Within each sport (more than 200 make the cut), individual entries vary in length and depth depending on popularity and/or importance, and for the major sports they are quite extensive. Yet most entries provide some information about history, rules, and cultural influences. Some even offer rudiments of how the games are played, though the "Encyclopedia" is certainly no how-to manual. Most importantly, the volume seeks to grasp the larger picture and import of games and competitions around the world; with entries on aggression, drug testing, law, ethics, media, environment, commercialization, spectators, literature, and even movies, it's a volume assembled to appeal as much to those interested in thinking about sports as to those who play them. Most of the contributors are academics, and at times the text reflects that--and illustrations, especially of the more obscure activities, would have only helped the effort--but that's a fair price to pay for a one-volume compendium that can place the wide world of sports quite literally in your hands.
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