Representatives Form that is completed annually by the athletic department (D. Oberhelman, personal communication, July 2002). In addition to the SWA, each institution’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer), AD (Athletics Director), FAR (Faculty Athletic Representative), and Compliance Coordinator is listed on this form (D. Oberhelman, personal communication, July 2002). SWA addresses were obtained from The National Directory of College Athletics, an official publication of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, 2002). Envelopes were addressed generically to the Senior Woman Administrator. Each NCAA Division I institution should have identified an SWA on their NCAA Institutional Representatives Form and, therefore, has already designated someone to receive mail addressed in this manner (D. Oberhelman, personal communication, July 2002). Survey packets were sent to all SWAs in NCAA Division I and included a letter of introduction, the coded Senior Woman Administrator Survey, and a postage-paid, return envelope. Surveys were coded only for the purpose of tracking responses to prevent reminder postcards from being sent to those who had already returned surveys. For those who had not returned surveys, a follow-up postcard was sent 18 days after the survey packets were sent.

Materials

The data collection instrument used in this study was the “Senior Woman Administrator Survey” developed through literature review, a related survey conducted by the NCAA, and interview responses gathered from three SWAs in NCAA Division I institutions in the southeast. In 1994, the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics used a similar survey. Selected items from the NCAA Survey were used with permission. The Senior Woman Administrator Survey included items designed to assess the perceptions of the SWA and her role in the athletic department.

In developing the Senior Woman Administrator Survey, interview responses were gathered from three SWAs at NCAA Division I institutions. Interview items were divided into the following sections: Demographics, Perceived Leadership Style, Relationships within Athletic Department, and Conclusion. The interview questions were open-ended in nature and the approved protocol allowed for probing questions as appropriate. Interview responses were transcribed. Responses found to be consistent among subjects or very unique in nature were then used to formulate survey items.

The Senior Woman Administrator Survey consists of three parts: Part I: Demographic Profile, Part II: Position/Institutional Profile, and Part III: SWA Perceptions. Part I: Demographic Profile included questions regarding sex, race, education level, and professional experience. Part II: Position/Institutional Profile included questions designed to describe the SWA’s role at the institution as well as provide information about the institution. Part III: SWA Perceptions was designed to assess the SWA’s perceptions of her role within the athletic department including the areas of appropriate responsibilities, authority, decision-making, leadership, value to the athletic department, and job satisfaction.

Face validity of the instrument was evaluated by a panel of experts consisting of one NCAA Division I SWA, one NCAA Division I Compliance Coordinator, and one Associate Professor of Coaching and Sport Administration. After the face validity test, minor adjustments were made to the survey. Internal consistency was determined by administering the survey to 28 NCAA Division II SWAs in the southeast. Chronbach’s alpha was used to assess internal consistency and eliminate any items with low item-total correlation. Using Chronbach’s alpha, the internal consistency was determined to be .96. No items were eliminated from the survey.

Following the initial mailing to all NCAA Division I institutions and an 18 day follow-up postcard, 150 (46%) usable surveys were returned. An analysis of the data was conducted as follows: (a) Demographic Profile Information responses and Position/Institutional Profile responses were analyzed through the use of descriptive statistics with frequencies and percentages of responses tabulated for each item and each alternative within each item, (b) Senior Woman Administrator Perception responses were analyzed through the use of inferential statistics with frequencies and percentages for responses in each category being compared to determine if observed differences were statistically significant at the p < .05 level, and (c) Responses regarding the perceived role of the SWA within the athletic department including the areas of appropriate responsibilities, authority, decision-making, leadership, value to the athletic department and job satisfaction were analyzed through the use of descriptive statistics with frequencies and percentages of responses tabulated for each item and each alternative within each item. Responses were indicated on a Likert-type scale with the following scores: 1: Strongly Disagree, 2: Disagree, 3: Somewhat Disagree, 4: Somewhat Agree, 5: Agree, and 6: Strongly Agree.

Results and Discussion

Appropriate Responsibilities

In response to the statement, “I have been given responsibilities that are not appropriate for my job,” 73.9% disagreed at some level with this statement. Table 1 shows the responses to this item.
SWAs overwhelmingly disagreed with the statement suggesting that they have been given responsibilities that are appropriate for their role. In the development of the Senior Woman Administrator Survey, interviews were conducted to assist in survey construction. One interviewee suggested that “whenever it was time to plan a party, I was asked to plan it.” Overall, the responses to this item indicate that progress has been made in accepting the SWA into the fraternity of athletic administration. It is also important to note that responses were received primarily from SWAs at Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division IA) institutions. These are the premiere institutions in the country, and they may have been the most diligent in developing the role of the SWA at their institutions.

Budget Decisions

In response to the statement, “I have final decision-making authority on budgetary decisions,” 61.0% of SWAs disagreed at some level with this statement. Table 2 shows the responses to this item.

In order for the SWA to have authority that is more than advisory in nature, she must have final, decision-making authority in the area of budgetary decisions. This finding is consistent with Claussen and Lehr (2002) who determined that, “SWAs possess only advisory authority for most functions analyzed.” For example, if the coach of a sport reports to the SWA and the SWA has denied a request for money to be allocated in a particular way, the coach should not be able to approach another athletic administrator and be granted his or her request. Furthermore, the SWA should have access to the paperwork that is submitted confirming that the money requested was spent as permission was given. For example, if a coach is told that he or she is not permitted to take the team to a movie on a road trip, the SWA should have access to the voucher submitted by the coach upon their return to confirm that the coach did not take the team to a movie. Unless the SWA is given the authority to grant and deny permission for spending coupled with the access to accountability methods, greater opportunity exists for her authority to be subverted.

Advancement of Women in Athletics

SWAs indicated that, for the most part, their primary functions should include functioning as an advocate for women’s athletics (n=128), gender equity (n=116), and serving as a role model (n=109), Table 3.

