There are no formal degree programs in sports history. Sports history training is often offered as a single class through a larger sports management or history program. However, these classes are usually open to all students. Common subjects include the history of sports in general within the United States, and often baseball in particular, due to the sport's tie-ins with many significant historical events in American history. Students taking a sports history class should enjoy reading and writing, since they are typically required to read several books throughout the semester and may be required to write a research paper.
History of U.S. Sports
Classes in U.S. sports history center on professional athletic competition and recreational sports in the United States. U.S. sports history courses may start as far back as the era of colonization and gradually cover the years in between, up to present day sporting practices. Topics include the cultural and economic influence of sports on American life. Additionally, students learn how politics and social issues affected sports history in the U.S.
History of Baseball
Baseball history students learn about major events in the game. They also study how issues of industrialization, race and war affected the sport. Economics are also discussed in relation to baseball, as students dissect how the sport has evolved over the years from a simple cultural pastime to a global business.
Popular Career Options
Even though there are no sports history programs for students, there are programs and degrees designed to help students become history teachers. Individuals can teach at the middle school, high school and collegiate level.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment for high school teachers from 2014-2024 is expected to grow 6%, which is slower than average, and 13% for postsecondary teachers, which is faster than average. As of May 2015, high school teachers make a mean annual wage of $57,200 and post-secondary history teachers earn a mean of $76,670, according to the BLS.
At times, colleges host 1-day workshops on sports history topics. Throughout the U.S. there are also a number of sports history halls, which typically offer guided tours. Museum guides give mini-workshops about the exhibits and history of the hall. For those who opt to take non-guided tours, they can often purchase audio cassettes, and the exhibits themselves may offer instructional video presentations and interactive games.
There are a number of online resources for sports history buffs, such as Sports Illustrated's Vault, which offers a library of older articles and photographs as well as sports history videos. Additionally, the Internet is home to many discussion forums where sports history enthusiasts can post comments and interact with other sports fans. Team and game-specific sports history DVDs and books are also available for purchase from a variety of sources.
Though no specific degree programs are available in sports history, courses and specializations on the subject are offered through sports management or general history programs. Having a keen interest in sports history could lead to a career teaching general history where an emphasis can be placed on the relevance of sports on larger culture.