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Observation Assignment
Angie Poirier – 3263440
RSS 2023 – Introduction to Sociology of Sport and Physical Activity November 8, 2010

Sports are cultural practices that differ from place to place and time to time. How they are defined, organized, and integrated into social life varies from group to group. To understand sports we must view them as social phenomena (Coakley & Donnelly, 2004). Viewing sports as a social phenomena means that one must realize that are many topics to be questioned and viewed upon with an open mind. For my observation I attended a hockey game in my hometown of Summerside, Prince Edward Island on September twelfth. It was between the Summerside Western Capitals and the Dieppe Commandos in the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL). While watching this game, I focused on not only the game being played, but also the entire surroundings in the atmosphere. I observed the event with a critical perspective and by doing so I realized that sporting events are not just games; they are social phenomenons with many sociological issues. Who Was Involved

There were many people involved in this Sunday afternoon hockey game. There were coaches, athletes, referees, volunteers, arena staff and fans.
The coaches, as well as the trainers for both teams were all male. Their roles were to provide guidance, lead their players and offer support to the team from behind the bench. They are responsible for the well being of the team and for bringing out the best in the players. Their roles are crucial.

All of the athletes were young men ranging in ages of sixteen to twenty years old. They were all there playing because they chose to be; they tried out for this elite team and wanted to be there because of their passion for the game, and it showed. The role of the athlete is a simple one; it is to deliver. They are expected to give their best performance each and every game. Both teams on the ice played a very hard fought game. Players from both teams seemed to be enjoying themselves and playing hard. Despite the fact that the Dieppe Commandoes lost 4-2 to the Capitals, they shook hands at the end of the game very respectfully.

The three referees for this particular game were also all males. The official’s jobs were to keep the game under control, to make calls on penalties and to ensure fair play between both teams. They are an authority figure in the game and they deserve respect.

When taking a closer look at the people involved during this game, I noticed that there were many volunteers involved. The people at all of the doors taking ticket stubs and stamping hands were volunteers. The people working at the fifty-fifty tables were volunteers. The ushers walking up and down the aisles of seats were volunteers. Needless to say that they game would not have been a success without the assistance of volunteers.

Along with volunteers, the arenas staff members made the game progress smoothly. From the announcers, to the canteen staff, to the zamboni drivers the paid staff members of the arena plays a huge role in making game-day work without any problems.

On this particular day there were one thousand and thirty two people in attendance. There was a wide variety of people in that number; male and female, young and old. The role of the crowd is to provide support for their team in many ways; encouragement, financially, socially etc. They go because they enjoy the sport and want to be behind their community’s team. Who Was Absent

In my hometown, the Summerside Western Capitals are very popular. The entire community supports the Capitals organization and what it stands for. It’s what everyone does on a Sunday afternoon. Attending the two o’clock game every Sunday is a way of life. Since the hockey games are a family/community setting and everyone attends, this means that the only people who were absent were those who had prior commitments, couldn’t afford the ticket or those who were not...
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