International Physical Fitness Test


The United States Sports Academy, in cooperation with the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport, presents the Arab world with its own International Physical Fitness Test Manual based on norms collected and processed on Arab youth, ages 9 to 19. This fitness test is one of the few developed outside the Western world and is believed to be the only such test battery that measures the basic components of all physical activity, i.e. speed, strength, suppleness, and stamina.

This test was introduced to 199 physical education teachers by Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich on 15 January 1977 in Manama. This test was initially developed by the International Committee for Physical Fitness Testing in Tokyo in 1964 at which time Dr. Rosandich served that committee as its first secretary.

On January 16, this two-day test battery, made up of the 50-meter sprint, standing long jump, grip strength, 1000-meter run, 30-second sit-up, pull-up, 10-meter shuttle run, and trunk flexion, was administered to 500 boys of the Manama Secondary School. The test was coordinated by Dr. Bob Grueninger, Director of Fitness and Research and administered by him and Dr. Bob Ford, Dr. Lawrence Bestmann, Vic Godfrey, James Kampen, Bruce Mitchell, and Larry Nosse, along with their counterparts, the inspectors and teachers of the Ministry of Education.

The Academy faculty and its counterparts eventually tested over 20,000 boys and girls, but not before the components of the test were re-evaluated and modified to better reflect the environment in which it was delivered. The initial test information was presented by Dr. Rosandich and Dr. Grueninger at the First Middle East Sports Science Symposium (MESS I) in April of 1977. The physical performance tables were developed in coordination with the Academy team in Bahrain and the Chairman of Fitness and Research at the Academy’s home office in Mobile, Alabama, then located on the campus of the University of South Alabama. Instrumental in developing these tables were two computer experts, Dr. George Uhlig and Dr. Bill Gilley, both members of the Academy’s National Faculty.

During MESS II, in April of 1978, the Academy did a special study to evaluate the I.C.P.F.T. battery for possible revision. The Academy coaching team in Bahrain was joined by Dr. Richard Berger, Temple University, and Dr. Bob Stauffer, United States Military Academy, both members of the Untied States Sports Academy’s National Faculty. This combined team tested the Bahrain Defense Force personnel and reached the following conclusions, which in essence are reflected in this test manual.

1. The test battery was changed from a two-day test battery to a one-day battery for purposes of efficiency and because the test administered over two days in the heat of the Middle East impacted severely upon the individual students and their second-day performances.

2. The test battery was reduced from eight components to five components that reflected effectively those components needed in sport and eliminated costly equipment such as the hand dynamometer, that often malfunctioned in field testing.

The test battery is as follows:

1. 50-meter test, relative power, speed
2. Pull-up, relative strength, strength
3. 10-meter shuttle run, relative power, speed and suppleness
4. Back throw, absolute power, speed and suppleness
5. 1,000-meter run, aerobic/anaerobic capacity, stamina

The above test was coordinated by Dr. Grueninger and Dr. Gary Hunter with over 20,000 Bahraini children tested. The results of this test are found in this manual and were presented for the first time internationally by Dr. Rosandich during the Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand, in December of 1978. Subsequently, the test battery was adopted in more than 21 nations. Since the initial presentation, the test has been modified by replacing the pull-up with the flexed-arm hang based on data collected in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

During MESS III, in April of 1979, the leadership of the International Committee for Physical Fitness Research, including the organization’s president, Dr. Ladislav Novak, and members, Dr. Leonard Larson (USA), Dr. Roy Shepherd (Canada), and Dr. Ishiko (Japan), attended the symposium, as observers of Bahrain’s leadership role in physical fitness, research and sport medicine. Bahrain, under the leadership of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport, developed not only the finest sport medicine and research centers found in the Middle East but also programs reflecting research, such as this Physical Fitness Test Manual. Thus, the I.C.P.F.T. named Bahrain its research center for the Middle East. Subsequently, the Arab Sport Medicine Council moved its headquarters from Tunisia to Bahrain, which is yet another indication of Bahrain’s leadership in fitness and research.

The Academy has been privileged to work with the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport — now known as the General Organization of Youth and Sport — and its many constituencies, e.g. the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Defense, in the development of this International Physical Fitness Test, which in fact is a major contribution to the world of sport education.

2016-10-14T15:04:38-05:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Exercise Science, Sports History, Sports Management, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on International Physical Fitness Test

The Sun May Set at Last Over the Union

This past week on campus at the United States Sports Academy we had Tan Sri Dato’ Elyas Omar, the former Lord Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, the magnificent capital city of Malaysia, to receive an honorary doctorate during our 26th Annual Graduation Celebration.

Dato’ Elyas served for more than a decade as the Lord Mayor of Kuala Lumpur and was perceived to be the second most powerful man in Malaysia next to the Prime Minister. He had a rather unlimited budget during the heyday of Malaysia, when they were showing a national growth of nearly 20% per year. He built the very beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur, a mix between Asian and Western architecture, into a bustling capital city with buildings that are the highest in Asia, and a fast transit system that takes the people from one end of the city to the other, over the bustling streets of bazaars. He maintained the beauty of the traditional British railway stations, except this one features Islamic architecture, which is not what one would see in Victoria station in London. The same is true with many of the buildings including City Hall, the Parliament and the Selangor Sports Club in the heart of the city.

