Cover image for Sports : the complete visual reference
Sports : the complete visual reference
Fortin, François.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Willowdale, Ont. Buffalo, N.Y. : Firefly Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 372 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Oversize
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Oversize
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV731 .F67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Sports is a comprehensive reference to 125 amateur and professional sports, featuring classic Olympic athletic events (track and field, aquatics, gymnastics, combat sports, and equestrian events), as well as team, individual and motor sports (boxing, hockey, tennis, skiing, soccer, basketball, and Formula 1).

With one thousand annotated illustrations and four hundred color photographs, this book explains the games' history, rules, strategies, facilities and equipment. In addition, there are highlights of the greatest players from the past and present, analyses of changes in technology and comparisons of performance over the years.

The presentation of the information is fascinating for browsers and fans. How big is a soccer pitch? What are the four types of tennis court surface? How do you throw the hammer? It is all here, plus three indices (terms, symbols and illustrations).

Athlete profiles that list physical and mental requirements for each sport are invaluable guides for young athletes choosing a sport.

For a full table of contents and sample page spreads, visit:

Author Notes

Francois Fortin heads the editorial group that created the Firefly Visual Dictionary . Creating Sports spanned five years by a creative team of 40 editors, writers and illustrators.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This inexpensive encyclopedia aims to be a comprehensive reference source on 120 contemporary sports (including what are known as "extreme sports"), pulling together the history, physical environment for competitions, roles of the players and officials, specific terms and expressions, and dynamics of each. All of this is done with an emphasis on visual presentation, and each entry includes copious illustrations. The various sports are broken down into chapters, beginning with "Track and Field," which surveys 37 events, to "Aerial Sports," which includes only one, parachuting. Coverage is wide-ranging, encompassing "Sports on Wheels" (skateboarding, roller hockey, and in-line skating), and "Sports of Aestheticism," or bodybuilding. Among other individual contemporary sports that are treated are BMX and mountain biking, trampoline, bandy (played on ice with a stick and ball but more similar to soccer than ice hockey), pelota vasca (or Basque ball, a court game related to jai alai), and petanque (similar to lawn bowling), as well as the more familiar basketball, boxing, and golf. Treatment of individual sports ranges from one to six pages. Each entry includes a short history of the sport, an explanation of the game, basic rules, and computer graphics illustrating the equipment and playing field (with dimensions) and positions of the players. These graphics are the volume's strong suit. Many entries also include photos of past champions or other illustrations that display some part of the sport's history. An interesting element of many entries is the player profile, which highlights the physical and psychological qualities or daily training regimens of the athletes. Attractive illustrations and the inclusion of many newer and extreme sports make this volume highly recommended for purchase for both reference and circulating collections in school and public libraries.Reference Books in BriefThe following is a list of additional recent and recommended reference sources.

Library Journal Review

This book is designed to provide the reader with the history, rules, strategies, and equipment for 127 sports played worldwide. A combination of graphics, concise text, and photos enables the reader to quickly find visual guidelines and information about a variety of sports, including the classic Olympic events. Each category (Track and Field, Snow Sports, Ball Sports, etc.) is subdivided into individual events, featured on two or three colorful pages. Traditional as well as less traditional athletics are covered, such as BMX racing, in-line skating, snowboarding, and skateboarding. The format is easy to use and complete with a detailed table of contents and index. A good, up-to-date reference source for public and school libraries."Larry R. Little, Penticton P.L., BC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Fortin's impressive book describes and illustrates approximately 125 sports. New sports such as mountain biking, BMX, in-line skating, parachuting, and rock climbing are included as well as classic Olympic events. Motorized-vehicle and combat sports are also described. Sports are arranged by type of event, summarizing their history and evolution to modern times, equipment, playing field, general techniques, and specific movements, accompanied by vivid color illustrations. Small photographs of lauded past champions and tales of their accomplishments are given for some sports. Since the most pages allotted to any sport is six, for more detailed information readers obviously need to use other sources such as Human Kinetics' The Sports Rules Book (1998) or a book about the specific sport. Libraries that already hold Diagram Group's Rules of the Game (1995) will notice similarities, but the quality of illustrations in Fortin's book are superior. This book should be popular for fans of the Olympics. For libraries at all levels. J. A. Badics; Eastern Michigan University



