Cover image for Encyclopedia of world sport : from ancient times to the present
Encyclopedia of world sport : from ancient times to the present
Levinson, David, 1947-
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.

Physical Description:
xvii, 488 pages ; 26 cm
General Note:
Condensation of 3 vol. work published in 1996.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV567 .E55 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GV567 .E55 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Spanning the wide world of sports, this volume is packed with everything you could possibly want to know about hundreds of sports. Along with detailed information on how sports are played around the world, the Encyclopedia of World Sport explores emotions and issues surrounding the sportinglife and looks at sport as an essential part of the human experience. Readers will find fascinating entries on baseball and badminton, tennis and takraw, as well as on an incredible range of activities played around the globe from ancient times up to the present. Lucid and authoritative, thiswork--called "the newest sporting bible" by The Times of London--covers every Olympic sport, obscure activities such as buzkashi and jousting, and indigenous games in dozens of nations. In addition to its coverage of individual sports, the Encyclopedia examines the history and evolution of sport as a societal institution as well as the events and influences shaping the contemporary sporting world. Entries provide unique coverage of aggression, ethics, sports psychology, media, lawand medicine, the development of women's sports, and the business and politics of modern sport. The Encyclopedia of World Sport is the definitive reference on the history, practice, and culture of sports throughout the world.

Author Notes

About the Editors: David Levinson is an anthropologist, editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of World Cultures, and a specialist in multicultural research. Karen Christensen is a journalist, professional reference book editor, and author of several environmental books. They both live in Massachusetts. Editorial Board: John Bale, Keele University, UK; Alyce Cheska, University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana; Garry Chick, University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana; Allen Guttmann, Amherst College; Richard Holt, Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium; Donald G. Kyle, University of Texas, Arlington; JohnW. Loy, University of Otago, New Zealand; Roberta J. Park, University of California, Berkeley. Contributors include leading sports historians, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, and other scholars from around the world.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Named one of the Outstanding Reference Sources for 1996 by the Reference Sources Committee, ALA Reference User Services Association, this set covers both contemporary and obsolete sports. Articles define the sport, discuss its origins and development of equipment, variations of the sport, and the outlook. Illustrations show competitors, and, where applicable, diagrams of playing fields. In addition, the encyclopedia includes articles on issues such as aggression, commercialization of sports, and the role of religion and ritual. Unlike many general encyclopedias, Encyclopedia of World Sport does not include lists of champions or other statistics [RBB My 15 97].

Library Journal Review

This is the first edition of a new sports encyclopedia that will almost surely become one of the standards of the field. Each of the three volumes contains signed essays concerning various sports or sports topics. Sports entries range from acrobatics to yachting and attempt to give an international rather than just an American perspective. The coverage of sports topics is less comprehensive: in order to find any discussion of professionalism vs. amateurism, for instance, the reader must first refer to the index because no essay is devoted to the subject. However, there are the expected entries on current topics such as the Animal Rights Movement and sport psychology. The index is a well done and essential part of this encyclopedia. Any library that can afford the price should purchase this set. [This title was chosen as one of LJ's Best Reference Books of 1996; see p. 36-40.]‘Terry Jo Madden, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up‘This three-volume set promotes itself as the "most comprehensive historical and cross-cultural survey of sport ever published," and justifiably so. While not the first place to turn to for biographical information, statistics, records, and rules, this scholarly yet comprehensible resource does a solid job of chronicling the history and societal impact of various sports from around the world. Alphabetically arranged from Acrobatics to Yachting, the 250 signed entries range in length from 500 to 8000 words; each one is followed by a bibliography. Some sports are presented under more than one heading, e.g., baseball has entries under Baseball, Finnish; Baseball, Japanese; Baseball, Latin America; and Baseball, North American. There are also topical entries such as Aggression, Ethics, Ritual, Technology, and Violence. Cross-referencing is extensive. A number of sidebars, diagrams, and black-and-white photographs appear throughout. Appendixes include a 48-page compilation of all the bibliographies that appear in the set, a list of the 150 contributors, and an extensive index. This encyclopedia will be of great value to students and will also appeal to sports-minded leisure readers. The emphasis on the history and societal influence of athletics will keep the set from quickly becoming dated as is often the case with sports reference books that rely heavily on statistics, scores, and records.‘Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The editors leave to others the detailed description of rules and records that one might expect from the title. Rather, this set concerns itself with 300 sports (not games) and includes references to hundreds of other related activities. Although it includes descriptions of how the sports are played, along with basic rules and diagrams of playing surfaces, its more general aim is to explore and explain sport as a societal institution from four perspectives: sport in society, the culture of sport, sporting competition, and scholarly study of sport. The editors stress the global nature of sport and include a wide sampling from around the world, from acrobatics and buzkashi to shinty and yachting. The set also includes topical entries such as "Values," "Worker Sports," and "Drugs and Drug Testing." An excellent buy for general and undergraduate libraries wishing to expand access to the multicultural aspects of sport. T. A. Tollman; University of Nebraska at Omaha