We invite commentaries, on current sports primarily in India, and in a global context.
These should be more than just immediate reactions to sporting events and explore sports
as an element and product of society, culture, history and the economy mediated by the state.
Beyond the Scoreboard is a platform for exploring sports in India in a larger context.

Latest Blogs

‘Protect sports for social good’ Inaugural Peter Donnelly Lecture in Sport Policy

- Parissa Safai

Last month the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education’s Centre for Sports Policy Studies (CSPS) launched the inaugural Professor Emeritus Peter Donnelly lecture series in Sports Policy with Parissa Safai’s delightful, engaging, and perceptive lecture that drew attention to the urgent need for creating and maintaining public spaces for, and public access to sports. Her talk seamlessly drew together her recollections about working as a student with Donnelly and later as a colleague-researcher,melding them with her current concerns.Continue Reading

Why the WHO Action Plan on Physical Activity Is Out of Touch With the Indian Reality

- Padma Prakash

Without addressing women’s disproportionate contribution to unpaid care work and poorly compensated physical labour, the state cannot expect them to make time for the WHO recommended “150 minutes of physical activity”.Some years ago, I asked Bagibai, the woman who comes to clean my house, whatshe did in her ‘leisure’ time, using the word ‘phursat’ for leisure. This was for a short piece I was writing on women’s work. Here’s how the conversation went.Continue Reading

Sunrise again for Indian hockey?

- Nikhilesh Bhattacharya

The Tokyo Olympics has finally come and gone, fetching India its biggest haul of medals—one gold, two silver and four bronze—from a single edition of the Games. While the wisdom of organising the Olympics while the world struggled to contain the waves of a pandemic is questionable, few will disagree that Tokyo 2020, held a year later than originally scheduled in theses topsy-turvy times, proved to be particularly good for Indian hockey, , which accounted for one of the bronze medals. In fact, a case can be made for Indian hockey performance this time as being its most significant ever in the Olympic Games.Continue Reading

Sport for Sustainable Development? Sport, Corporate Social Responsibility, and “Greenwashing” in the Extractives Industry

- Rob Millington, Audrey Giles, and Lyndsay Hayhurst

In 1970, American economist Milton Friedman wrote that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.” If Friedman were alive today, he would scarcely recognize the contemporary corporate social responsibility (CSR) landscape.Continue Reading

Who’s Afraid of Naomi Osaka?

- Jeffrey Montez de Oca

Tennis star Naomi Osaka declared she would not participate in press conferences prior to the 2021 French Open. Reactions to her refusal were filled with anger and criticism. In a deleted tweet, Roland Garros posted images of athletes doing press work with the text, “They understood the assignment.”Continue Reading

Naomi Osaka Starts an Important Conversation

- Vidya Subramanian

Only someone with the clout of a world champion, the purse of one of the top-paid athletes of the world, and the influence of a millennial social media celebrity can afford to take on the antiquated and antediluvian notions of mental health among those who run world tennis. Naomi Osaka might just be that hero.Continue Reading

Tribute: Diego Maradona

- Shibaji Bose

Even now, over 30 years after he scored that incredible ‘goal of the century’ against the English team in the World Cup, and despite his later descent into drugs and addictions, Maradona remains an icon, and a mystery. Continue Reading

Sports in/and Schools: Let’s play safe!

- Padma Prakash

Money-spinning school sports tournaments and games are about to be revived, albeit with COVID restrictions, even as sports grounds in schools are deteriorating and disappearing. The National Education Policy has little to say on prioritizing sports in the school curricula. Shouldn’t we be rather more concerned with building our sports nurseries rather than rolling out money spinning games? Continue Reading

Sports without Spectators

Good for now, but hardly the new ‘normal’

- Vidya Subramanian

Watching the first post-Covid football match in the German League was an experience, but even when all the new technologies that will make the experience real are in play it will not be the same as watching it live. As technologies take sport further and further from the stadium inside which it is played, more and more do distant fans want to be a part of the in-stadium experience... Continue Reading

Balbir Singh Sr India’s golden run in Olympic hockey.

- Boria Mazumdar

Balbir Singh Sr starred for India in what was a dream final in the 1948 Olympics in London: the defending champions from newly independent India taking on their former imperial masters who had avoided playing Olympic hockey as long as India remained a colony... Continue Reading

How India Came to Love Cricket, Favored Sport of its Colonial British Rulers

- Lars Dzikus and Adam Love

First published on Engaging Sports
After emphasizing that “America loves India” during the “Namaste Trump” event, President Donald Trump opened his address with several references to India’s most popular sport,cricket. A crowd of more than 100,000 responded with cheers... Continue Reading

