BBQ's and Beers, or Cappuccinos? Globalisation, Field Hockey and Social Change
Australian & New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Since the early 1990s, there has been a steady growth in discussions about sport under the rubric of globalisation. Not surprisingly though, different interpretations exist in regard to the globalisation-sport connection. Significantly, scholars have argued that global trends must be examined alongside the cultural contingencies of specific localities. Using a case study of field hockey in Newcastle, Australia, this paper examines the impact that global processes have had upon the consumption and management of ‘local’ grassroots sport. It is argued that the introduction of synthetic turf playing surfaces has effectively compelled local hockey associations to establish new facilities, and that this development has contributed to a loss of many of the sport’s social aspects, and also to notions of club commitment. Conversely, this development has provided both players and spectators with a centralised facility incorporating undercover viewing areas and an all-weather surface, and, for many participants, playing hockey at a ‘professional’ standard facility is now more important than the potentially negative impacts of this change.