Sports around the World

History, Culture, and Practice

by John Nauright and Charles Parrish, Editors


For billions of sports fans across all countries and ethnicities around the globe, sports aren't merely a "hobby" or a "pastime." The passion these individuals have for their sport of choice goes beyond mere interest; in many cases, aside from their direct family, sports constitute the most important aspect of their lives.

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April 2012


Pages 1848
Volumes 4
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Culture
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This multivolume set is much more than a collection of essays on sports and sporting cultures from around the world: it also details how and why sports are played wherever they exist, and examines key charismatic athletes from around the world who have transcended their sports.

Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice provides a unique, global overview of sports and sports cultures. Unlike most works of this type, this book provides both essays that examine general topics, such as globalization and sport, international relations and sport, and tourism and sport, as well as essays on sports history, culture, and practice in world regions—for example, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and Oceania—in order to provide a more global perspective. These essays are followed by entries on specific sports, world athletes, stadiums and arenas, famous games and matches, and major controversies.

Spanning topics as varied as modern professional cycling to the fictional movie Rocky to the deadly ball game of the ancient Mayans, the first three volumes contain overview essays and entries for specific sports that have been and are currently practiced around the world. The fourth volume provides a compendium of information on the winners of major sporting competitions from around the world.

Readers will gain invaluable insights into how sports have been enjoyed throughout all of human culture, and more fully comprehend their cultural contexts. The entries provide suggestions for further reading on each topic—helpful to general readers, students with school projects, university students and academics alike. Additionally, the four-volume Sports Around the World spotlights key charismatic athletes who have changed a sport or become more than just an outstanding player.


  • Nearly 900 entries cover most aspects of sport from around the world
  • Contributions from more than 200 distinguished scholars, such as Mark Dyreson, Henning Eichberg, Malcolm MacLean, S.W. Pope, and Rob Ruck
  • Entries on players, stadiums, arenas, famous games and matches, major scandals, and disasters
  • Lists of Olympic medalists for all events since 1896 as well as lists of winners of major events such as the FIFA World Cup and MLB World Series
  • Further reading selections provide direction for in-depth analysis of each event, sport, personality, or issue discussed


  • Provides the most thorough and widespread coverage of sports around the world to date
  • Supplies up-to-date analyses of key personalities, events, and concepts that have shaped the world of sports
  • Written by expert authors to provide entries with depth of analysis for sports fanatics while maintaining a broad appeal to general readers
Author Info

John Nauright, PhD, is director of the Academy of International Sport and professor of sport management at George Mason University in Fairfax and Manassas, VA, and visiting professor of cultural studies at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. He holds a doctorate in history from Queen's University in Canada and is author or editor of 12 books, including Long Run to Freedom: Sport, Cultures and Identities in South Africa; The New Sport Management Reader; and Routledge Companion to Sports History.

Charles Parrish teaches in the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. He holds a masters degree in sport management from Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, and is currently completing work studying fan groups of Major League Soccer clubs for his doctorate. Parrish has also recently completed research on expressions of masculinity among male Argentinean soccer fans.



"With more than 200 international contributors, this mammoth collection of some 800 essays and entries discusses and dissects the world of sports. . . . Summing Up: Recommended."Choice


Best Reference of 2012 — Library Journal

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