Tan Sri Dato Elyas Omar is a great sport enthusiast who built a sport complex equal to no other in the world. It is capable of hosting a major international competition, including the Commonwealth Games that will commence 10 September 1998. He not only built the sport complex but, in collaboration with the United States Sports Academy, led Malaysia’s badminton team to the world title (The Thomas Cup) in 1995. More importantly, he led the bid for hosting the 1998 Commonwealth Games which is a reflection of the British Empire Games that was started in 1930. It was often written before the start of World War II that the sun would never set on the Union Jack (the name for the British flag) in the British Empire. This Empire virtually disintegrated with the invasion of Asia by the Japanese Imperial Armies in the early 40’s. However, the last of the great British Empire in the Far East came to a halt with the transfer of ownership of Hong Kong to the Peoples Republic of China in July 1997.

The Commonwealth Games is often called the Friendly Games because the early structure of the competition focused on individual performances rather than team competitions. How can anyone imagine there would be an international competition developed by the British without football (soccer) or even cricket, as that was and has been the structure of the Games until this year.

Malaysia is the first Asian country (Third World) that has hosted these competitions. Many people have been more than concerned. From the beginning there has been an ill wind (ghost wind called ungan in Malaysian) blowing hot and cold. It is made up of traditional British games with players all dressed in white suit and tie, who “out snooker” one another by bowling iron balls on a grass surface maintained to the quality of a golf green one would find at Augusta, Georgia. If you wish, you can take in a friendly game of squash and, of course, tennis, given the Wimbledon tradition, as well as a wide variety of traditional British sports that one would watch while enjoying afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches on the veranda.

The general prediction from the Western world is that the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia are heading for dire straits even though it had an unlimited budget and the Director of Games (the former Chief of Staff of the Army), who is the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad. Incidentally, he is as anti-American as anyone can be, particularly since Malaysia has gone through an economic nosedive, like all of Asia during the past year.

As always in Southeast Asia, whether it be the current financial crisis or anything else, there are always confrontations between the countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Alarm bells are going off on many fronts even though the Malaysians are doing everything in their power to muffle the problems, from facilities to the difficulties they are currently facing with Indonesian immigrant workers who are being abused in Malaysia. This could well boil over into the world’s hottest and stickiest capitals (where on a good day, one needs to change shirts at least three times a day).

There have been some concerns about the athletes who oftentimes end up on the low end of the totem pole in most international competitions, particularly as it relates to the heat and the very high and dangerous levels of smog in Malaysia – a result of the on-going forest fires that have affected the region for most of this past year.

The fires that continue to burn in Borneo were set by the Indonesian leadership to clear the forest for agriculture. The Australian and New Zealand doctors indicate that the athletes may have to wear masks during the competitions. However, the Malaysians are promising that the smog will not reappear. This is hard to imagine since the fires are burning underground in Borneo and there is no way to put them out. I cancelled my last trip a year ago to the SEA Games in Jakarta because of the smog, but I will be going to Malaysia in the coming weeks as a credentialed VIP to observe this competition.

The Games now includes two team sports, rugby but not football and, of course, at long last the friendly game of cricket. New Zealand, Australia, and the Fiji Islands are among the best rugby nations in the world in which they rule as king of all sports. Cricket, of course, is part of the normal fare throughout the Old Empire, just like tea and crumpets.

We all hope that the prevailing winds that blow in September will cool the temperature, but it is clear that the superstars of the athletic world are more than likely the ones to be cooled toward the Friendly Games where the cash prizes are not there, making these Games something of an anachronism. Actually, the Friendly Games, founded during the days of the British Empire, no longer fits the image and philosophy or even the world sport schedules as it did in the days of the magnificent rubber plantations of Malaysia. Today’s competitors do not want to run for fun, like the old school bash that they had once a year. Simply, they want cash.

Secondly, the Friendly Games does not provide the global platform that sponsors seek, particularly now that it is being held within weeks of the World Cup in Soccer when the television budget has drained the sponsors. In fact, this Games will be held three weeks after the European Championships and in the middle of the IAAF Grand Prix Final in Moscow and the Track and Field World Cup in South Africa. The kicker on this whole Games format is, while one understands top track athletes running for money, the British are not sending either a cricket or a rugby team to this competition due to a long and tiring season.

The saving grace for the XVI Commonwealth Games, which may lack the superstar glamor, is that the Malaysians will no question put on a superb spectacle. Despite the economic turmoil, this will be the largest Commonwealth Games ever held, with more than 6,000 athletes from 67 nations utilizing 26 venues in and around Kuala Lumpur.

The Commonwealth Games is really run like a small town theater production. There are those who would like to see the event reshaped and stripped of its last vestiges of Colonialism to enter the arena like the Olympic Games, with all the top level competitive sports rather than adopting new programs like cricket. Meanwhile, there have been subtle political changes. Rather than having the Queen of England open the Games (as she has for the last 16), they will be opened by the King of Malaysia. The Queen has been relegated to the closing ceremonies.

In 1998 the Games in Malaysia is only the second time it has been held outside of the Mother Country and its dominions, e.g., Canada and Australia. The next Games is scheduled to be back in the UK in Manchester in 2002. It is clear that the alarm bells are going off a second time as Manchester has indicated it will have to scale down the Games unless the British government comes forth with a subsidy of nearly 40 million pounds, which is not likely to happen.

With the global sport picture becoming so congested, it may be that the Commonwealth Games as the British Empire knows and loves it has had its day in the sun with the Union Jack being hauled down maybe for the last time. The sad question is, is there anyone who really cares? Meanwhile Malaysians are undaunted by all these questions. They have already put their bid in for the next Summer Olympic Games following the Olympic motto — higher, further and faster. Good luck.

