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© 2018 Sport Ecology Group

Combating the Climate in British Sport (2006)

Building on Thornes' (1977) review on the impacts of weather on sport, Kay and Vamplew explore the relationship between weather and sport. Specifically, they discuss three categories of outdoor sport: those that depend on specific weather (e.g. sailing, skiing), games largely played on grass (e.g. rugby, soccer, tennis), and those for which weather conditions may result in an unfair advantage (e.g. athletics and golf, which are played over longer periods of time).

Kay and Vamplew discuss various strategies for mitigating the impacts of weather on sport, including changing the rules, adopting new equipment or playing surfaces, and moving indoors. They cite changing the rules as relatively low-cost and effective, and adopting new equipment or playing surfaces as higher-cost and higher-investment in terms of training and maintenance. Finally, moving indoors is not possible in some sports, and in others, significantly alters the experience of the game.

The conclusion of the review is a discussion of the economic implications of adverse weather on sport, including lower attendance by spectators, and lower spend on concessions and merchandise. As such, monitoring seasonal weather patterns is an important first step in mitigating the losses due to adverse weather. With climate change altering seasonality of various sports, these economics impacts will continue to be a challenge in sport.


CITE: Kay, J. & Vamplew, W. (2006). Under the Weather: Combating the Climate in British Sport. Sport in Society, 9(1), 94-107.

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