Introduction Pushing the limits of one's abilities is both a personal undertaking and an experience common to all sporting endeavors. There could therefore be as many definitions of "sports" as there are athletes. All sports, however, share one need: rules that establish a fair framework within which to place performances. This basic principle is the only connection between Olympiads of Antiquity, which had an essentially religious nature, and the "physical culture" of the 19th century, considered a form of training and education. The notion of pleasure, without which today's athletes -- including professionals -- could not reach the highest levels, gradually came to the fore over the course of the 20th century. A number of factors led to the emergence of modern sports. The British were largely responsible for setting structures; the modernization of performance measurement led to the creation and keeping of records; and the birth of the Olympic movement was a key event in popularizing sports and games. In more recent times, the social and economic impact of sport has grown considerably thanks to an explosion in media coverage. A massive infusion of money has encouraged the circulation of funds from organizations to team owners, and finally to the athletes themselves. In the current sports environment, the interests of athletes, sponsors, and broadcasters are tightly linked and dependent on viewer ratings. *** In the late 19th century, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, an active proponent of the benefits of physical exercise, decided to bring the modern Olympics to life. The Games were to be founded on a democratic search for perfection -- a concept inherited from the ancient games. De Coubertin was responsible for the creation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by the Congrès de Paris in June 1894, and the first Games of the modern era were played in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Although special stamps were issued along with government funding, it took the assistance of a Russian millionaire (George Avenarius) for the stadium to be finished on time. The opening ceremonies took place before an audience of 70,000 -- public enthusiasm was spectacular -- and 311 athletes from 14 countries competed in nine events. De Coubertin played a major role in the Olympic organization. He chaired the IOC until 1925, writing the Olympic Charter and Protocol, the athletes' oath, and the protocol for the opening and closing ceremonies. He took part in all decisions and devoted all his energy to developing the spirit of the modern Olympics according to his ideals. For him, the athletes' commitment to convey, through competition, "their concept of honor and impartiality regarding sport to the same degree as their physical training" provided an example of the kind of harmony that would transcend narrow nationalism and individual glory. The Olympic symbols and ceremony protocols that de Coubertin created include: The Olympic motto: Citius (swifter), altius (higher), fortius (stronger). Borrowed from a French cleric, the words refer to the struggle to outdo oneself, the desire and courage needed in competition, and the three basic activities in track and field: running, jumping, and throwing. The Olympic emblem, which appears on the Olympic flag. There are five interlacing rings, which symbolize the five continents and the friendship that unites all people on Earth. Each nation has at least one of the colors of the Olympic flag on its own flag. *** Today, sport is an international cultural phenomenon, conveying the social values of fame and success. Many commercial brands try to take advantage of the Olympics' prestigious image. Sports, broadcast live throughout the world, have gone beyond national borders by transforming their financing from gate receipts to revenues from television and sponsors. This globalization has resulted in a consolidation of structures to form a complex network linking sports institutions, athletes' agents, commercial partners (usually manufacturers), and broadcasters. The two major currents of modern sport, amateurism (exemplified by the Olympics) and professionalism, have merged. Seeking larger audiences, and thus a source of greater revenues, many sports are changing to make broadcasting easier. The choices of sites and dates and competition formats are being changed to adapt to laws of the marketplace, and the Olympic movement has not escaped this transformation. The 1960 Olympics marked a turning point, with the sale of television rights. Since then, the number of competitions has grown steadily, audiences have expanded considerably, and private sponsors seeking greater visibility have been increasingly attracted to the Games. The ever-growing popularity of professional sports has meant record-setting in the professional arena where, in many cases, the athletes are the best. The Olympics officially abandoned amateurism in 1981, and commercial exploitation of the Olympic symbols was authorized