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The legacy of Rational Recreation

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Horace Reid Dennis

on 25 November 2016

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Transcript of The legacy of Rational Recreation

The legacy of Rational Recreation
Before we can understand how sports have developed, we first have to appreciate that sport is not a separate entity but an integral part of society.
You will need to understand three basic phases in british society
(1) Pre-Industrial society
(2) Industrialisation
(3) Post-Industrial society
Sport & Society
Developments in sport tend to mirror the developments in society

eg: as society began to become civilized so too did many of the sporting recreations of the time. This was reflected in the development of rules, skills and etiquette for many games.
Pre-Industrialization (pre -1750)
The majority of the population lived in
rural areas
and worked on the land. The upper classes were the wealthy landowners who held political power.

The working classes has
little free time
and their lives were harsh, but they had a strong sense of community that would be lost with the onset of industrialization.
Due to this lack of free time, their recreations only took place
and mostly on
religious holidays
and festivals.

As they did not participate regularly in recreational activities, many of the activities did not develop structurally but retained their traditional nature of over hundreds of years. The term given to this type of recreation was
'popular recreation'
eg: mob football. The agricultural workers were also uneducated, as schooling was not to become compulsory until 1870, whereas the upper class had been educated in their elite public schools for centuries.
The Victorian era (1839-1901)
industrial revolution (1750-1850)
was in full operation during Victoria's reign and most peoples lives had undergone dramatic changes, most notably the
move from the countryside to the towns
(urbanisation) with cramped living and working conditions.

The working week consisted of 12 hour days, 6 days a week and the 7th days the working class had to attend church - therefore little time for rest and recreation.

The material prosperity
(growing economy)
that was accumulating did do at a cost to the environment and people lives. Issues such as urban squalor, spoiled landscapes and dislocated communities would have to be tackled.
A drive to a new model...
Key acts;
(1) The reform and factory act (1832)
(2) The ten hours act (1847)
(3) The factory act (1878)

The working class benefited form some
more free time
with the advent of
Saturday half a day
, early closing for shop workers on a
and from 1870, the granting of
bank holidays.

The concept of the bank holidays was a significant step forward in the provision of nationally recognised leisure time for all.
Wages started to increase
and the working classes has some disposable income.
Transport started to develop
( Rivers & Canals - Railways) Enabling goods, people and ideas to be transported nationally and internationally.

Rational Recreation...
The old popular recreation were giving way to
rational recreation
. Popular recreations were finding it hard to survive in this newly civilised and increasing moral environment.

cramped living conditions
made it virtually impossible for popular recreations like mob football to survive. The middle and upper classes required
disciplined and productive workers
, and were also keen to suppress excessive behaviour amongst the working classes. Crowds of working class people involved in riotous behaviour were considered to a threat to the authorities, properties and productivity. It was deemed necessary to control leisure, as society was suffering political unrest in the form of discontented workforce and appalling problems for public health.
Social Class
Social class was also the term that was being redefined during this era.
Pre-Industrialization Britain was generally split into two main classes (upper & lower).
The middle classes emerged as a result of the
industrial revolution

Amateurism & Professionalism
Amateurism was the dominant force in Britain, as it was the code established by the gentry in their public schools.
The early amateurs were drawn from the elite social classes, hence the term
'gentleman amateur' -
that is , one who is from the gentry or upper classes and who does not earn money from the sport.

Amateurism was also concerned with the manner in which the sport was played. Winning alone was not considered important but how your performed was seen as being of equal importance.
You were expected to
play fairly
with respect for your opponents
. Many believe that this value, still promoted in british sport today has held us back when it comes to being hungry for success at major sporting competitions.
Direct contrast to the..... American belief that winning is the most important thing!!!

Social reform.....
Social reform gathered momentum....... this led to development for the poor with the assistance of
People who carry out charitable or benevolent actions.

Education system was addressed in 1870
British Empire had expanded (Britain exported its goods and its customs, government and religion, as well as its sporting recreations, to the rest of the world via soldiers.
The church were to actively use rational sport to encourage attendance and instill more codes of behaviour (Muscular Christianity)
Temperance Movement
= A movement practicing restraint or moderation, especially abstinence from alcoholic drink.

Professional Sport.....
Professional sport is a much older concept than amateurism and can be traced as far back as the gladiators of ancient Rome.
Like professional sport performers of today, gladiators were also paid for their performances, trained seriously and provided entertainment for the masses.

In Britain, the concept of professional sport became tainted with
social class snobbery.
The working classes needed to be paid to play sport, as they could not afford to take time off work without pay.
In 1984, the Rugby football union and northern union split due to the refusal of the sports authorities to allow northern players enough leisure time to compete on the same basis as players in the south. The issue of
Broken Time payments
was to eventually lead to professionalisation of sports such as football and rugby.
Payments made to compensate working class players for loss of earnings while playing sports such as football and Rugby.
Contract to compete.....
Whenever we play sport, we have entered into an
unwritten mutual agreement
with our opponents.
What is the nature of such a contract to compete.... It is an
unwritten agreement
whereby opponents have mutually agreed to:
Abide by the written and unwritten rules of the sport
Always give 100% effort
Allow opponents to demonstrate their skill
Accept and understand the need for codes of behaviour such as sportsmanship and etiquette eg: shaking hands before the start of a football match

Sportsmanship & Gamesmanship
is synonymous with fair play. It is a quality displayed by a person or team such as fairness, generosity, observance of the written and unwritten rules, and knowing how to lose gracefully and honorably.

