The capacity of sporting events to entertain and excite participants and spectators has long been appreciated by aficionados and has begun to attract the interest of anthropologists. This workshop explores ways in which sport and celebration are staged in a range of social and competitive settings.
The capacity of sporting events to entertain and excite participants and spectators has long been appreciated by aficionados and has more recently begun to attract the interest of anthropologists. Events ranging from the Olympic Games to 'world cups' of many different sorts - not to mention more routine professional and amateur competitions - demonstrate the remarkable popularity, profitability and power that may be harnessed through the staging of sporting activities. What is also evident is that stylised and elaborate celebrations of many kinds have become an integral and expected component of sporting events. Indeed, the action on the field of play is often far less compelling than the 'play' that occurs around and beyond it. This occurs not only at national and global sporting events that command exhaustive media coverage but may also enter into the staging of sports and celebrations at decidedly more mundane levels of competition. This workshop will explore the ways in which sport and celebration are staged in a wide range of social and competitive settings. Specifying the processes and purposes of those involved in various dimensions of staging of sport and celebration offers a promising point of entry into understanding the capacities and powers evident within these arenas. What we seek are accounts of the myriad ways in which individuals and members of groups strive to construct celebrations connected to sport as a means to pursue larger or smaller, immediate or subsequent, and expressive or instrumental purposes.