It is interesting to note that these primary functions do not necessarily cross over into the overall administrative strategies of athletic departments. Not minimizing the importance of the advocacy functions indicated, but it is the crossover into the overall scheme that women are looking for in the position of the SWA, “a female voice at the table, many times the only female voice,…providing a diverse, different view—a different perspective” (Stallman cited in Copeland, 2005). Claussen and Lehr (2002) found that SWAs had little decision making authority in marketing, development, promotions, and sponsorships, thus, limiting the scope of their involvement. As reported by McKindra (2009), a recent study conducted by the NCAA indicates an 8.2 percent increase the number of women serving in administrative positions. The increases have come in the positions of business manager, graduate assistant, academic advisor, and administrative assistant (McKindra, 2009). While the recent increases in women administrators seems to provide cause for celebration, a close look at these positions reveals advances in positions that do not cross over into the overall administration of the athletic department. Further, serving as an advocate for women is not enough, and when an SWA’s role is limited to advocacy then that individual’s impact on the overall administration of athletics programs is reduced (Copeland, 2005). If SWAs see their role as primarily dealing with women and their issues, then it will be difficult to persuade others that they need access to the other operations of the athletic department (Gill-Fisher, 1998).

Conclusions

The position of Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) was designed to include women in the administration of intercollegiate athletics, an opportunity that was lost for many as a result of the AIAW-NCAA consolidation (Hult, 1994; National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2002a). Overall, SWAs seem to be satisfied with the contributions they are making to their respective athletic departments, yet there still exists today some ambiguity regarding the role and function of SWAs. Those who are already in, or who aspire to fill, senior administrative roles in athletic programs may have a clear understanding of the role and function of the SWA as it is intended, but those working with the SWA, including coaches, athletic administrators, and university administrators are often unclear as to the role and function of the SWA.

In order for SWAs to be effective administrators, their role must be clearly understood. In addition, they must have adequate levels of influence on administrative strategies and courses of action within athletic departments, not just on issues related to women’s athletics (Gill-Fisher, 1998; National Collegiate Athletic Association, 1994; Watson, 1994). When SWAs are given authority in particular areas, i.e., budget issues, they need to be given access to the tools for accountability. Further study should examine whether or not the experience gained while serving in the role of SWA is adequate to advance the careers of these athletic administrators into positions of higher rank or authority or if the persons who fill the role of SWA are seen only as advocates for women’s athletics.

In order to gain a more accurate picture of the role of the SWA as it exists and as it could become at NCAA Division I institutions, continued research needs to be conducted on the perceptions of the SWA by members of the athletic department and other campus administrators regarding the role of the SWA on their campuses. Further, the women who fill the role of SWA need to consistently seek opportunities for involvement in all facets of the athletic department, not just issues related to female student-athletes, and in other aspects of campus leadership. As the NCAA and the member institutions seek to more clearly understand and utilize the role of the SWA at all divisions, those institutions which have effectively integrated the role of the SWA into the campus leadership should make recommendations for best practices in these areas.

Tables

Table 1

SWA Perceptions of Responsibilities Given Not Appropriate for Their Job

Responses                               Frequency                   Percent                        Cumulative Percent

Strongly Disagree                   37                                25.3                   25.3
Disagree                                  51                                34.9                   60.2
Somewhat Disagree                20                                13.7                   73.9
Somewhat Agree                    20                                13.7                   87.6
Agree                                        9                                  6.2                   93.8
Strongly Agree                          5                                  3.5                   97.3

No Response                             4                                  2.7                 100.0

 

Table 2

SWA Perceptions of Decision-Making Power in Budgeting                                                   

Responses                               Frequency                   Percentage       Cumulative Percent

Strongly Disagree                   26                                17.8                 17.8    
Disagree                                  42                                28.8                 46.6
Somewhat Disagree                21                                14.4                 61.0    
Somewhat Agree                    27                                18.5                 79.5
Agree                                      24                                16.4                 95.9
Strongly Agree                          4                                  2.7                 98.6

No Response                             2                                  1.4                 100.0

 

 

Table 3
 In your opinion, what should be the primary functions of the SWA?

Functions                                            Count                          Percent             

Functioning as an advocate for
women’s athletics                               128                              88.3
Gender Equity                                    116                              80.0
Serving as a Role Model                     109                              75.2
Mentoring                                             85                              58.6
Strategic Planning                                 72                              49.2
Personnel Evaluation and
Recruitment                                          69                              47.6
Budget                                                              58                              40.0
Marketing of women’s athletics           48                              33.1    
Fundraising for women’s athletics        36                              24.8
Other                                                     30                              20.7
Facilities Development                         24                              16.6
SAAC Supervision                               21                              14.5
Compliance Issues                                13                                9.0
Game Management                               11                                7.6
Sport Supervision                                    5                                3.4
Academic Advising                                4                                2.8

(Respondent was asked to check all that apply.)

References

Acosta, R.V. & Carpenter, L.J. (2002). Women in intercollegiate sport: a longitudinal study—twenty five year update 1977-2002.

Claussen, C.L. & Lehr, C. (2002). Decision making authority of Senior Woman Administrators, International Journal of Sport Management, 3(3), 215-228.

Copeland, J. (2005, August 15). Association takes steps to improve understanding of ‘SWA’. NCAA News, 42(17), A3-A4, Retrieved May 10, 2009, from http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?key=/ncaa/ncaa/ncaa+news/ncaa+news+online/2005/association-wide/association+takes+steps+to+improve+understanding+of+_swa_+-+8-15-05+ncaa+news

Gill-Fisher, P. (1998). SWA position needs planning and support. The NCAA News. Indianapolis, IN. Retrieved from http://www.ncaa.org/news/1998/19980316/comment.html#1
Grant, C.H.B. (1989). Recapturing the vision. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 60(3), 44-48.

Hosick, M. B. (2005, August 15). SWAs perceive a lack of involvement in finance, personnel. NCAA News, 42(17), A3-A3, Retrieved May 10, 2009, from http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?key=/ncaa/ncaa/ncaa+news/ncaa+news+online/2005/association-wide/swas+perceive+lack+of+involvement+in+finance%2C+personnel+-+8-15-05+ncaa+news

Hult, J.S. (1991). The saga of competition: Basketball battles and governance war. J.S. Hult & M.