2013-11-27T19:07:59-05:00February 11th, 2008|Contemporary Sports Issues, Sports Facilities, Sports History, Sports Management|Comments Off on The Sun May Set at Last Over the Union

Changing Adult Activity Patterns

With all the research data on the health
and fitness benefits of regular physical activity, why do most American adults
remain sedentary? Primarily because it is difficult to change adult lifestyle
patterns. If this were not the case, the recent Surgeon General’s Report
on Physical Activity and Health would have called for more than 30 minutes
of movement, most days of the week as a fitness

The 1990s have produced a wealth of
information on the importance of strength training for older adults
(Biomarkers, Living Longer Stronger, Strong Women Stay Young, Lifefit,
Strength Training Past 50
), but we see very few fitness facilities with
a significant percentage of senior exercisers. What is the problem? It is
partly lack of education and partly lack of motivation, partly the challenge
of change and partly the fear of failure.

Fortunately, these are not insurmountable
barriers, as has been discovered over the past few years of adult emphasis
programming. During that time one has seen fitness center participants more
than double in number, and the median age move towards 50 years. What follows
is the basic approach taken for changing adult activity


We use a variety of media to present exercise
information to our surrounding communities, including television, radio and
lectures. However, the most effective method of communication has been the
newspaper. In our weekly Keeping Fit newspaper column we periodically
present the benefits and principles of sensible strength and endurance exercise,
which prompts hundreds of sedentary adults to attend our quarterly fitness
orientation sessions.

Each season of the year, just prior to
our new Keeping Fit session, we hold an orientation session for adults who
want to start a supervised exercise program. The evening event features a
slide presentation about our Keeping Fit program, followed by a question
and answer period. Our instructors then give the attendees a tour of the
exercise facilities and an opportunity to join the upcoming Keeping Fit


We have found the best exercise motivators
to be careful instruction and close supervision. To provide an attentive
training environment we hold our Keeping Fit classes in a separate
exercise room. We limit each class to six participants with two instructors,
for a favorable student-teacher ratio.

Another means for motivating our new
members are large attendance sheets posted in the exercise room. Self-recording
is an excellent way to encourage exercise compliance, and most of the
participants check-off their attendance as soon as they enter the training

Part of new member motivation is overcoming
the challenge of change. Realizing that almost all of the program participants
have been sedentary for many years, our instructors begin with a few basic
Nautilus machines and progress gradually as the clients gain training competence
and confidence. We have found that a concise explanation and precise
demonstration of each exercise is the key to making new clients feel comfortable
about strength training. That is, when you make strength exercise simple
to understand and perform, most beginners are willing to try it

Another pressing concern for the inactive
adult is the fear of failure. New exercisers do not want to appear awkward,
be regarded as weaklings, or fall short of the goals you suggest for them.
Consequently, our instructors are careful to begin new clients at the appropriate
training level, provide plenty of positive reinforcement, and give specific
feedback on personal progress.

Part of the exercise motivation are
fitness assessments performed before and after the eight-week training program.
However, experience has convinced us not to go overboard in this area. We
typically do just two physical assessments, body composition and blood pressure,
that are most meaningful to the participants. These assessments are usually
completed within 10 minutes which makes the evaluation process easy on the
participants. We generally do not formally test muscle strength and
cardiovascular endurance, as improvements in these parameters are obvious
to everyone week by week throughout the program.


We average over 400 new Keeping Fit
participants each year, with approximately 80% of these joining the YMCA
after completion of the program. As a result, a large percentage of our members
are previously sedentary, middle-aged adults who have permanently changed
their activity patterns. This has not happened spontaneously, but through
a planned program designed specifically for these formerly inactive individuals.

The key motivational components have
been the small classes, close supervision, and private exercise room, which
reduce the participants’ fear of failure and facilitate gradual change to
a physically active lifestyle. In addition to enhancing the health and fitness
of our adult community, the Keeping Fit program increases our YMCA
membership base and provides a solid foundation for our entire fitness

For more information on implementing
a similar Keeping Fit program in your facility (including articles
on training benefits, exercise guidelines, research results, facility management,
teaching techniques, and program flyers), please send your request and business
card to:

Rita Nordhuus

Nautilus International

709 Powerhouse Rd.

Independence, VA 24348

Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness
research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. Dr. Westcott has
written the Muscular Strength And Endurance chapter for the ACE Personal
Trainer Manual and has authored several textbooks on strength

2013-11-27T19:09:11-05:00February 11th, 2008|Contemporary Sports Issues, Sports Exercise Science, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Changing Adult Activity Patterns

Menaces to Management: A Developmental View of British Soccer Hooligans, 1961-1986


In their longitudinal examination of local and national newspaper
reports of soccer hooliganism in Britain Dunning, E., Murphy, P. J. and Williams,
J. (1986) concluded that hooliganism has been a feature of soccer crowds
for about 100 years (Dunning et al. 1986, p. 8). They note that there were
periods of decline until the mid-1960s when soccer hooliganism became a “cause
for material concern” (Dunning et al. 1986, p. 8). Indeed, Taylor states
that “there is no equivalent period in British soccer history to the 25-year
period of more or less continuous soccer hooliganism beginning in 1961” (Taylor,
1984, p. 176). This study presents, places and portrays these soccer hooligan
gangs within the larger context of British professional soccer during this


No event illustrates the social phenomenon of “soccer hooliganism”
more dramatically than the deaths of 39 Italian spectators at the European
Cup Final between the Liverpool Football Club and the Italian team Juventus,
played at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium on May 29,1985 at the hands
of soccer hooligans from Liverpool, England (Kerr, 1994).

