The Rise of American High School Sports and the Search for Control, 1880-1930

The Rise of American High School Sports and the Search for Control, 1880-1930

by Robert Pruter
     
 
Nearly half of all American high school students participate in sports teams. With a total of 7.6 million participants as of 2008, this makes the high school sports program in America the largest organized sports program in the world. Pruter's work traces the history of high school sports from the student-led athletic clubs of the 1800s through to the establishment of

Overview

Nearly half of all American high school students participate in sports teams. With a total of 7.6 million participants as of 2008, this makes the high school sports program in America the largest organized sports program in the world. Pruter's work traces the history of high school sports from the student-led athletic clubs of the 1800s through to the establishment of educator control of high school sports under a national federation by the 1930s. Pruter's research serves not only to highlight this rich history but also to provide new perspectives on how high school sports became the arena by which Americans fought for some of the most contentious issues in society, such as race, immigration and Americanization, gender roles, religious conflict, the role of the military in democracy, and the commercial exploitation of our youth.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of Illinois History
A solid contribution to not only the study of sports history, but also to our knowledge of Chicago's history. Pruter's book details the evolution of interscholastic sports in the United State and reminds us that many of the issues in high school athletics today were present some four generations ago.
American Historical Review
An immensely detailed history of the birth and growth of high school sports….an outstanding example of empirical history.
Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society
High School sports researchers and enthusiasts will find this work a necessary contribution to the historical narrative.
CHOICE Reviews for Academic Libraries - R. McGehee
Pruter (librarian, Lewis Univ.) describes the development and governance of high school sports during a period of their great expansion. He focuses on Chicago and Cook County, IL, but includes information about Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia, with less from other areas. Early on, private schools enrolled more students and provided more sports and interscholastic leagues; after 1900 public schools became dominant and sponsored most sport activity. Most early school sport competition was organized and managed by students, with adults beginning to take control after the turn of the century. A number of colleges organized tournaments for high school students. Early competitions often included private and public schools, but with time private schools were eliminated from state associations and formed their own leagues. In the 1920s, school sport expanded, especially in big cities, but opposition arose to girls' competitive sport, which decreased significantly. Sectional and "national" high school tournaments increased, many sponsored by universities, and more state athletic associations were established. African American students in many parts of the country attended segregated schools, and athletic associations were established to provide their interscholastic competitions. An epilogue comments on racial integration, Title IX, and commercialization of school sport. Extensive notes and bibliography. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, researchers/faculty.
American Studies Journal - Jason Reid
Robert Pruter's new book offers scholars a much-needed organizational history of high school athletics in the United States during the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Journal of Illinois History - Christopher C. Elzey
A solid contribution to not only the study of sports history, but also to our knowledge of Chicago History. Pruter's book details the evolution of interscholastic sports in the United State and reminds us that many of the issues in high school athletics today were present some four generations ago.
American Historical Review - Murray Sperber
An outstanding example of empirical history.
Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society - Gabe Logan
High School sports researchers and enthusiasts will find this work a necessary contribution to the historical narrative.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815633143
Publisher:
Syracuse University Press
Publication date:
04/15/2013
Pages:
438
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Pruter holds a master's degree in history from Roosevelt University and a master's degree in library and information science from Dominican University. He is currently the government documents and reference librarian at Lewis University. He has published Chicago Soul and Doowop: The Chicago Scene with the University of Illinois Press.

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