THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
SPORTS MEDICINE AND SCIENCE:
Thomas D Fahey, Exercise Physiology, California State University, Chico CA
Sportscience News July-Aug 1997
Hundreds of leading
researchers and practitioners in the field of human movement
have contributed articles to this definitive resource. It
will published at the Sportscience site later this year. As
a Web document, it will remain a state-of-the-art summary of
the frontiers of knowledge in this multidisciplinary
Sports medicine and science, originally focused on treating injuries and improving athletic performance, now encompass the broader multidisciplinary study of human movement. The spectacular growth of this field in the second half of the 20th Century has paralleled the development of sport and the upsurge of interest in the relationship between physical activity and health.
The Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science is a work of unprecedented breadth that reflects the diversity of knowledge in this dynamic field. It is a collection of articles written by leading practitioners and researchers in the disciplines of human movement. I stand in awe of the competence and dedication of these professionals. They put in long hours, because they love the study of sport and exercise. Their good works help keep athletes on the field and improve our understandings of the workings of the body during exercise.
At its inception, the Encyclopedia was to be published in the traditional paper format. As the publication date drew near, the publisher became concerned about the profitability of the venture. After protracted negotiations, I have decided that the Web is not just a viable alternative, but is in fact a better medium than paper for a document of this nature. Publication on the Web will allow the Encyclopedia to be updated and expanded regularly, so it will always reflect the current status of knowledge in each discipline. And without doubt the articles will reach of a far wider audience than any printed version.
I have sent all authors a letter to inform them of the decision to move to the Web. If you are an author, I again invite you to get in contact with me with any reservations about your work being published on the Web or at this site. I also invite you to review your article and send me an updated version by mid August at the latest. The Sportscience team will convert the articles into Web pages over the next few months. I expect that some articles will be published by the beginning of September, and that the work will be finished by the end of the year.
I close this article with a survey of the content of the Encyclopedia. Please contact me about any substantial omission so I can arrange for an article to be written on the topic.
Sports physicians and surgeons have contributed the latest information on injury epidemiology, treatment, and prevention. Essays include discussions of new surgical techniques for treating soft tissue injury, as well as descriptions of technological advances in medicine that are particularly applicable to athletes and active people. Many papers present information on training and injuries in specific sports, such as American football, tennis, badminton, fencing, throwing sports, Irish field games, swimming, running, and weight lifting.
The Encyclopedia showcases the work of many of the world's best theoretical sports scientists. These researchers have presented essays on topics such as the molecular basis of muscle contraction, adaptation to exercise, systemic regulation, and metabolic control. Clinical exercise scientists have also summarized current knowledge on exercise testing protocols, exercise prescription, and adult fitness. Their essays include the status of research in body composition, stress testing, performance assessment in special populations, and basic metabolic measurements.
Pediatrics researchers have written essays on children's exercise physiology, motor development, physical education, and medical and philosophical considerations of children's athletics. Many of these essays contain valuable information about physiological development of children and how it affects exercise tolerance.
Environmental physiology is also covered in detail. Essays on altitude, underwater physiology, temperature regulation, and exercise in hot and cold environments have been written by some of the top environmental physiologists. These essays discuss the history of environmental research as well as current understanding of the basic physiological responses to environmental stressors.
The Encyclopedia features numerous essays on exercise among special populations, including people with pulmonary disease, spinal cord injuries, pregnancy, diabetes, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and Downs syndrome. The role of exercise in disease and disability is discussed in essays on exercise and cancer, exercise and immunity, and exercise and coronary heart disease. Aging has received considerable attention in articles on the effects of exercise on the aging process. Several critical geriatric medical questions have been addressed, including osteoporosis, decreased muscle mass, and degenerative diseases.
The place of sports medicine and science in society is examined
through historical perspectives on sport and the Olympic Games.
Essays by sport sociologists and psychologists on the role of ethics
in the behavior and social responsibility of the sport scientist are
included. An essay on law and sports science explores the legal
responsibilities of professionals in the field.
We need more webmasters to help put the Encyclopedia on the Web. Contact editor=AT=sportsci.org if you have the will to learn and access to a good computer. We will probably convert the Word documents with the latest Office 97 or similar new Web-friendly software. Many figures will need to be redrawn using PowerPoint or similar graphics programs.