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Title:The impact of structural systems on perceptions of legitimacy and the experiences of female hockey players
Author(s):Morris, Erin Leah
Director of Research:Green, B. Christine
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Green, B. Christine
Doctoral Committee Member(s):McDowell, Jacqueline; Shinew, Kimberly; McDermott, Monica; Edwards, Jonathon
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Gender
sport development
organizational legitimacy
hockey
Abstract:Women’s participation in ice hockey has grown exponentially in the last 25 years. In 1991 there were only 5,500 female players registered with USA Hockey (USA Hockey, 2012; the governing body of hockey in the United States), in 2014 there were 67,230 (USA Hockey, 2014). Despite the exponential growth of female participation, it is still well below male participation which is currently at 452,187. With only 67,000 girls and women participating in the entire United States, it is not feasible for girls to play on girls only teams or in girls-only leagues in many regions of the country. As a result, girls often play in one of three different gendered organizational structures: girls on predominantly boy’s teams, girls only teams within coed organizations (organizations with both boys-only and girls-only teams), and girls-only teams in girls-only organizations. All three of the organizational structures are currently used as mechanisms to support girls’ participation in hockey. However, the different participation structures may impact the experiences of the players and their perceptions of the organizational legitimacy of girls’ hockey. The purpose of this study was to understand impact of gendered structure type on perceptions of organizational legitimacy and playing experience. This study also sought to understand the experiences of the participants in these structures, as those experiences would be expected to shape their perceptions of legitimacy. This project utilized mixed method to consider the perceptions of organizational legitimacy of girls’ hockey. Study one utilized survey research to understand youth (ages 14U-19U) hockey players’ perceptions of organizational legitimacy. Study two utilized interviews with administrators involved in girls’ hockey and female players (ages 14U-19) to understand what actions were important threats or supports to the organizational legitimacy of associations supporting girls’ hockey. Organizational context is important for perceptions of legitimacy and for understanding the diversity of experiences that impact those perceptions. Those who had participated in associations with girls’ teams were more likely to perceive their association as supporting girls’ hockey. Additionally, lacking appropriate structures, including but not limited to, girls’ teams, girls’ locker-rooms, and equitable ice time were seen as significant threats to perceptions of legitimacy by both players and administrators. Gender and context needs to be considered in all aspects of sport development, particularly for sports that are newer or non-traditional.
Issue Date:2016-11-16
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/95319
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Erin Morris
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12


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