Trekell (Eds.). A Century of Women’s Basketball: From frailty to Final Four (pp. 223-248). Reston, VA: National Association for Girls and Women in Sport.

Hult, J.S. (1991). The legacy of AIAW. J.S. Hult & M. Trekell (Eds.). A Century of Women’s Basketball: From frailty to Final Four (pp. 281-307). Reston, VA: National Association for Girls and Women in Sport.

Hult, J.S. & Trekell, M. (1991). A century of women’s basketball: from frailty to Final Four. Reston, VA: National Association for Girls and Women in Sport.

Hult J.S., (1994). The story of women’s athletics: manipulating a dream 1890-1985. D.M. Costa & S.R. Guthrie (Eds.), Women and sport: interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 83-106). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

McKindra, L. (2009, July 9). Study shows slight gains for women administrators, NCAA News, Retrieved July 9, 2009, from http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?key=/ncaa/ncaa/ncaa+news/ncaa+news+online/2009/association-wide/study+shows+slight+gains+for+women+administrators_07_09_09_ncaa_news

National Association of College Directors of Athletics (2002). The 2002-2003 National Directory of College Athletics. Cleveland, OH: Author.

National Collegiate Athletic Association. (1994). Summary of the survey to review the roles of senior woman administrators at NCAA member Institutions. Kansas City, KS: Author.

National Collegiate Athletic Association. (2002). Senior Woman Administrator [Brochure]. Indianapolis, IN: Author.

Uhlir, G.A. (1987). Athletics and the university: the post-woman’s era. Academe, 73 (4), 25-29.

Watson, V. (1994). Survey: confusion surrounds SWA role. The NCAA News, 31(36), 1, 14, 16.

Wu, Y. (1999). Kellmeyer: The lawsuit that ruined women’s control of intercollegiate athletics for women? Proceedings of the North American Society for Sport History. Retrieved from www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/NASSH_Proceedings/NP1999/NP1999zl.pdf

Wu, Y. (2000). From educational model to commercial enterprise: The philosophical change of U.S. women’s intercollegiate athletics in the Title IX era. Proceedings for the North American Society for Sport History. Retrieved from www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/NASSH_Proceedings/NP2000/NP2000zzzw.pdf

Identifying and Assessing the Elements of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress in Sport

Introduction

Horror stories of outlandish behavior by coaches in the sport milieu: many have heard the stories, to one extent or another. Many have personally dealt with the accompanying emotions of dread, humiliation, discrimination, and fear that coaches have imposed during practices and games. Many have suffered immeasurably while helplessly watching their child endure torment at the hands of an abusive coach or coaches. Many have asked the same questions: What can be done? What good can possibly come from garnishing discussion with the coach, athletic director or administrator? Will the ordeal continue with new vigor because the problem was brought out into the open? Parents often struggle with these types of questions, wavering in a sea of indecision, wishing for easy solutions to unfortunate situations. And so the questions remain: what can be done; are there potential solutions; and where can one seek advice?

Assuming that the parties involved have exhausted all possible common sense remedies such as speaking directly with the coach and/or the administration, the logical next step would be to turn to tort law within the legal system. A tort is defined in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1982) as “a wrongful act, damage, or injury done willfully, negligently, or in circumstances involving strict liability, but not involving breach of contract, for which a civil suit can be brought” (p. 1280). According to the Free Online Law Dictionary (2009) a tort has three elements that a plaintiff must ascertain in court. First, it must be established that the defendant be under a legal duty to act in a certain way. Second, it must be shown that the defendant breached this duty by failing to match his or her actions accordingly. Third, it must be shown that the plaintiff suffered injury or loss as a direct result of the defendant’s breach.

The difficulty faced by courts considering sport related tort cases in regards to coaching behaviors is to distinguish an exact point where coaches have crossed the line. Because the alleged abuse is emotionally centered, it is difficult to discern emotional abuse from coaching tactics used to motivate athletes to perform at higher levels. Tort law that specifically targets this type of behavior is intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED).

IIED is a tort claim that focuses on intentional conduct resulting in extreme emotional distress which causes a mental reaction such as anguish, grief, or fright in response to another person’s actions that brings about recoverable damages. According to Personal Injury Law (2009), to successfully prove a claim for IIED, one must establish four elements: the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly; the defendant’s conduct was extreme and outrageous; the defendant’s act is the cause of the distress; and the plaintiff suffers severe emotional distress as a result of the defendant’s conduct. Unfortunately, these four elements consist of ambiguous wording including such terms as reckless, extreme, outrageous, and severe that attempt to describe defendant actions. Elusive terms such as these have helped to create a confused tort that means “entirely different things to different judges” (Russell, 2008) resulting in wide-ranging court decisions and ones that are difficult to win.

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and assess the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) and discover legal precedent. An attempt will be made to uncover potential solutions, if any are to be found, that can be employed when confronted with the unfortunate events that surround IIED within the sport environment.

Significance

Understanding the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress will benefit athletic directors, coaches, athletes, parents, spectators, team owners, commissioners, and others associated with sport. It is essential to appreciate the legal aspects of sport because unique situational variables will inevitably arise in the sport milieu. Garnishing an appreciation of past legal precedent can benefit those suffering from the anguish created by IIED. Recognizing potential solutions can be a comfort to those directly and indirectly involved.

Review of Literature

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) is a tort that was created to address the threat of emotional harm that results in extreme emotional distress. IIED is also referred to as the tort of “outrage” because the defendant’s conduct is so extreme that it produces the response “outrageous!” from an average member of the community (Rapp, 2008). Outrageous behavior must be conduct that is atrocious and beyond the standards of a civilized society.

To characterize conduct that is “extreme and outrageous” and consequently meet the second element of IIED, one must determine what types of conduct would go beyond all reasonable bounds of human decency. The Legal Aid Society of San Francisco (2009) notes that “outrageous conduct does not include annoyances, hurt feelings, insults, rough language, or bad manners that a reasonable person is expected to endure.” This statement begins to provide advice to those suffering emotional distress at different levels; the law is not intended to handle frivolous claims. Although the emotional distress may not seem frivolous to those involved, the courts take a look at the severity of the distress including the intensity and duration to meet the fourth element of IIED. Severe or extreme levels of emotional distress must be long lasting and of the nature that no reasonable person is expected to endure. Severe or extreme levels may consist of highly distasteful emotions such as fright, grief, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, or worry. Behavior that breaks criminal law would automatically meet the “extreme and outrageous” standard.