After viewing film of the incident, Belgium authorities identified
groups of Liverpool fans as those who instigated vicious attacks against
the Italian fans, which in turn led to a stampede of people attempting to
escape the violence. The Liverpool soccer hooligans were the ones wearing
ski masks and carrying various weapons including, pick axe handles and clubs
(The Times, 30 May 1985). The brutality of the event was further
heightened by eyewitness accounts claiming the Liverpool soccer hooligans
were urinating on the corpses and jumping around in celebration (Canter,
1989). In time, the main offenders were brought to trial and sentenced in
a Belgium court.

Non-Europeans, hearing of the incident probably considered this a
tragic, but isolated event. Sadly, British, as well as other European citizens,
are most aware of the problem that has become known as the “British Disease”
(Canter, 1989, p. 109), or soccer hooliganism.

1985 was a bad year for professional soccer in Britain, because not
only did the incident in Brussels occur, but “fire broke out at Bradford
City Football Club causing many deaths,” apparently caused by an ignited
Molotov cocktail, “and a wall collapsed at Birmingham City, which also led
to numerous deaths” (Canter, 1989, pp. xvi). Furthermore, from 1985 to 1990
all British soccer club teams were banned from European competitions as a
result of the Heysel Stadium tragedy.

Superficially, it seems inconceivable that soccer fans would die
intentionally at the hands of others, yet with deeper understanding of the
soccer scene it becomes clear why these incidents occurred. It was just a
matter of time before the activities of soccer hooligans would lead to tragedy
on the scale of the Heysel Stadium incident. Fortunately, 13 years later,
there have been no further multiple-death incidents, though single deaths
caused by soccer hooligans still occur and English soccer hooliganism is
still “in business.”

Sadly, British soccer hooliganism, as a wholly British import and
a “peculiarly English pastime” (Kerr, 1994) has spread to other countries
in Europe. According to Murray (1984),

Where soccer hooliganism does occur in countries like Holland
and Italy, it seems merely to imitate what has gone on in England over the
last 30 years, and it is a good deal less frequent and much less widespread.
Even in other countries of British Isles, fighting, when it does occur at
soccer games, is somehow different from the English variety. For example,
in Scotland and Northern Ireland when violence takes place it tends to be
based on the sectarian divisions in those countries (p. 68).


Americans may have heard of the incidents previously mentioned, but
to most the concept of organized violence and other criminal activity carried
out by so called “fans” of a professional sports team is hard to grasp. However,
in England and other parts of the world, there is a real threat of becoming
a victim of soccer hooliganism when attending a game.

Unlike the hooliganism of the 1960s and 1970s, soccer hooliganism
today rarely involves random acts of violence or the actions of an unorganized
rabble. The ‘Chelsea Headhunters’ for example, are a notorious soccer
hooligan gang in London that has a specific hierarchal leadership structure.
A recent leader of this group was Terry Last, an un-imposing law clerk for
a firm of solicitors (Keel, 1987). The following passage from “Operation
Own Goal” (Darbyshire, 1991) illustrates the fact that soccer hooliganism
is anything but random and spontaneous:

An important feature of the ‘Headhunters’ hooliganism
was the degree of detailed planning invested in setting up opportunities
for ‘aggro’ (violence) with rival hooligans. The violence they generated
was anything but spontaneous. Between them they could mobilize about 400
hooligans, marshaling them like military commanders to engagements planned
weeks, sometimes months in advance. For away games, for example, rather than
allowing themselves to be apprehended by local police security operations,
they would travel out of their way, arriving unexpectedly from a completely
different direction at a station in a particular city where trains from London
did not stop. This extravagant method of travel was financed from thousands
of pounds retained in a number of bank accounts (p. 92).


The efforts of the British police and other management agencies,
responsible for controlling and eliminating soccer hooliganism, have only
been moderately successful (Canter, 1989). Pitch (field of play) invasions
and crowd violence increased in the 1900s, and there has been scant success
in preventing the activities of the hard core soccer hooligan groups as the
hooliganism problem associated with English soccer continues to thrive.

Soccer hooliganism is now an integral part of the social fabric of
England and, more recently, other parts of Europe. The reputation of English
people in general has suffered as a result of the antics of the soccer hooligan
element with the foreign press, on occasion, describing England as a nation
of soccer hooligans (Taylor, 1992).

The majority of English soccer spectators are true, law-abiding fans
of the game, and at no time should their traditional chanting, singing, and
high spirits at soccer watches be confused with soccer hooliganism. Indeed,
some soccer hooligans are also true fans of the game, and being a hooligan
does not erase an individual’s allegiance to a particular soccer team. However,
to most hooligans the style of play or success of the team are normally
unimportant. As Kerr (1994) describes, “a particular team is merely a kind
of ‘flag of convenience’ that allows the hooligans to pursue their
activities against the followers of other teams, the police or members of
the public” (p. 4). Soccer hooligans are a small percentage of any soccer
game crowd, and some writers would even contend that ‘soccer hooligan
violence is not as widespread, regular, and frequent an aspect of crowd behavior
at soccer games…as the press would have us believe” (Canter, 1989, p.

Soccer hooligan is a recently-coined term used to describe the antisocial
activities of followers of professional soccer teams. The word hooligan
originated in 19th century London from an Irish immigrant family named Hooligan
(Williams and Wagg, 1991), that terrorized the tenement areas of the ‘East
End’. The term hooligan was later used as a general descriptor for any criminal
or rowdy behavior.

