Ten Problems for Sports in the 2020s

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Literature Review: Sports Problems for the 2020s

This booklet will introduce ten relevant problems, namely: coaches, performance, fundamentals, match fixing, politics, talent development, diversity, education, economics, e-sports; for the ten most popular sports in the 2020s world, as for estimated fans number: soccer, cricket, basketball, hockey, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, baseball, American football / rugby, golf [0].

Coaching philosophy is an important topic in both coaching literature and education. However, there is little research regarding the way that coaches’ philosophies translate into their practices. Additionally, there is very little information about the specific effectiveness criteria coaches use to evaluate their philosophies and practice [1].

Athletes experience unique stressors that have been indicated to compromise their mental wellness and sport performance, yet they underutilize mental health services. Mental health optimization in athletes, including wide scale administration of validated screening methods to identify mental health conditions (administered or supervised by licensed psychologists), is advised [2]

Art and sport are intertwined in the sense that sport as an aesthetic, cultural phenomenon may continue the work of art. By aesthetics, the author focuses on notions of formalism in sport [3]. This “will to form” is predicated on the need humans have for order, pattern and harmony.

Match-fixing, whether to gain sporting advantage or facilitate gains from betting, has been present throughout the history of organized sport. But its prevalence appears to have increased sharply since the Millennium. The chapter links this greater prevalence to large increases in the liquidity of sports betting markets such that criminals can place larger bets and make greater profit from buying fixes from players [4].

In the conditions of geopolitical tension, economic instability and changing moral foundations sport acquires a different role. In the practice of international sports and the Olympic movement there are many examples of how sports became an instrument for forming a positive image of a country in the international arena establishing relations between the conflicting states [5].

Talent identification and development places emphasis on the ability to achieve at the highest level. Adaptive abilities will play a key role in optimizing returns from the bio-psychosocially complex challenges inherent in any Talent Development Environment, whether formal (e.g., sport-specific academies) or in earlier, informal settings [6].

In relation to conceptualizing sports, beliefs about sex binary and male hegemony are dominant. To match these assumptions and provide level playing fields, sport systems are based on sex-segregation. People who do not fit into or reject fitting into sex categories are hindered from participating in sports, particularly organized sports [7].

Universal values and cultural traditions are a common bond for overall patterns of coexistence and interaction—in school classes, local communities, religion, or sport groups—at least in theory. The moral competence levels among adolescents are not correlated with years of training in either mode of involvement or with type of sports, though [8].

The International Events Group of Chicago, Illinois, estimated that global spending on sponsorship of sports events causes reached a record $65.8 billion in 2018. The investment has been increasing by an average of 4.5% each year, indicating the impact and interest of the sponsoring companies [9].

In recent years, electronic sports (eSports) have showed explosive growth, both in market value and number of participants. To assure stable growth, governance institutions and financial structures will be required to continuously adapt to changing conditions in the eSports industry [10].

Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the sports of “Ten Problems for Sports in the 2020s” that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. soccer,
  2. cricket,
  3. basketball,
  4. hockey,
  5. tennis,
  6. volleyball,
  7. table tennis,
  8. baseball,
  9. american football / rugby,
  10. golf.

Each sport has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references for each open question and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.


[0] S. Das, “Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World [Updated 2020]”, 3 Oct 2020, Sports Show, online at , accessed on 5 Oct 2020

[1] A.R. Gomes et al., “Leadership of elite coaches: The relationship among philosophy, practice, and effectiveness criteria”, 2018, International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 13(6) 1120–1133, online at

[2] B. Donohue et al., “Controlled Evaluation of an Optimization Approach to Mental Health and Sport Performance”, 2018, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 12, 234–267, online at

[3] D. Shorkend, “Artistic Formalism in Relation to Sport”, 2019, International Journal of Social Science Studies Vol. 7, No. 2, online at

[4] D. Forrest, “Match fixing”, 2018, in: Breuer M., Forrest D. (eds) “The Palgrave Handbook on the Economics of Manipulation in Sport”, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham., online at

[5] K.O. Pavlovna et al., “Problems and challenges of modern sports”, 2019, Journal of Physical Education and Sport, Vol 19 (Supplement issue 1), Art 31, pp.208 – 213, online at

[6] S. Owiti et al., “Applying a Multilayer Construct of Social Adaptability Skills Within Talent Development”, 2020, Front. Psychol. 10:3006, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.03006, online at

[7] B. Braumüller et al., “Gender Identities in Organized Sports—Athletes’ Experiences and Organizational Strategies of Inclusion”, 2020, Front. Sociol. 5:578213. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2020.578213, online at

[8] M. Bronikowska et al., “The Role of Sports Practice in Young Adolescent Development of Moral Competence”, 2020, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 17, 5324; doi:10.3390/ijerph17155324, online at

[9] M.A. Dos Santos et al., “Management, marketing and economy in sports organizations”, 2020, Sport in Society, 23:2, 175-179, DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2020.1705524, online at

[10] Y. Chikish et al., “eSports: a new era for the sports industry and a new impulse for the research in sports (and) economics”, 2019, in: Sports (and) economics / Jaume García Villar (ed. lit.), ISBN 9788417609238, págs. 477-508, online at

“Ten Problems for Sports in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2020; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page

By TenProblems

Literature Reviews for Inquisitive Minds