The first element of IIED points to the intentionality of the infliction of emotional distress. To meet this element, the defendant must conduct behavior that is pre-meditated and intended to cause harm rather than simply demonstrate mean-spirited actions. Ultimately the courts have the final say as to what is “extreme and outrageous” since case law has not provided an exact definition. The LSU Law Center’s Medical and Public Health Law Site (2009) points out that Missouri courts have stressed in Viehweg v. Tanny that a defendant’s conduct must be “more than malicious and intentional…and liability does not extend to mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, or petty oppressions.” It then stands to reason if the first element is established as a result of the defendant’s intentional conduct, then the third element (the defendant’s act is the cause of the distress) is also established.

Ambiguity

The ambiguity of the tort of outrage may open a window of doubt by giving a person enough skepticism to wonder whether the legal system can provide relief. Michael P. Ehline, Personal Injury Attorney (2009) provides a vivid example in his video clip that may give a bit more insight into what exactly is an “outrageous” situation. His example describes a circumstance where a person can claim IIED. If an individual’s child is attacked and killed in front of them by a person with ax, then claiming IIED is appropriate. This illustration gives us a graphic example of what type of heinous behavior would constitute as an utterly intolerable action in a civilized society. Other examples would include watching a child die in an accident from a distance or receiving a letter from someone falsely claiming that a parent, child, sibling, or spouse had died. These examples are ones in which the emotional distress is a reaction to some type of gruesome event or a horrible incident occurring in a violent situation. These examples help to put the tort of IIED into perspective. The majority of emotional distress that many have endured is not compensable.

Gap-filler

Over the years, the tort of IIED has become a “gap-filler” according to the Texas Supreme Court (Intentional Torts, 2009). The gap-filler’s purpose is to supplement other forms of recovery by providing an answer for barbaric conduct that might otherwise go unresolved. In other words, IIED is to be claimed only when more established tort doctrines are not applicable and the intentional harm is so severe that the plaintiff has no other means to rectify the situation. Thus IIED is a “gap-filler” as it can never overlap another tort.

Accepting that IIED is often characterized as a “gap-filler” and used very rarely only whenever the emotional distress is so extreme and outrageous, it makes one question if this tort can be of any help at all when it comes to dealing with abusive coaches in the sport milieu. As noted earlier in the case of Viehweg v. Tanny, IIED liability does not include mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, or petty oppressions. Also previously noted is the fact that outrageous conduct does not include hurt feelings, rough language, or bad manners that a reasonable person is expected to endure. Because the legal system is designed to address wide-ranging, ambiguous situational behaviors, one may never know if their own personal circumstances are behaviors that a reasonable person is expected to endure, unless the case is taken to the courts. The conduct endured may turn out to be extreme or outrageous in the eyes of a jury.

“Outrageous” Cases

It is pertinent to discover court cases that have dealt with claims of outrageous behavior to gain a better understanding of legal precedent. One case described by Simon (2009) recently met the definition of “outrageous” when a claim for IIED concerned an employee that was abused at work. In the case of Rothwell v. Nine Miles School District, the plaintiff, employed as a custodian, was ordered to clean up the mess of a suicide victim of whom she knew personally. Prior to cleaning up the mess, which included gruesome remains of the deceased, Rothwell was ordered to go through classrooms to look for bombs. At the suicide scene, she had found a book bag of which she began to open the contents until the police told her to stop. A little later, she watched the bomb squad detonate a bomb that was found in that same book bag and learned that there was another bomb also detonated at the football field. Rothwell became sick from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and won her case due to emotional distress that was intentionally inflicted as a result of the District and Superintendant’s actions.

In a recent sports related case, a Kentucky high school head football coach, David Stinson, has been indicted on the charge of reckless homicide for the death of one of his players. On August 20, 2008, 15 year old Max Gilpin collapsed at practice from heat stroke and died three days later (FindLaw, 2009). Allegations were made in the case that the coaching staff denied the players water breaks on a day with a heat index of 94 degrees. Truman (2009) stresses in his blog that coaches “use denying water as punishment and somehow they feel the kids need to tough it out” and feels that this type of behavior is “inexcusable recklessness.” Even though the case was criminal in nature, one can imagine the emotional distress the athletes endured on that extremely hot day. Not to mention the distress of watching their teammate collapse and eventually die from heat stroke. If the coach punished the athletes by denying them water on a hot day, one can only imagine other kinds of emotionally distressing tactics that may have been put into practice with the team. In this case, the coach was caught utilizing these kinds of tactics through the untimely death of Max Gilpin.

A recent, well-publicized sport case between Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee actually did involve an IIED claim. Clemens claimed that McNamee fabricated the pitcher’s steroid abuse in an account that appeared in Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell’s 409 page report on the illegal use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. Clemens alleges that the untruths spoken by McNamee caused him severe emotional distress. Rapp (2008) suggests that there is one thing that McNamee did that might successfully make one claim the response of “outrageous!” Rapp avows that McNamee “kept dirty bandages, and Roger’s bodily fluids, in sealed bags for years, just in case he might need them later.” This type of behavior is, admittedly, highly unusual and disturbing. So much so that one can see the logic in making an IIED claim in this sport case.

These three lawsuits, the Rothwell, Gilpin, and Clemens cases, are three examples where one can easily see behaviors that were extreme and outrageous. A large amount of litigation that center on IIED claims contains elements that are more ambiguous in nature and are difficult to prove. Taking a look at successful and a bit vague IIED court cases, although not sport related, will provide a deeper understanding of legal precedent.

Successful ambiguous cases

Litigation victories for cases claiming IIED are not abundant especially in the sport venue. IIED claims that have awarded large sums of money for emotional distress establish precedent and provide background knowledge for future, potential litigation. The following two cases are extremely different, yet both show aspects of emotional distress that was severe and invasive.

