Research on athletic identity has been robust, however, there remains a gap in the literature regarding its perceived impact among collegiate club sport athletes. The subject of the present study was the niche sport of quidditch, a co-ed contact sport that is currently being played at over 200 colleges and universities across the United States. The primary purpose of this research was to investigate the perceptions of athletic identity among quidditch participants. In addition, it was also of interest to understand the degree to which spectators perceive the athletic identity of the participants and the game of quidditch in general. A two-phase, case study approach was utilized which featured both club quidditch team members and spectators at a regional club tournament as participants. Results from our thematic analysis yielded four primary themes; quidditch as a sport, participation for sport, participation for social interaction, and the Harry Potter effect. Concurrently, many spectators identified the quidditch participants as athletes although they were not as defiant in their identification of quidditch as a sport. These findings have notable implications for college students seeking to continue their athletic endeavors via an alternative sport experience and administrators who are seeking to expand their sport offerings.
Qualitative, Case Study, Club Sport, Athletic Identity
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Recommended APA Citation
Traugutt, A., Augustin, J., & Hazzaa, R. (2018). Perceptions of Athletic Identity: A Case Study of a Niche Club Sport. The Qualitative Report, 23(4), 875-888. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2018.3083