British Society of Sports History

Promoting the Study of the History of Sport

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New EPQ Award

British Society of Sports History Prize for Best Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Project on an aspect of Sports History

This is a brand new prize for the 2019/20 academic year. All students entering for the EPQ in 2019/20 are eligible.

Students are invited to submit (via their teachers) their EPQ essay, focused on any sports-history related subject, for consideration by our panel of judges.

Application process:

  1. Entries should be submitted as a PDF document by a member of staff on behalf of the student, not by the student directly.
  2. The entry should be accompanied by a separate sheet giving the student’s name, the name and address of the institution at which they are studying, and contact details (email address and telephone number) for the relevant member of staff.
  3. Entries should be emailed to Katie Taylor -
  4. Teachers with queries related to the competition may contact Katie Taylor on

Deadline: All applications must be received by midnight on 19 April 2020.

Results will be made known before the end of the summer term.

Prize: £100 in Amazon vouchers, and membership of the British Society of Sports History for one year. The teacher submitting the entry will also receive membership of BSSH for one year.

The winning student will be invited to present their project at the BSSH’s annual conference in September 2020, with all expenses paid by BSSH. 


Sport in History Best Article 2014

On behalf of the journal’s editors, I am pleased to announce that the winner of the prize for best article in Sport in History for 2014 was:

Angela Schattner, ‘"For the Recreation of Gentlemen and Other Fit Persons of the Better”: Tennis Courts and Bowling Greens as Early Leisure Venues in Sixteenth- to Eighteenth-Century London and Bath’

The editors’ felt that this article exhibited a number of features that made it a worthy selection. All drew notice to the article’s welcome focus on the development of sport and leisure in the early modern period and how, building on a new body of work, it carefully contextualized links between sporting practices and commercialised entertainment. Furthermore, in its analysis and primary research the article demonstrated an intellectual rigour. It clearly addressed wider debates and historiographies and, as a consequences, wider significance beyond its immediate topic. In particular, it makes the important point about locating the history of sport within the wider sphere of leisure.

The other two nominated articles were:

Geraldine Biddle-Perry, ‘The Rise of the World¹s Largest Sport and Athletic Outfitter’: A Study of Gamage’s of Holborn, 1878-1913’

Michael Dawson, 'Breaking away from the big boys? Jamaican and White Commonwealth expectations at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games’

All three articles have free access at the link below, which also includes a list of previous winners:

Dr Neil Carter, Editor-in-chief, Sport in History


Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for Sports History Shortlist of books published in 2014

The Lord Aberdare Literary Prize is awarded each year by the British Society of Sports History for the best book on any aspect of the history of sport in Britain or for the best book on any aspect of sports history written by a British author.

Using these criteria, Alison Goodrum, Alex Jackson and Jean Williams (outgoing Chair), judged the winners in the following order:

1. Rob Lake A Social History of Tennis in Britain (Routledge Research in Sports History, 2014).

As the winner of the Aberdare Prize, Rob Lake’s text represents detailed and thorough research from the author, which offers some fresh detail on the sport of tennis and would/should be welcomed by scholars as a useful and informative source. It brings new data into the public domain and regularly positions itself against the other sports history literature. This is genuinely pioneering work and will become a standard text. This considers both the elite and the wider spread Save of the game and was the outright choice of all three judges.

Also short-listed:

2. Elizabeth Wilson Love Game: A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon (Serpentstail, 2014).

3. Roger Domenghetti From the Back Page to the Front Room: Football’s Journey Through The English Media (Ockley Books, 2014).

4. Rob Steen Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport (Bloomsbury, 2014).

Congratulations to the winner and the 3 other short-listed writers.


Richard Cox Postgraduate Prize

Postgraduate Conference Paper Prize

Part of the BSSH’s mission is to be accessible to and encourage new researchers, including postgraduate students and academics at an early stage in their careers.

The BSSH Committee wish to encourage the submission of papers by postgraduates to their annual conference.

The prize will be awarded to reflect outstanding work from new researchers in sports history. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges based on a written paper and on the delivery of that paper at the annual conference. The winning paper will be awarded £100 and a certificate. The researcher will also be invited to submit their paper to the Society’s refereed Journal Sport in History.

Application Procedure

At the time of the initial submission of their abstract for their paper the author should indicate that they wish to be considered for the Richard Cox Prize. They should explain the basis upon which the author is eligible i.e. at the time of submitting their paper authors should be engaged in full or part-time postgraduate research or be within 1 year of completing their research degree.

Co-authored papers will not normally be considered.


While we encourage the submission of different kinds of papers, to be eligible for the prize, papers must be a maximum of 6,000 words. Style should be consistent throughout, i.e footnotes where appropriate, and a separate list of references. Papers should be no smaller than size 12 Times New Roman and 1.5 or double spacing. Name and contact details of author, paper title, short abstract with keywords must also be included on a separate page (please follow SiH conventions).

The assessment process

The written paper must be submitted to the conference organizers a month prior to the first day of the annual conference. A panel of judges will be selected by the BSSH Committee which will assess both the content of the papers under consideration and the presentation.

Award of the Prize

The winner of the Prize will be notified within one month of the conference and it will be announced on the BSSH website and Bulletin.

Any questions concerning the Richard Cox Prize should be sent to our conference organizers.


Recent articles

  BSSH Research Grants for Postgraduates - Siobhan Osgood Report
  Sport in History Undergraduate Essay Prize
  Lydia's Research Trip to Paris!
  Winner of the Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for Sports History
  Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for Sports History
  Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for Sports History (books published in 2015 )
  Winner of the 2016 prize for best article in Sport in History
  Winner of the 2015 prize for best article in Sport in History