The words soccer and hooligan were combined roughly 30 years ago
because of the many hooligan acts associated with professional soccer. Hooligan
attacks are usually made against rival hooligan gangs, but these same groups
may unite as one to “form a kind of super hooligan coalition for trips abroad
to ‘support’ the England team” (Hornby, 1992, p. 168). Once these hooligans
return to England the coalition disbands to be replaced by the old

What can be confusing when describing soccer hooliganism is that
the incidents can, and often do, occur some distance from any soccer stadium.
The hooliganism label is given to incidents involving soccer team supporters
regardless of the location. The types of behavior and actions categorized
as soccer hooliganism vary considerably. Soccer hooliganism may involve riots,
pitch invasions, the assaulting of players, fighting, vandalism, drunk and
disorderly offenses, verbal and physical assaults, the use of weapons, the
throwing of missiles, murder and mugging.

Trivizas (1980) found that 67 percent of arrests were for “the use
of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, with intent to cause
a breach of the peace or whereby a breach of the peace may be occasioned”
(p. 185). This is partly due to the difficulties of arresting hooligans from
within a large group, and the fact that the police are more likely to charge
offenders with offenses that they know they have enough evidence to convict

The activities or soccer hooligans can take place before, during
or after a match. The efforts of police to prevent hooliganism in the stadiums
has changed the face of soccer hooliganism. Canter (1989) states:

While one form of hooliganism is thus discouraged, another
comes forward to take its place. Fans who are physically separated within
the ground can throw missiles, coins or even seats at each other and
‘fighting crews’ from some clubs make special foray to find rival fans
in places or at times not subject to match-day policing (p. 108).



Soccer hooliganism is a relatively recent social problem, but soccer
spectator violence is as old as the professional game itself. In fact, violence
in sports is not peculiar to soccer. Sport spectator violence has been documented
since the Roman era (Canter, 1989). Spectator violence associated with the
Roman chariot races was “unparalleled by even the worst violence today and
continued into the fifth and sixth centuries in the Byzantine empire” (Canter,
1989, p. 104).

Soccer evolved from medieval village melees, in which opposing groups
tried to move a leather-covered bladder to a place defended by their opponents.
The melees became so violent that in 1365 Edward III, fearing civil unrest
(Canter, 1989), banned this version of soccer. Violence at soccer games has
continued to be a problem throughout the history of the game, and in 1655
football matches were banned, in order to preserve order in the Midlands,
by Oliver Cromwell.

The modern, professional version of soccer was created during the
1840s. In the early days of professional soccer violent rivalries were common,
and pitch invasions and spectator violence were regular during the 1880s
(Walvin, 1986). In fact, most of the pre-World War I period of professional
soccer was associated with fairly routine crowd disturbances which, as noted
by Williams and Wagg(1991), would be considered small-scale by modern day

The period after World War I and through World War II saw a decline
in instances of crowd violence and misbehavior. In fact, during the period
1914-1940 Holt (1989) states that

Nowhere in the vast press coverage and literature of match
reports is there any reference to the growth of a violent, organized youth
subculture within football. Casual, individual violence was almost certainly
more common than today, but hooliganism in the collective and contemporary
sense did not take place at football matches (Holt, 1989, p. 333).


Crowd disturbances at soccer matches afflicted the early years of
the game, with incidents usually involving alcohol consumption and isolated
fist fights and swearing (Kerr, 1994). When there were riots or pitch invasions,
the targets were normally the referees or the players, in reaction to bad
calls or player misconduct, all contrasting with the organized pitch invasions
which became a common occurrence in the 1970s. However, soccer hooliganism
during the 1960s and 1970s was not peculiar to Britain. Williams et al. (1984)
noted that at a match in Peru in 1964 318 people were killed in a riot, 74
people died in Argentina in 1968, 69 in Russia in 1982 and 29 in Columbia
in the same year. However, what sets these incidents apart from the British
version of soccer hooliganism, is the fact that they were spontaneous reactions
to bad referee calls and emotional reactions to losing crucial games, not
organized violence.

The post-war years were boom years for the English game and this
was reflected in record ticket sales and attendances at the professional
soccer games. However, according to Murphy et al. (1990) “the after glow
of victory in the Second World War (started) to fade, the loss of Empire,
and slow economic growth” and at the same time there was “rising public concern
about the problem of working class youth, rock and roll, and especially the
‘Teddy Boys'” (p. 80).

Teddy Boys was the name given to a youth sub-cult of the late 1950s
characterized by a particular style of dress and hair style, dancing, rock
and roll, and a reputation for violence and bad behavior. The Teddy Boys
were also blamed for the rise in crowd disturbances at soccer games. Teddy
Boys were involved in a number of pitch invasions and mass brawls with opposing
fans at soccer matches (Murphy et al. 1990). However, in this early stage,
soccer hooliganism had not yet become a household term in Britain.

The next important stage for soccer hooliganism occurred with the
emergence of the skinhead craze during the late 1960s. Skinhead gangs cropped
up all over working class council estates, in public housing, and throughout
the towns and cities of Britain. Just as with gangs in the United States,
the skinhead gangs displayed loyalty and pride in their community. Heavy
drinking and fighting with rival gangs was a way of life for these young
men from the “rough working class” (Dunning et al., 1986, p. 38).

