Cover image for Encyclopedia of ethnicity and sports in the United States
Encyclopedia of ethnicity and sports in the United States
Kirsch, George B.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 530 pages ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1260 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV709.5 .E83 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A comprehensive reference work on the development of athletics in the United States; this encyclopedia examines the sporting experience of Native Americans, African Americans and the immigrant groups of the United States from Colonial times to the present. It includes entries on racial and ethnic groups, ethnic sports, mainstream sports, ethnic and racial institutions and famous sports figures.

The category of ethnic sports includes games and pastimes that Native American Indians and immigrants have played to help preserve their ancestral traditions and cultural identity in the United States. The articles on mainstream sports chronicle and analyze the participation and contribution of racial and immigrant groups in the most popular pastimes that evolved from early English folk games or contests (such as baseball, football, and boxing), to American inventions (basketball). The book also includes entries on racial and ethnic sporting clubs, leagues, and institutions, as well as prominent athletes, sportswriters, officials, and managers. References follow each entry and there is also a selected bibliography at the end of the book that lists the most useful secondary sources in the fields of race and ethnicity in American sports. This book will not only be a valuable resource for both academic and public libraries, but also for collections in sports associations and ethnic groups.

Author Notes

GEORGE B. KIRSCH is Chairman, Professor of History at Manhattan College./e

OTHELLO HARRIS is Chair Associate Professor of Physical Education, Health, and Sports Studies at Miami University of Ohio./e

CLAIRE E. NOLTE is Associate Professor of History at Manhattan College./e

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Concerned with sports and sports-like experiences of Native Americans and of African Americans and other immigrant groups in the US, this encyclopedia covers the period from colonization to the present. The editors point out that a sporting culture was established by the earliest immigrants to the British colonies; other sporting cultures established by later immigrants were considered part of outside cultures. Since then, the mainstream culture has changed by incorporating elements from the sporting traditions of nonmainstream ethnic groups. The encyclopedia contains five types of entries: racial and ethnic groups, ethnic games, mainstream sports, ethnic and racial institutions, and prominent persons. The editors cover thirty ethnic groups in the US that they consider influenced the development of athletics and sporting culture in the US. African American athletes are emphasized because of their high degree of participation in sports. Canadian athletes' contributions to US sports are also recognized. Some ethnic games and pastimes retain favor only among particular groups (Irish hurling, boccie, curling); others have become assimilated into the sporting culture (lacrosse, hockey, golf). The encyclopedia includes prominent and influential sporting clubs, leagues, and institutions. Biographies of people who achieved Hall of Fame status are informative and interesting. No other encyclopedia so systematically covers sports and ethnicity. Recommended for public and academic libraries. E. L. Yang; University of Colorado at Denver

Table of Contents

Selected Bibliography