The first case involves a civil suit brought forth by the plaintiffs regarding outrageous behavior of their next door neighbor. The case, Efros, et al., v. Giles, awarded the plaintiffs $350,000 for their claim of IIED. Giles was already criminally charged with aggravated stalking, malicious destruction of property, and malicious annoyance by writing (Verdicts & Settlements, 2008). Police discovered Giles to be the source behind the anonymous graphically suggestive and threatening letters directed toward the plaintiffs and also the vandalism of their home where Giles had thrown rotting fruit, eggs, D-cell batteries and feces. He also smeared feces on the automobiles in their driveway. For this behavior, the plaintiffs won their IIED claim as they stated they have been forever changed by Giles’ behavior which caused their severe and continual emotional distress. This case does show extreme criminal actions of which the defendant was sentenced two to five years in prison; however, it also shows that individuals can lean on the legal system when dealing with extreme and outrageous behavior of this sort.

The second civil court case finds a former high school teacher awarded a monetary amount for her IIED claim. Janis Adams alleged that administrators did not take proper action when an underground student newspaper made crude assertions about her (Walsh, 2002). The newspaper included articles written about Adams as a porno star and made vulgar references about the teacher and members of her family. Ms. Adams claimed that although preliminary disciplinary action was taken up with some of the students involved, school administrators did nothing to stop the distribution of the newspapers on campus. As a result, she was subjected to a severe, outrageous, and offensive work environment, which the administrators failed to remedy. Ms. Adams was awarded $1.1 million for lost earnings and $3.25 million for the IIED claim – totaling an award of $4.35 million.

Both of these unique cases show that it is possible to receive monetary damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Although each case dealt with extremely different issues, together they show that individuals in society are not expected to deal with such outlandish behavior that causes emotional distress.

“Something more”

After a thorough review of legal precedent, one can begin to compare the emotional distress that is occurring within their individual sport milieu to determine the next step to assuage the problematic situation. If it is determined that the behavior of the one in charge (typically the coach) is bringing forth harmful consequences, then one is encouraged to seek legal counsel and sue for damages under the tort of IIED. However, if it is determined that the behavior is simply not bizarre enough to claim outrage in a civilized society, then court costs may not be worth incurring litigation.

Determining that legal recourse is not a viable option and assuming that the coach’s behavior is not going to change because all efforts have led down a windy path to nowhere, there must be “something more” that one can do to handle an oppressive situation. Each scenario will be different than the next and that “something more” solution will vary from case to case. Simply stated, there are no easy answers. It all boils down to making a determination as to what one can and cannot control.

Summary and Conclusions

Restatement of the Purpose

The intent of this paper is to identify and assess the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) and discover legal precedent. An attempt will be made to uncover potential solutions that can be employed when confronted with the unfortunate events that surround IIED within the sport environment.

Summary

The tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress is designed to bring about recoverable damages for those who have suffered from mental anguish, grief, or fright in response to another person’s actions. The elements required to prove an IIED claim include ambiguous terminology that have resulted in wide-ranging court decisions. IIED, also designated as the tort of outrage, must include conduct that goes beyond all reasonable bounds of human decency. Because case law has not provided an exact definition of outrageous behavior, the courts must decide if the behaviors are severe enough to win an IIED claim. In review of successful case law, the wins demonstrate that individuals in a civilized society should not have to deal with emotionally distressing, outrageous behaviors. On the other hand, drawing the line between “extreme and outrageous” emotionally distressing behaviors and finding potential solutions outside the legal environment is not an easy matter.

Conclusions and Potential Solutions

When dealing with emotionally distressing coaching behaviors, an individual should review legal precedent and seek legal counsel if the behavior is deemed as severe and outrageous. Already formulating that one cannot control the coach, there are two potential solutions if legal action is not a viable option: to quit and do something else or to find a way to deal with the abusive situation. Choosing to remain on the team and deal with an unfortunate situation is not easy. It has already been determined that to make an IIED claim, outrageous conduct does not include mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, and petty oppressions. A coach that utilizes tactics such as these is truly not worth the accompanying mental anguish, yet many individuals love the sport so intensely that they cannot dream of quitting. If this is the case, one must turn to positive psychology to find a way to handle emotional distress that will inevitably be encountered.

Individuals may not be able to control the coach, but they can control personal reactions to bad coaching behaviors. Athletes (and often their parents) need to develop a mental strategy to cope with emotionally distressing situations. There are two strategies that can be employed to develop a personal mental plan. The two tactics are: 1) determining psychological type for self-understanding, development, and problem solving; and 2) utilizing cognitive strategies by accepting the importance of positive expectations and implementing positive self-talk.

The first part of the mental strategy is to determine psychological type by taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is a self-report questionnaire designed to provide feedback to enhance an understanding of personal self, motivations, natural strengths, and potential areas for growth (Myers, 1998). The MBTI, based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality and further developed by the mother/daughter team of Myers and Briggs, provides an individual with one of sixteen personality preference scales. Each of the sixteen types consist of a four letter personality preference code which can help an athlete understand the following: the way one prefers to focus their attention and energy; the way one prefers to take in information; the way an individual prefers to make decisions; and how one orients themselves to the external world. With this information, athletes can learn more about themselves. The type code allows an athlete to see their characteristics, view how others may see them, and identify areas of potential growth. In a perfect world, it would be nice to know the personality type of the coach or coaches to gain a better understanding of the characteristics frequently associated with his or her type. Even without this information, one can study the sixteen types and attempt to match characteristics of the coach with a particular type. Empowered with this information, athletes can better understand themselves and in the process begin to understand others around them – specifically to recognize and attempt to understand the coach’s behavior. Having this type of insight won’t completely take away the emotional distress factor, but it might soften the edges of the hurtful words or behaviors.