These same skinhead gangs went to soccer matches to support their
local teams. Although there was strong loyalty to a particular community,
on match days there occurred what Paul Harrison has described as ‘the
Bedouin effect’, “people from different housing estates who are ‘deadly
enemies’ all week can be allies on Saturdays in the face of outsiders from
another town” (Taylor, 1978, p. 155).

Areas behind the soccer goals are known as ‘ends’, and these
are traditional areas of soccer hooligan activity. The skinheads of the late
1960s and early 1970s took the territoriality of the housing estates into
the soccer stadiums. Rival soccer fans taunted at each other with gestures
and chants and derogatory songs designed to spark a fight between the two
(Canter, 1989). Soccer matches were the perfect venues to display “aggressive
masculine styles” such as heavy drinking, ability to fight, and

Pitch invasions, which were designed to either halt play or instigate
fights with rival hooligans from the opposing end, became common place. Special
football trains, which had been in use for years to transport soccer fans
to away games for a reasonable price, became venues for hooligan activity
in the form of vandalism and fighting. The mid-’70s saw the emergence of
the fighting crews’ who have become known as the early predecessors to the
superhooligans of the 1980s and 1990s. These gangs were attached to most
of the upper division professional soccer teams in Britain. The most notorious
and infamous of these fighting crews supported the London team Millwall Football
Club. In the winter of 1975 the English current affairs program Panorama
aired an in-depth profile of the Millwall fighting crew known as ‘F-troop’
(Canter, 1989).

The Millwall soccer hooligans had a reputation for being ‘hard’
as well as ‘crazy’. When at their home stadium, they occupied the area
behind the goal. Their most distinguishing trademark was the donning of surgical
shirts and hats. the Millwall hooligans were organized on the terraces by
fighting abilities and age. The youngest members of the group, known as the
‘Underfives’, would be situated alongside the rival hooligans. It was
their job to antagonize and entice the others to attack them or fight. Once
the fighting started the next group known as the ‘treatment’ would go
in. If the situation was not controlled adequately by the treatment then
the group known as ‘surgery’ would get involved. The surgery were the
real ‘nutters’ who were mostly in their 30s and 40s with previous criminal
records for violence. It was their job to “really put the boot in” (Canter
1989, p. 77).

The Millwall F-troop slowly disbanded during the late ‘70s as
key members were jailed and security measures at stadiums prevented the terrace
violence. However, the organization and planning that went into the activities
of members of F-troop was similar to that found in the super-hooligan groups.
There were also fighting crews associated with other teams such as, Liverpool,
Manchester’s Red Army, Chelsea, West Ham, Leeds, Birmingham. Almost all of
the professional soccer teams had their version of F-troop in the

Except for Millwall, the fighting crews of the other soccer teams
were a loose collection of individuals. Fighting that broke out was usually
started by the more fearless or well-known hooligans backed up by those who
happened to be in the vicinity. Only when examined in detail do the similarities
of these earlier fighting crews to the later super-hooligans begin to fade.
Unfortunately, 30 years later the hooliganism problem is alive and well and
bodily harm has escalated, in some cases, to murder.

As fashions changed the skinhead gangs slowly disappeared from the
terraces during the early 1970s, but the hooligans remained. The number of
pitch invasion incidents during this period increased (Murphy et al. 1990)
as soccer hooligans tried taking rival hooligans territory by force. With
the cooperation of police, the Football Association (the main governing body
of professional soccer in Britain), and the soccer club owners, fencing and
barriers were widely installed in an attempt to stop the pitch invasions
(William and Wagg, 1991). These preventive measures also served another important
purpose, that of segregating the rival soccer hooligans from each

However, the elaborate barricades and fences around the soccer pitch
designed to control soccer hooligans later resulted in tragedy. What these
fences did was cage up the possible soccer hooligans in one controlled section
of the stadium. These engagements became death traps on 15 April 1989, when
a rush of fans through the turnstiles at Hillborough Stadium in Sheffield
led to the deaths of 95 Liverpool supporters. Most of the deaths were caused
by crushing and suffocation as people were pushed and squeezed against the
fencing, unable to escape (Taylor, 1988). This, and other incidents, resulted
in the removal of all the fences and barriers at soccer stadiums across the
country. Risk of a similar incident happening again overshadowed the threat
of soccer hooliganism.

Management efforts were implemented throughout Britain to prevent
hooliganism activity both inside and outside the stadiums as rival groups
of fans were routinely escorted by police both to and from train stations
and stadiums. Outbreaks of mass fights and violent clashes between rival
soccer hooligan groups, common during the late 1960s and early 1970s, started
to subside. However, during the early to mid-1970s, another facet of soccer
hooliganism began to emerge as soccer hooligans began to throw objects as
weapons. Sharpened coins and darts were the favored weapons as they were
easily concealed and could be thrown long distances with reasonable

The ends of soccer stadiums fostered the development of a sense of
‘kinship’ amongst the hooligans. They were also the place where reputations
could be made within the hooligan element. Those individuals who were either
‘hard’ enough, crazy enough, or both, could attain ‘folklore’ status
as a “true nutter” of the soccer terraces.

Walvin (1986) gives an account of a ‘particularly nasty’ hooligan
called “Tiny,” a follower of the Chelsea Soccer Club of London. “Tiny” had
a reputation for instigating fights and was known as someone who could
‘hold his own’ in a fight. He would make lone charges against, for example,
50 opposing fans, more often then not causing them to break ranks and run.
He was finally given a life sentence for using a sawn-off shotgun and causing
serious injury to a rival group of hooligans (Walvin, 1986).