in 1986. These two decisions by the IOC led to an explosion in revenues, and other events of global interest (World Cup soccer, Formula 1 racing, and tennis and golf tournaments, to name a few) followed suit. The biggest sports events are now retransmitted to more than 200 countries, have viewers numbering in the billions, and generate revenues in the many hundreds of millions of dollars. *** This full-scale entry of sport into the world of showbiz and high performance has not been without its problems. The use of doping substances to improve performances is just one example. The public's identification with athletes is based on the principle of transparency: exploits are achieved in front of a huge number of spectators. For viewers, this corresponds, legitimately, to a guarantee of truth and reality, but it places athletes in a contradictory position. Their income is based on the marketability of their results: as long as they are a profitable investment, the sky's the limit. The objective of the athlete's employers or sponsors is to reduce the uncertainty associated with athletic endeavor so that they can predict the economic returns. Athletes must therefore provide reliable performances, even though the constant increase in effort required pushes them ever closer to the natural limits of the human body. Forced to stake out a clear position, international authorities count on anti-doping controls to settle questions of contested performances. Beyond this official and dominant current of thought, however, there have been a few notable initiatives in different directions. The International Powerlifting Federation, for instance, keeps sets of records in two categories: with drug testing, and without drug testing. Nevertheless, a new type of elite athlete seems to have sprung up precisely to defy the constraints of contemporary sport; these athletes can both meet the obligation to produce results and handle media pressure. Alain Prost in Formula 1, Michael Jordan in basketball, Wayne Gretzky in ice hockey, and Greg Norman in golf, for example, in spite of the enormous expectations placed upon them, became legendary for their ability to stay at the top of their game over exceptionally long careers. By accumulating the most prestigious titles in their sports, they became models whose influence extends beyond sport. Meanwhile, there has been spectacular growth in the popularity of -"extreme" sports. The highly acrobatic aspects of these newcomers is indicative of a desire for discovery of new forms of self-expression and independence from the established models. Even at the elite level, the new events are performed in a spontaneous and risk-taking style. The objective is less to guarantee a result than to provide entertainment. To a great extent the oldest disciplines -- including track and field -- have profited from this iconoclastic movement. They have thus managed to attract new viewers who appreciate the pure beauty of motion and the showmanship -- a better reflection of the athletes' personal accomplishments. And this is what we invite you to discover in the pages of Sports: The Complete Visual Reference . This contemporary portrait of top-level sport will introduce you to the athletes themselves. From the 110-meter hurdles to snowboarding to equestrian sports, we offer you the great diversity of international competition and the achievement of excellence. Excerpted from Sports: The Complete Visual Reference All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Track and Field
100 Meters
200 Meters
400 Meters
Relays: 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 Meter
100 and 110 Meter Hurdles
400 Meter Hurdles
800 Meter and 1,500 Meter
3,000 Meter steeplechase
Race Walking
5,000 Meter and 10,000 Meter
Shot put
High jump
Pole Vault
Long Jump
Triple Jump
Heptathlon and Decathlon
Road racing
Track racing
Mountain Biking
Artistic gymnastics
Rhythmic gymnastics
Competitive Aerobics
Strength Sports
Power lifting
Aquatic Sports
Synchronized Swimming
Water Polo
Apnea Freediving
Nautical Sports
Canoe-kayak: Flatwater Racing
Canoe-kayak: Whitewater
Ocean Surfing
Water Skiing
Equestrian Sports
Combined Eventin
Racing Turf
Harness Racing: Trot and Pace
Precision and Accuracy Sports
Lawn Bowling
Multi-Discipline Sports
Modern Pentathlon
Ice Sports
Ice hockey
Figure Skating
Ice Dancing
Speed skating
Snow Sports
Alpine Skiing
Freestyle Skiing
Speed Skiing
Ski jumping
Cross country Skiing
Nordic Combined
Mountain Sports
Rock Climbing
Aerial Sports
Ball Sports (Small Ball)
Field hockey
Pelota Vasca (Basque Ball)
Ball Sports (Large Ball)
Australian Rules Football
American and Canadian Football
Beach Volleyball
Handball (Team)
Racket Sports
Table Tennis
Combat Sports
Sumo Wrestling
Kung Fu
Tae Kwan Do
Kickboxing and Full Contact
Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling
Sports on Wheels
Roller hockey
In-line skating
Motor Sports
Formula 1
Formula Indy (CART Series)
Formula 3000
Drag Racing
Off-road Rallying
Powerboat Racing
Sports of Aestheticism