The second part of the mental strategy is concerned with cognitively appreciating the importance of positive expectations and utilizing positive self-talk. To prove the essence of positive expectations, Waitley (1978), conducted interviews with “winners” from various fields of endeavor. He then grouped the characteristics of the “winners” into categories of five “attitude qualities” which include positive self-expectancy, self-image, self-control, self-esteem, and self-awareness. These five “attitude qualities” are found within the self-talk of winners – no matter what circumstances come their way. With practice, athletes can internalize all five positive attitudes, which in turn affect positive expectations of self. To restate once again, athletes may not be able to control their coaches, but they can control their own state of mind when dealing with bad behaviors by incorporating cognitive strategies. In emphasis, Singer (1980) claims that implementing a cognitive (or mental) strategy can favorably affect one’s emotions, such as reduce anxiety, focus attention, maintain concentration, and cope with stress.

Concluding Statements

The tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), otherwise known as the tort of outrage, is a viable legal option. Although the tort is not set up to handle frivolous claims, it is frustrating that the majority of emotional distress is not compensable. To be subjected to bad coaching behaviors with very little opportunity for recourse is extremely maddening to all involved. Is one supposed to chalk up the negative experience as a good life lesson – teaching the principle that “life’s not fair?” Is one supposed to simply deal with bad behaviors until something drastic happens like the untimely death of Max Gilpin? Other than the legal option of claiming IIED for extreme and outrageous activities, there are only two other viable solutions: to quit the sport and attempt to move on; or dig down deep into the trenches and develop a mental strategy in an effort to maintain sanity. Regrettably, either option is heartbreaking when one is submersed in a very unfortunate situation.

References

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2nd ed.). (1982). Boston, MA: Houghton
Mifflin Company.

Efros, et al., v. Giles, 07-084713-CK (2008).

Ehline, M. P. (n.d.). What is ‘intentional infliction of emotional distress’ under tort law?
Retrieved July 24, 2009, from http://www.videojug.com/expertanswer/intentional-torts-2/what-is-intentional-infliction-of-emotional-distress

FindLaw. (n.d.). High school coach David Stinson indicted in Max Gilpin’s heat
stroke death. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://commonlaw.findlaw.com/2009/01/high-school-coach-david-stinton-indicted-in-max-gilpins-heat-stroke-death.html

Free Online Law Dictionary. (n.d.). Tort law: Legal definition of tort law. Retrieved July 27, 2009 from: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/p/Tort%20Law
Intentional Torts, (n.d.). Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) tort in Texas.
Retrieved July 25, 2009 from, http://www.texas-opinions.com/law-IIED-intentional-infliction-of-emotional-distress

Legal Aid Society of San Francisco. (n.d.). Intentional infliction of emotional distress in the
workplace: Your legal rights. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from http://www.las-elc.org/IntentInflictionEmotDistress.pdf

LSU Law Center’s Medical and Public Health Law Site. (n.d.). Elements of intentional infliction
of emotional distress. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/courses/tortsF01/IIEM.htm

Myers, I. B. (1998). Introduction to type: A guide to understanding your results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (6th ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.
Personal Injury Law. (n.d.).What is intentional infliction of emotional distress? Retrieved July
24, 2009, from http://www.quizlaw.com/personal_injury_law/ what_is_intentional_inflicti.php

Rapp, G. (2008, May 29). Intentional tort of last resort alert: Clemens adds “outrage”
claim to McNamee suit. Retrieved June 21, 2009, from http://sports-law.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html

Russell, F. (2008, April 1). Reformulating outrage: A critical analysis of the problematic tort of IIED. Vanderbilt Law Review. Retrieved June 21, 2009, from
http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/torts-intentional-torts-libel-slander/10595672-1.html

Simon, E. (2009, May 11). Important win against employer for inflicting serious emotional distress. Ellen Simons’ Employee Rights Post. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from
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Singer, R. N. (1980). Motor learning and human performance (3rd ed.). New York: Macmillan.

Truman, K. (2009, January 26). Pleasure Ridge Park football coach charged with reckless
homicide. Retrieved July 25, 2009, from http://www.injuryboard.com/printfriendly.aspx?id=256070

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Walsh, M. (2002, March 20). L.A. teacher $4.35 million harassment verdict. Education Week,
21.

An Ethnographic Study of the Skateboarding Culture

Abstract

Skateboarders are often seen as outsiders. However, understanding the culture of skateboarding can be insightful for politicians, adults, or scholars who seek to develop stronger relationships with young people who participate in skateboarding (Freeman & Riordan, 2002). In this ethnographic study, skateboarding culture is described through observations of professional skateboarders in a segment of the DVD, Planes, Trains and Skateboards. The findings suggested themes of acceptance, energy and drive, concern for safety, self-expression of style, and progression. Leaders who understand the culture of skateboarding may be able to communicate more effectively with the younger generation.

Introduction

Ethnography describes a culture and provides an understanding of that culture from an insider’s perspective (Neuman, 2003). Through observation, inferences can be made from how members of a culture act, speak, or think within specific cultural contexts to give meaning to actions and behaviors of the group. This study uses an ethnographic design to identify characteristics of the skateboarding culture by documenting characteristics, action, and behaviors of participants in the video compilation of Planes, Trains and Skateboards.

World Cup Skateboarding captured the essence of competitive skateboarding in the 2004 release of Planes, Trains and Skateboards from video recorded at X Games X in Los Angeles, CA. Through observation of communication styles and cultural artifacts manifested in the video, the culture of competitive skateboarding is described and generalizations to the overall culture that envelopes skateboarding are discussed. From the discussion of the video content, inferences are synthesized to provide a greater understanding of the skateboarding culture.

Population, Sampling, Data Collection Procedures, and Rationale

Planes, Trains and Skateboards is a video compilation of skateboarding events held around the world during 2004. Each of the 15 chapters highlights the social scene enveloping the competition and the athletes who participated. For purposes of this analysis, Chapter 13, X Games X, which includes skateboard street, vert best trick, and big air competitions, was selected because of the variety of genres included in the compilation and the competitive nature of the event.