British authorities began to take soccer hooliganism seriously by
the mid-’70s, and calls for stiffer penalties were answered. Prison sentences,
fines, and other punishment for soccer-related offenses became more severe
than equivalent non-soccer related offenses, (Marsh, 1978). There was a slight
drop in the number of related soccer hooligan offenses, but the results of
the new laws were disappointing. Something more had to be done.

Heavy police presence, barricades and fencing, stiffer penalties,
and segregation of rival fans, were all measures that were received with
initial enthusiasm, but fell short when hooliganism continued despite these
measures. Authorities were at a loss as to how to deal with this serious

In the meantime, soccer hooligans continued “plying their trade”
in terraces across Britain. By the late 1970s the nature of soccer hooliganism
began to change when it became more difficult to engage in hooligan activity,
either at the game or adjacent to it. Management’s installing of closed circuit
television in the late 1970s and early 1980s made for easier identification
of hooligans, and forced the hooligans to take more care when conducting
their activities. Hooligans began to do most of their fighting and other
hooligan activity in the pubs and side streets of British city centers. They
would even show up at airports, truck stops, night clubs, and similar public
venues with the sole purpose of clashing with rival hooligans.

British soccer hooligan antics were not confined to the British Isles.
The rise in hooligan incidents during the early to mid-’70s led to further
troubling developments as incidents began to surface on continental Europe.
Up until 1974 the rest of Europe had been relatively hooligan-free; it was
something that happened in Britain. This all changed on 12 February 1974,
when Leeds United, an English soccer team from the north of England, played
for the European championship against the Lyons Football Club, based in France;
the match was played in Paris (Barnes, 1974). During this match a contingent
of Leeds soccer hooligans attacked French fans and ripped up seating and
other stadium fixtures, and used these items as missiles against the French
police. It was 50 minutes before the hooligans were dispersed or arrested.
This single incident brought English soccer hooliganism to Europe.

Incidents involving either local teams or the English national team
increased throughout the 1970s and continue to this day. Kerr (1994) believes
that the rise in English soccer hooliganism abroad was partly a result of
reactions to management measures taken at stadiums in England which made
it more difficult and risky to engage in hooligan activity. In a sense, Europe
was “easy pickings” for the hard core English hooligans who “reigned supreme
against fans who did not fight back and police who were unaccustomed and
ill-prepared to deal with them” (Kerr 1994, p.12).

People abroad had an image, encouraged by local media, “of the English
as a loutish, beer-drinking mob of football hooligans,” and “it was as if
the British had become a nation of hooligans football louts” (Walvin, 1994,
p. 193). English soccer hooligans were more than willing to perpetuate this
image. Relatedly, there was also a rise in British nationalism as these hooligan
incidents were on the increase. English hooligans derived a sense of national
pride from the fact that they believed they were the “hardest blokes in Europe”
(Williams et al. 1984, p. 35).

However, just as in Britain, the security forces in European countries
began to fight back against these hooligans. The police in Germany, France,
Italy, and Spain, used more heavy-handed tactics than those employed in Britain.
Tear gas, rubber bullets, riot sticks and water cannons were routinely used
by European police to quell troubles caused by English soccer

Only much later, because of their long-standing tradition as protectors
and defenders, did the British police use similar tactics. However, the
aggressive tactics of the police abroad did not deter the hooligans who thrived
on the excitement of clashes with riot police (Buford, 1991). On the continent
most hooligan activities conducted by the English occurred outside of the
stadiums. Williams, et. al. (1994), describe English soccer hooligans in
Spain destroying cafes and bars, beating up locals, clashing with Spanish
youths, rioting in towns, looting, and committing other criminal acts, with
alcohol consumption being blamed for the majority of these incidents. In
retrospect, from 1974 to the present, there has not been a game played, on
or off the continent, between an English team and a European side that wasn’t
marred by some form of hooligan activity, either in the stadium or outside

As Carter (1989) notes:

Every preventative measure can be combated by the hooligans.
Missile-throwing takes the place of face-to-face confrontation, segregation
within the ground displaces the aggression to outside the ground, a police
presence forces anyone looking for trouble to plan ahead. Therefore the symptoms
change but the illness remains the same (p. 123).


And although over time, management measures have reduced in-stadium
incidences of this illness, negative side-effects of the measures led to,
by 1986, the presence of a super-strain of the original hooligan figure of
the early 1960s – a much more covert, rooted, organized, and powerful menace
to management than its predecessor.


Canter, D. (1989). Football in its place. London:

Darbyshire, N. (1987, May 9). Operation own goal. The

Dunning, E. Murphy, P.J., & Williams, J. (1986). Spectator violence
at football matches: toward a sociological explanation. British Journal
Of Sociology
. 37, (2).

Holt, R. (1989). Sport and the British. Oxford: Oxford University

Hornby, N. (1992). Fever pitch. London: Victor Gollancz.

Keel, P. (1987, January 8). Slashed fan identified mob boss, court
told. The Guardian.

Kerr, J., H. (1994). Understanding soccer hooliganism. Buckingham,
England: Open University Press.

Marsh, P. (1978). The illusion of violence. Dent:

Murphy, P., Williams, J., & Dunning, E. (1990). Football on
trial: spectator violence and development in the football world
. London:

Murray, B. (1984). The old firm: sectarianism, sport, and society
in Scotland
. Edinburgh: J. Donald Publishers.

Popplewell, O. (1986). Committee of enquiry into crowd safety and
control at sports grounds. Final report. London: HMSO, 6.