is not breaking the rules but bending the rules in order to gain an advantage. An example would be tying your shoelace before your opponent is about to serve in tennis. Technically the written rules have not been broken but it is an unethical, tactical ploy to put the opponent off.
Characteristics of popular recreation;
Being occasional due to little free time
Having only a few simple unwritten rules
The activity being participation-based rather than spectator based
Physical force rather than skill
Many injuries /violent
Lower class involvement
Local rather than regional or national events
Limited structure, equipment/facilities

Characteristics of rational recreation;

Regular participation
Complex written rules
Highly structured
Spectator and participation based
Use of refined skills rather than force
Being a middle to upper class development
Being regionally & nationally based
Improved equipment & facilities

Sometimes such a contract may be broken, when;

These rules are not followed
Drugs used to enhance performance

Amateurism .....
It was an ideal based upon participating in sport for the love of it rather than for monetary gain, and the participation was deemed more important than winning.

Many amateur performers struggled in the 20th century with commercial pressures and offers of monetary rewards. This led to a situation where some athletes were receiving under the table payments leading to the term

A term describing amateur performers who receive payments secretly.

Patron = A person who sponsors any kind of athlete or artist from their private funds

Can be defined as as
physical endeavor with moral integrity
. It became a cult in the latter part of the 19th century, with its foundations in the English public schools.

These schools took serious pride in their role of producing gentlemen with qualities of honour, integrity, courage and leadership.
Athleticism could only be developed by instilling a strong moral code and was considered to nurture:

Moral qualities such as working as part of a team and conforming with authority
Physical qualities, such as the value and enjoyment of a healthy lifestyle, the correction of the temptation to over study and the ability to learn to cope with winning and losing in a competitive society.
Spiritual links of godliness and manliness
(Muscular Christianity)

Professionalism at a price.....
Many professional performers have a
high status
in their sport and if the sport receives a
high level of media coverage they become household names.

The pressure to perform consistently and at a high level can cause the win at all cost ethic to be adhered to, overriding the more traditional british values associated with sport.

Therefore, deviant behaviour in the form of aggression, cheating and even doping can be considered necessary in order to win

Sponsorships and endorsements bring with them their own pressures, particularly expecting the performer to make regular appearances, sponsors might even encourage a performer to perform when injured.

Patron = A person who sponsors any kind of athlete or artist from their private funds
Olympism - The olympic ideal.....
The six goals of the olympic movement are incorporated in the term olympism.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin (founder of IOC) visited England in the 19th century and was so impressed with the moral values the english public schools attached to sport that he established the modern olympic games, in 1896, along similar principles.

(1) Personal excellence
(2) Sport as education
(3) Cultural exchange
(4) Mass participation
(5) Fair play
(6) International understanding

The olympic oath,
taken by an athlete on behalf of all competitors, states;
In the name of all competitors i promise that we shall take part in these olympic games respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them in the true spirit of sportsmanship'

Personal Excellence.....
This competition is the largest in the world and allows athletes from the olympic sports to show their individual level of excellence.
Conversely, athletes from sports not accepted as part of the olympic programme fight had to be able to display their levels of excellence. Each year more and more sports become integrated into the olympic programme.

The games used to only include amateur sports but today the blurring of amateurism has made this more difficult.
Consequently sports such as tennis and basketball are also now included
. It could be argued that for these sports the olympics is not their real showcase (platform) and their level of performance may be best displayed at tournaments such as Wimbledon or NBA.
Furthermore..... The controversy of doping also brings into question whether all olympic records have been won by natural ability or whether it is the excellence of the laboratories that have proven more significant.

Sport as education.....
People learn many things from participating in sport, from motor skills to appreciation for movement, to values such as working with other people.
The national olympic committee (NOC) run olympic days involving schools in an effort to boost participation in sport and the popularity of the games.
Through the extensive media coverage we about about many different sports.

Cultural Exchange.....
As an international competition many different countries and cultures are involved.

Athletes travel to many different countries and again through the media the rest of the world often learns about the host cities and the cultures of the competing countries.

However, it could also be suggested that the globalization of sport and particularly the americanization of sports are beginning to make traditional sports less obvious.

Mass Participation.....
Sports for all is a movement promoting the olympic ideal that sport is a human right for everyone regardless of race, social class and sex.
The olympic games is the largest competition in the world and as such is viewed by millions of people.
It is widely recognised that extensive media coverage can boost participation figures at grass roots level. National olympic committee are supposed to make a policy to increase participation overall.
Governing bodies and the IOC have been implementing policies to reduce discrimination in their sports and events, and increase participation in groups that have traditionally not been overly associated with the sport.

Fair Play.....
This value has been very important in the sports world since the 19th century when the middle and upper classes in England made it an integral part of participating in sport.
Also known as sportsmanship it is the observance not only the rules but also the spirit of the game. It is the essence of the contract to compete.
The IOC have taken a stance on drugs in sport by:
Coordinating their efforts in the prevention of drug taking
Sponsoring conferences
Accrediting labs
Establishing a list of banned substances.

International Understanding.....
Olympic games was canceled for world war 2
The games have been affected by wider political situations/events surrounding them as for the athletic achievements.
One of the key reasons for this is that the games have provided a focus for the country hosting the event.
Their political systems are given prominent media coverage and instances have occurred when governments have used this to promote their political message.

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