The population for this study consists of professional skateboarders participating in skateboard competition at X Games X in Los Angeles, CA. While not all skateboarders become professional athletes, the sample for this study included street skaters, vert skaters, and big air skaters. Street skaters are those who predominantly skate on streets and other public domains where concrete and obstacles offer an interesting playground. Vert skaters are those who skate on a half-pipe, usually made of wood or concrete shaped like half of a pipe cut through the diameter. Big air skaters are the newest genre to the culture as these athletes are the most experienced group of skaters and choose a mega-ramp that rises as high as seven stories in the air from which they “drop-in” to gain enough speed to carry them across the bottom, up the opposite side, and above the ramp by as much as 15 or 20 feet above the rim. While each group of skaters is different, by identifying the similarities between them, a greater understanding of the skateboarding culture is gleaned.

Data was collected through an ethnographic analysis, noting unspoken language, behaviors, and cultural artifacts such as dress, hair, and body art. A description of what is observed in the video is detailed. As the competition begins, a standing room only crowd is observed. No whistles, balls, referees, or coaches can be found. Instead, the competition is on the sidewalk behind Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Just before the competition, one athlete is break dancing for the crowd. Another is signing autographs. One athlete hides his face from the camera as his family sports hats that look like wedges of cheese in the background. Another athlete dances to the music as he eyes the young, thin, attractive girls in the front row of the crowd. From these observations, inferences can be made to the general population of skateboarders that might suggest that skateboarders are more concerned about having fun and connecting with the audience than winning competitions.

Validity and Bias

Bias is inherent in qualitative research (Neuman, 2003). In particular, because the researcher is the instrument, personal background, interests, and point of view become part of the analysis. In this study, the researcher has an interest in understanding the culture of skateboarding and has participated in the action sports industry for 13 years. Yet these years have not provided an opportunity to discover how skateboarders think or why these athletes do what they do. While bias cannot be erased, bias is identified as a mediating factor that may influence the results of this study.

The single source of data for this study limits the validity. However, repeated observations of the same participants improved the internal validity, or interpretability of the data (Newman, 2003). Further research may be necessary to confirm the external validity, or generalizability of the findings (Newman).

Data Analysis

Data from this ethnographic study was collected by watching the DVD repeatedly to identify the demographic characteristics of the skateboarding participants, including athletes, judges and announcers who were presented in the footage, then observing behaviors and appearances from which meaningful inferences could be drawn.

Agar (2006) suggests that ethnography is about the study of human differences through the identification of similarities. By studying the similarities among the participants in the video, the researcher identified differences between these participants to draw meaning that connects these participants to outsiders such as the researcher.

To understand what was happening in the video, the researcher looked to identify “rich points” or patterns across certain kinds of people in certain situations (Agar, 2006, p. 5). After preliminary notes were taken and reviewed, the DVD was again reviewed repeatedly to confirm the original notes and to make additional observations. Special attention was given to communication and action that took through participant interaction and crowd responses. Through a careful analysis of participant characteristics, participant interaction, and crowd responses, explanations for the overall increase in participation in skateboarding and the rationale for increased acceptance of skateboarding by mainstream sports enthusiasts can be garnered.

Findings

The data from this study were recorded and analyzed for patterns within observed responses and actions. Demographic observations were made. Actions and behaviors were then analyzed. The analysis revealed several themes: acceptance, energy and drive, concern for safety, self-expression of style, and progression.

The demographic characteristics revealed limited diversity among the professional skateboarders who participated in the study competition. Of the 30 participants, 10% were female and 90% were male. 73% were observed to be of Caucasian ethnicity, while 16% were observed to be of Hispanic origins and 1% of African American ethnicity. Age ranged from early teens to late thirties and appeared to have some correlation to the discipline as younger skaters tended to be involved in street skating, while the older, more experienced skaters dominated the vert and big air disciplines. The demographic characteristics are presented in Table 1.

Table 1
Demographic Characteristics of Skateboarding Participants

Skater #

Discipline

Gender

Observed Ethnicity

Observed Age

1

Street

Female

Caucasian

Teens

2

Street

Female

Caucasian

Teens

3

Street

Female

Hispanic

Teens

4

Street

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

5

Street

Male

Caucasian

Early Teens

6

Street

Male

Hispanic

Twenties

7

Street

Male

Caucasian

Late 20s

8

Street

Male

Hispanic

Late 20s

9

Street

Male

Caucasian

Late teens

10

Street

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

11

Street

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

12

Street

Male

African American

Twenties

13

Street

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

14

Vert

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

15

Vert

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

16

Vert

Male

Hispanic

Twenties

17

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

18

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Thirties

19

Big Air

Male

African American

Thirties

20

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Thirties

21

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Thirties

22

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Thirties

23

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Thirties

24

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Late Thirties

25

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Thirties

26

Big Air

Male

Hispanic

Late Twenties

27

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Late Twenties

28

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

29

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Late Twenties

30

Big Air

Male

Caucasian

Twenties

Regardless of gender, discipline, ethnicity, or age, the participants in this study routinely embraced each other, supported each other by showing encouragement and appreciation, and showed no signs of negative emotion toward other participants, despite the fact that prize money was on the line. This lack of negative emotions infers an inclusionary construct within the skateboarding culture.

Another central theme of this study was the energy and drive of the participants. While each participant was competing, facial expressions suggested the presence of passion and determination, fun, excitement, and desire to do their best at that moment. Participants did not appear tired or winded, even at the conclusion of their turn in the competition rotation. Although the exact time of each run was not apparent from the video, many athletes continued to show energy by dancing, jumping, or engaging in other celebratory acts. Observed behaviors included applauding each other, dancing, smiling, and other congratulatory behaviors. The unique behaviors of participants and spectators, which were captured in the video, are included in Table 2.

Table 2

Unique Behaviors of Participants

Skater #

Unique Behaviors

4

Break dancing before competition

5

Smiling

6

Fans enjoying the run

9

Family supported participant by wearing shirts spelling out last name

10

Moved around the course, spectators applauded, many spectators filming the run

14

High-five with fellow competitor

15

Smiled, happy

16

Received congratulatory slap and hugged competitors on deck, started dancing to the music, showed medal to group of reporters following competition, hugged female reporter

17

Described Big Air Mega Ramp, suggests he’s lost money by betting on these competitions, but laughs as if he’s joking,

18

Gave advice to “hang on, you’ve got 4 tries, that’s it,” joked with camera

19

Moving things forward

21

Describes this as “history in the making” “gladiator skateboarders”

22

Making of “super heroes” today

23

Indicated he was “gearing up for getting slammed”

24

“Awesome,” “sick” suggests athletes must have guts to try this

25

Held small child on the medal stand and waived to crowd after winning gold medal, appeared very happy

26

Nervous, anxious look on face prior to taking jump

29

Skate competitors shown watching, enjoying competition

30

Smiled, happy, camera pan of crowd revealed jammed parking lot full of people cheering and applauding

While danger is inherent in most sports, the potential for falls in skateboarding appears quite high. Helmets, kneepads, elbow pads, wrist guards and gloves were observed in both the vert and big air disciplines. The use of safety equipment appeared to be routine for all competitors, suggesting a concern for safety.