Taylor, I. (1984). British soccer after Brussels. Sociology of
Sport Journal
No.4, pgs. 171-91.

Taylor, R. (1992). Football and its fans: supporters and their
relations with the game, 1885-1985
. Leicester, England: Leicester University

Trivizas. (1980).

Walvin, J. (1994). The people’s game. London: Mainstream

Walvin, J. (1986). Football and the decline of Britain. London:
Macmillan Press Ltd.

Williams, J., & Wagg, S. (Eds). (1991). British football and
social change: getting into Europe
. Leicester, England: Leicester University

Williams, J., & Wagg, S. (Eds). (1994). Hooligans abroad:
the behavior and control of English fans in continental Europe
. London:
Routledge and Keegan Paul.

2017-08-07T15:39:54-05:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Facilities, Sports History, Sports Management, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Menaces to Management: A Developmental View of British Soccer Hooligans, 1961-1986

Mind Zone — Compete Like The Pros

When we begin to compete in golf, what can we learn from the professionals to help us play at our best?

Be Prepared

Essential for competition is putting in time and effort on the driving range and putting green. This insures not only the proper execution of your golf skills, but also the confidence that you have prepared for the competition.

The last thing you want to do is enter a tournament having to work on your swing mechanics during important rounds. The mind needs to be free to focus on targets and a plan to play the course in as few strokes as possible.

Become Familiar With the Course

All of us are familiar with the home field/court advantage in almost all sports. The same holds true in golf.

The more you feel at home and like you’ve been there before, the more you feel secure and at ease. If you haven’t played the course before, get there ahead of time to become familiar and comfortable with it. Find out where the pro shop is, the snack bar, the driving range and putting green. If you can’t play the course ahead of time, then at least know how the course plays — the length, the trouble spots, the speed and slope of the greens.

Get Into a Routine

Part of the home court advantage is the establishment of a regular consistent familiar routine. This applies to a pre-course, a pre-round and a pre-shot routine.


Pack and load up your golf gear the night before. On the morning of the tournament, get up early and eat a healthy breakfast. Give yourself some time to sit down, relax and mentally practice successfully executing all the clubs in your bag. Then picture yourself successfully handling all the potential problem golf situations for the day. End up by bringing back in your mind’s eye an earlier round in which you played unusually well.

Drive leisurely to the golf course listening to relaxing, laid back music. Ensure that you arrive at the course 45 minutes to an hour prior to tee time.


Use this time to gently stretch your golfing muscles and to warm up your swing for the day. Remember this is not a time to practice on the driving range, but simply a time to loosen up and establish a rhythm and a swing tempo for your various clubs. On the putting green, establish a feel for the speed and direction of your putts.

Pre-Shot. Establish a regular, consistent routine prior to the striking of each ball, including the putts. During this time, allow only rational, positive swing thoughts which will aid you for the upcoming shot.

Have a Plan

A plan, any plan, is better than no plan. The plan gives structure to your thinking and prevents you from having to over-think every shot eventuality.

You may plan on being very aggressive and fly every ball for precise targets. Or you may be just the opposite and decide to hit only safe, high-percentage targets. And then again you may be more intermediate and swing in general to safe targets, but get very aggressive within 100 yards of the pin.

Remember there will be a strong tendency to abandon your plan after either getting down or up in the score. When you’re down, you will find yourself wanting to make it up all at once and become excessively aggressive. When you are up in your score or playing from the front, the opposite occurs. You will tend to play not to lose as opposed to play to win and become exceedingly cautious.

Think Vanilla

What is your normal reaction to a stress event, such as missing a two-foot birdie putt? How would you rate it on a scale ranging from 1 to 10, where 1 is extremely calm and 10 is extremely hyper? Let’s say, it is an 8. On tournament day, try to dampen everything so that you respond only to, say, a 5 level. This will help neutralize the natural tendency for the body and mind to become overly reactive during competition.

With further practice, you may become even more bland and begin to respond at a more desirable 2 or 3 level.

Expect the Unexpected

No matter how you prepared for the competition or how well you are playing, expect that something will go wrong. You may have forgotten to bring your sand wedge. You may find your almost perfect drive hitting a hidden impediment on the fairway and bouncing out of bounds. Or, you may even find another golfer playing your ball. If you are ready for any of these probable eventualities, you won’t get caught off guard and will have a plan to deal with them. But, if you expect everything to be perfect, you are likely to get frustrated and lose control when the first thing goes wrong.

Expect to Play Well

At the same time though, expect to play well. Why not? You’ve prepared yourself and done everything necessary for success. Now it’s necessary to begin to believe and develop the ideal mental pictures and self-talk to support this success.

Remember you don’t have to put unnecessary pressure on yourself by saying such things as, “I have to, got to, or must play well.” You don’t have to do anything. It would be desirable to play up to your capabilities though, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t. Expect it!

Have Fun

It can’t be emphasized enough the importance of choosing to enjoy your golf round. Golf is supposed to be sport and/or recreation to be enjoyed. Psychology tells us very clearly that anything we do that is followed by a positive consequence, we tend to repeat. So if you want to make golf a game for a lifetime, you better keep it fun.

And, if you plan on playing in the ideal mind zone that top pros talk about, then you better include fun into the mix.

Research and experience tells that fun is one of the necessary ingredients in achieving this zone.

If you can incorporate the above recommendations on a consistent basis, you are bound to play more relaxed and confident, drop strokes from your score, and enjoy better the game of golf!

2017-08-07T15:40:39-05:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Coaching, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Mind Zone — Compete Like The Pros