1st Edition

Junior and Youth Grassroots Football Culture The Forgotten Game

Edited By Jimmy O'Gorman Copyright 2018
    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    Football is ubiquitously acknowledged as ‘The Global Game’ and/or ‘The People’s Game’ – everyday all-encompassing terms familiar to anyone with an interest in football which illustrate, albeit nebulously, the game’s international reach and popularity. Yet much academic and popular attention has been, and continues to be, narrowly centred on topics pertaining to the elite and professional aspects of the game. At a time when there appears to be an ever-widening gap between the grassroots and elite levels of the sport, this book brings together, for the first time, a collection of research articles dedicated solely to youth and junior grassroots football. The intention is to generate future inquiry, encourage theoretical debate and stimulate empirical research on topics and issues within the relatively marginalised area of the game that is youth and junior grassroots football. The collection represents a preliminary consideration of what is already currently known about grassroots football and, no less importantly, point towards what remains unknown and under-researched but which deserves much more attention than has been given hitherto. As such, the collection includes contributions from practitioners and researchers alike. Topics included range from the provision, organisation and development of grassroots football in one national association, to broader issues such as the sources of enjoyment in participation, the lived experiences of junior players and coaches, to the causes of youth dropout from football. In addition, the significance of social stratification and various forms of social division which structure children’s participation in grassroots football are discussed. These include female participation and the role of elite female role models, and issues relating to the participation of immigrant youth. The book is intended to appeal to practitioners, academics and football enthusiasts alike. This book was originally published as a special issue of Soccer & Society.

    1. Introduction: developing the research agenda in junior and youth grassroots football culture

    Jimmy O’Gorman

    2. The English Football Association Charter for Quality: the development of junior and youth grassroots football in England

    Les Howie and Wayne Allison

    3. Children’s voices in mini soccer: an exploration of critical incidents

    Jimmy O’Gorman and Kenny Greenough

    4. Enjoyment in youth soccer: its portrayals among 12- to 14-year-olds

    Hege E. Tjomsland, Torill Larsen, Ingrid Holsen, Lars T. Ronglan, Oddrun Samdal and Bente Wold

    5. Elite footballers as role models: promoting young women’s football participation

    Carrie Dunn

    6. A systematic review of drop-out from organized soccer among children and adolescents

    Viviene A. Temple and Jeff R. Crane

    7. Transcultural football. Trajectories of belonging among immigrant youth

    Max Mauro

    8. A generational divide within the class-based production of girls in American youth soccer

    Lisa Swanson

    9. Exploring the everyday realities of grass-roots football coaching: towards a relational perspective

    Paul Potrac, Lee Nelson and Jimmy O’Gorman


    Jimmy O’Gorman is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Development at Edge Hill University, UK. His research interests and expertise focus on the development and implementation of youth sport policy and programmes, ranging from community/grassroots settings to the development of participation and performance. He has undertaken research and consultancy on behalf of local and national organisations in this context.

    'An excellent, interesting and informative book' -  VeriteSport.org