“Doing Nothing” During the COVID-19 Suspension of Sport

- Samuel M. Clevenger

First published, 26/03/2020 on Engaging Sports
During the current suspension of sport due to COVID-19, we should consider the importance of “doing nothing” for a healthy, happy life (photo of artist Jenny Odell, author of “How to Do Nothing,” by Ryan Meyer) The COVID-19 pandemic has systemically disrupted sport organizations and spectator sporting events around the worlds..Continue Reading

The FIFA World Cup and 'Banal Nationalism'

- Dr Renan Petersen-Wagner

What source of information do fans rely on to be in touch with their favourite club or national team?
First published, 26/06/2018 on School of Sport/blog
I want to focus on one aspect touched upon during my PhD thesis (see Petersen-Wagner, 2015); the source of information that fans relied on to be in touch with their favourite club or national team. In my thesis, and subsequently in my Current Sociology piece (see Petersen-Wagner, 2017a) I showed how transnational fans - or the ‘cosmopolitan flâneurs’ as I have named them (see Petersen-Wagner, 2017b) - tend to rely on ‘local’ media to keep informed about Liverpool FC.... Continue Reading

Why cricket must formally take a stand against sexual harassment

- Sharda Ugra

First published in ESPNCrickinfo on July 17, 2018.
A few days ago, an Indian newspaper published an article by Sarah Waris, a young woman sports journalist who had first highlighted a case of stalking, impersonation and harassment by a senior Indian cricket journalist on Facebook earlier in the month. Waris wrote in detail about how she had identified and called out her predator. It is understood she is not alone, and that there are nearly a dozen women sports journalists who have been stalked and harassed by the same individual.... Continue Reading

View All Blogs    


Book Review of 'Black Baseball's Last Team Standing'

- David Lee McMullen,


Book Review: Nine Innings during a War

- Leslie Heaphy,


Does India Need a Caste-based Quota in Cricket? Drawing Parallels from South Africa

- Gaurav Bhawnani, Shubham Jain,


Sociology of Sport: India

- Veena Mani, Mathangi Krishnamurthy,



Batting for the Empire: A Political Biography of Ranjitsinhji

- Mario Rodrigues


Sports Studies in India: Expanding the Field

- Edited by Meena Gopal and Padma Prakash


View Bookshelf    

About us

The webplatform has been launched for the purpose of encouraging dialogue and discussion on sports studies. It is meant to encourage sports studies scholars to write for a larger non-specialist readership. It is also also a place for sports writers to cogitate on events and developments in the sports field outside the hurly-burly of the match or the engagement, beyond the scoreboard. The hope is that scholars and writers will, on the one hand, go beyond the everyday reporting on sports and related issues, and on the other introduce the exciting world of sports scholarship to sports fans, spectators and players as well. [For submission guidelines please click here.]

The platform features information such as events, talks, conferences, book and other media announcements, etc. .

The weplatform is progressively creating a cummulative database/repository of research output on sports studies (primarily in India, but also Asia and relevant matrial from elsewhere). We will also try to develop links and associations with other similar platforms across countries, although our focus will remain India, and perhaps South Asia.

The founding anchors are Padma Prakash (Director, IRIS Knowledge Foundation) and Meena Gopal (Prof, Tata Institute of Social Sciences).


All are welcome to submit material for posting on Beyond the Scoreboard.

The general intention of the site is to encourage dialogue and discussion in the field of sports studies that will engage not only scholars in the field but all those interested in sports and society. It is intended to help readers interpret and understand current developments in sports in the context of society, economy, history and culture.Contributions should include analysis that is informed by relevant scholarship presented in a way that attracts a public readership. It may find it useful to identify a current developments/recent event/anniversaries/commemorations as a peg.

  • All contributions must be in MS Word.
  • Contributions may be 800 – 1500 words in length.
  • The language and style should be geared to a general readership rather than an academic one. However, given that sports studies is a fledgling subdiscipline, these contributions may be useful cumulatively as syllabic course content.
  • Research content may included, but in a narrative style and theory or concepts should, when referenced, be briefly explained. If specific research is being referred to, please use links so that readers can get to the original articles easily.
  • Photographs may also be included, provided they are not copyrighted.
  • Data in the form of tables is discouraged. Diagrams interpreting data are welcome, but not more than one in a piece.
  • Please include a short bio note at the end of the piece with email, etc and social media details. The contact id is not mandatory, but would be useful if readers would like to establish contact with the author.
  • All submissions will be reviewed by an editor and/or a reviewer(s) with expertise in an area related to the submission before publication.

Please send submissions to editors@sportstudies.in or padma@esocialsciences.org


   IRIS Knowledge Foundation,
      T-131, Tower 1, 3rd Floor, International Infotech Park,
      Vashi, Navi Mumbai - 400 703, India.
   Tel: +91 22 67231000
   Email: editor@esocialsciences.org
   Website: http://esocialsciences.org