Call for Papers | Frontiers Research Topic: “Women’s Professional Sport: Understanding Female-Specific Distinctiveness”. Call ends January 18, 2021

About this Research Topic

The growth of women’s sport leagues and competitions over the past 5 years has been a global phenomenon. While professional career opportunities have existed for decades in individual sports such as golf and tennis; team sport competitions have historically been quite limited to a handful of sports (e.g. basketball; football) and within a limited geography (USA; selected European countries). However, as more sports recognise their growing societal contribution and consumer potential, there has been a relative explosion of new leagues, hereby creating greater opportunities for women to develop a career in professional sport.

Over the past decade, the sporting world has produced a number of women’s sport competitions that have risen and fallen, with a period of well publicised league ‘failures’ in women’s professional team sport in North America (Micelotta et al., 2018). Many newer competitions are still in the early phase of their product lifecycle, building their brand, fan base and have still to achieve independent commercial viability (Mumcu, 2019). Given that some of the women’s leagues are subsidised through the sport’s governing body, the advent of Covid-19 implications on fledgling, and indeed established, competitions is an evolving situation.

Scholarship into the personal, organisational, and societal aspects of women’s professional sport is still in its infancy (Taylor et al., 2019). Research to date suggests that women in professional sport display many forms of distinctiveness, from training/coaching regimes through to cultural and structural considerations.

To build our understanding of professional sport, we welcome submissions that explore the distinctiveness of career development of women in professional sports (e.g., contractual arrangements, branding, sponsorship, financing, organisational support/structures, such as long-term athlete development pathways and the daily training environment, social media impact, performance requirements, coaching, etc.). This Research Topic seeks to address a gap in current scholarship, notably research that empirically examines the success and sustainability of approaches to developing, structuring, and delivering women’s professional sport. Professional sport is delimited as any sport that provides continuous paid employment and the opportunity to pursue said employment as a career.

We encourage submissions that cover Original Research, Case Reports, Reviews, General Commentaries and Perspectives that will advance knowledge about women in professional sport. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

      • Understanding factors that contribute to different approaches to women’s professional sport
      • Examining gender equity/equality in professional sport (including salaries)
      • Financial aspects and economics of women’s professional sport
      • Consumer behaviour, fandom and sponsorship of women’s professional sport
      • Considerations of organisational culture, particularly for ‘traditionally male’ sports
      • Exploring national and international sport career configurations in women’s sport
      • Effective governance structures for women’s professional sport
      • Assessment of the effectiveness of different pathways to a sporting career
      • Changing performance requirements and expectation of women in professional sport
      • Societal and community support/barriers to women’s professional sport
      • The impact of women’s player associations
      • Understanding factors that contribute to different approaches to women’s professional sport
      • Examining gender equity/equality in professional sport (including salaries)
      • Financial aspects and economics of women’s professional sport
      • Consumer behaviour, fandom and sponsorship of women’s professional sport
      • Considerations of organisational culture, particularly for ‘traditionally male’ sports
      • Exploring national and international sport career configurations in women’s sport
      • Effective governance structures for women’s professional sport
      • Assessment of the effectiveness of different pathways to a sporting career
      • Changing performance requirements and expectation of women in professional sport
      • Societal and community support/barriers to women’s professional sport
      • The impact of women’s player associations

Fee support solutions are available for authors via the Frontiers Fee-Support Program.

Keywords

Women, Semi-Professionalisation, Sport careers, Gender Equity, Professionalisation

Topic Editors

      • Tracy Taylor, Victoria University, Australia, Melbourne, Australia
      • Sophia Nimphius, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia
      • Ann Pegoraro, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Submission Deadlines

      • 18 January 2021 | Abstract
      • 18 May 2021  Manuscript

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