The participants did not wear uniforms or jerseys that identified their team or sponsors. Rather, each participant had an individual sense of style that provided for self-expression. However, similarities in style suggest certain appearance constructs of the skateboarding culture. Comfortable attire such as baggy jeans and loose-fitting t-shirts that allow for movement were common among participants. Style appears to be important to members of the skateboarding culture, but style is not what everyone else is doing or wearing. Rather, style appears to be an expression of individuality. The presence of tattoos, body piercing, or other expressions of individuality could not be gleaned from the video in this study.

Finally, with the variety of disciplines within skateboarding, the theme of progression appears to play a prominent role. While street skating was the original discipline of early skateboarders back in the 1950s, the vert competition was introduced in the mid-1970s as skaters found empty swimming pools provided an interesting playground for skateboarding activities (Hayes, 2005). Not until X Games X was the big air discipline introduced as a competitive event. The progression of the sport through these disciplines suggests skateboarding is an evolving culture that pushes members to try new things, take bigger risks, and progress the sport to new levels.

Conclusions

Critics argue that the skateboarding culture represents a youth activity that embraces anti-establishment values in opposition to middle class norms and values inherent in traditional team sports (Kusz, 2003). However, popular culture can be a means of projecting social resistance, and skateboarding is no exception, despite originating under the Boy Scouts of America umbrella (Beal, 1995).

To outsiders, skaters are thought of as rebels, social deviants, or simply different. Participants are banned from public areas and signs are routinely posted prohibiting the activity (Nolan, 2003; Woolley & Johns, 2001). However, understanding the culture of skateboarding can be insightful for politicians, adults, or scholars who seek to develop stronger relationships with young people (Freeman & Riordan, 2002).

In a study of female skaters, participants described skateboarding as fun, adventurous, confidence building, and nonconformist with a casual, comfortable style (Kelly, Pomerantz & Currie, 2005). These same themes can be inferred from the current study. Even with the status of professional athlete, the subjects in this study were observed as happy, comfortable, and inclusive.

Skateboarding allows for individuality as rules are minimal and self-expression is encouraged. This freedom to be creative and express oneself through skateboarding activity can be a means of empowerment. Through the cultural values of inclusion, having fun, self-expression, and progression, participants can build confidence to become leaders. By understanding the culture of skateboarding, today’s leaders are in a better position to understand tomorrow’s leaders and develop communication styles to improve interaction between generations.

References

Agar, M. (2006, June). Culture: Can you take it anywhere? International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(2).  

Beal, B. (1995). Disqualifying the official: An exploration of social resistance through the subculture of skateboarding. Sociology of Sport Journal, 12. Retrieved September 22, 2006, from EBSCOhost database.

Bostick, D. & Bostick, D. (Executive Producers) & Kanights, B. (Producer). (2004). Planes, trains and skateboards (DVD). United States: Come Together Productions.

Freeman, C. & Riordan, T. (2002). Locating skateparks: The planner’s dilemma. Planning, Practice & Research, 17(3).  

Hayes, A. (2005). Dogtown and Z-Boys: Teaching the documentary. Screen Education, 40. Retrieved September 22, 2006, from EBSCOhost database.

Kelly, D. M., Pomerantz, S., & Currie, D. (2005, August). Skater girlhood and emphasized femininity: ‘you can’t land an ollie properly in heels’. Gender and Education,17 (3).  

Kusz, K. (2003). BMX, extreme sports, and the White male backlash. In Brayton, S. (2005). “Black-Lash”: Revisiting the “White Negro” through skateboarding. Sociology of Sport Journal, 22. Retrieved September 22, 2006, from EBSCOhost database.

Neuman, W. L. (2003). Social research methods (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Nolan, N. (2003, November). The ins and outs of skateboarding and transgression in public space in Newcastle, Australia. Australian Geographer, 34(3).  

Woolley, H. & Johns, R. (2001). Skateboarding: The city as a playground. Journal ofUrban Design, 6(2).

A Study of the Participative Motivation, Satisfaction and Loyalty of the Members at the Taekwondo Training Hall in Taipei County

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the differences among the taekwondo training hall members’ demographic variables as they related to participative motivation, satisfaction, and loyalty. A secondary aim is to verify the cause and effect relationship of participative motivation, satisfaction, and loyalty. For this study, a total of 358 members were selected from 15 taekwondo training halls in Taipei County. The instruments utilized in this research include a participative motivation scale, a satisfaction scale, and a loyalty scale. The data were statistically analyzed utilizing descriptive statistics (including a frequency distribution percentage, the mean and the standard deviation), a t-test, a one-way ANOVA, the scheffe method and structural equation modeling. The results were as follows: (a) As it related to the demographics of the members at the taekwondo training halls in Taipei county, the descriptive statistics indicated that a majority of the members were males between 9-12 years old; their total family income was around NT 40,001~NT 60,000; and a majority of the members had practiced taekwondo for less than one year. (b) The results of the analysis of the member’s demographic variables showed that a member’s gender, age, and time spent learning taekwondo indicated statistically significant differences on his or her participative motivation and satisfaction. A member’s gender, age, family income, and time spent learning taekwondo also indicated statistically significant differences on his or her loyalty. (c) According to the analysis conducted by the structural equation modeling, participative motivation had a positive influence on satisfaction and loyalty, and satisfaction had a positive influence on loyalty. Based on these findings, the researchers have provided some suggestions for taekwondo training halls.
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