Sports Science

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, coming off an an All-Star Game MVP award, had unusually high testosterone levels to go along with his .346 batting average and 11 home runs.  These are not the days of Steve Howe (1), when baseball could try to ban players only to have the unnaturally powerful Player's Union block any efforts at a drug policy, Cabrera was suspended for 50 games.
Everyone talks about punches to the brain but not as much research goes into the neuroscience of sports punishment delivery systems.'

Researchers from Imperial College London and University College London are taking their shot at it.  They took brain scans which revealed distinctive features in the brain structure of martial arts experts, which they say could be linked to their ability to punch powerfully from close range.

Those differences in the structure of white matter – the connections between brain regions – were correlated with how black belts and novices performed in a test of punching ability.
An April 29, 2011, a low split-finger fastball thrown by Yankees right-handed pitcher Freddy Garcia inspired a whole science study.
Want to get in a fight in Scotland?

Okay, just about anything will get you into a fight in Scotland but if you want a guaranteed way to get a headbutt and then kicked when you are on the ground, tell them they did not invent golf, the world's most frustrating pastime.
Can anyone accurately forecast the result of the London Olympics while they are a week away?

Even more daring, can they forecast results without in depth knowledge of athlete training?

Economists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum are taking a shot at it and, if it sounds like complete madness, we'll go ahead and spoil it and tell you they believe that China, USA, and Russia will top the score table with 102, 100, and 71 medals, respectively, so you can move on to another article. 

But if you are interested in the nuts and bolts, read on.  You can decide if this is mumbo-jumbo or solid science.
The two most common swimming strokes used by athletes training for the Olympic Games either pull the swimmer through the water like a boat paddle or whirl to the side like a propeller.

Which arm motion works best is a big argument among elite swimmers and their coaches but a university research study has picked a winner - which will be no comfort at at all to actual athletes and their coaches.
Athletes sometimes 'choke' - succumb to pressure and underperform - in key situations. How can an athlete be among the top 1,000 participants in the world at a task and be paralyzed by situations in a game they play with expertise?

Choking happens to lots of people.  We've all heard people say they can't take tests, for example.  A new analysis from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) suggests that when there are higher incentives to succeed, people can become so afraid of losing their potential reward that their performance suffers.
The so-called 'reality-based community' hates popular culture, unless they like it ironically. Sports most of all.

But, argues George Washington University Professor of Anthropology Jeffrey P. Blomster, the ballgame is associated with the rise of complex societies, so understanding its origins also illuminates the evolution of socio-politically complex societies.
You likely knew that professional boxing causes brain damage but a new study shows it is more than just an assumption, even about amateurs. Researchers analyzing 30 top-level Swedish boxers found changes in brain fluids after bouts, which indicates nerve cell damage. 

It has been debated for quite some time whether Olympic (amateur) boxing is hazardous to the brain. Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, joined with colleagues at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Linköping University and the Swedish Boxing Association in conducting a unique study of 30 top-level Swedish boxers and 25 reference persons. What they found was that boxers even in amateur bouts with headgear had brain injury similar to Alzheimers.
Both testosterone and cortisol levels increased for Spaniards who watched as Spain beat Holland during the 2010 World Cup. 

In this study, they analyzed the psychobiological response of men and women watching sports - when the competition’s outcome, victory or defeat, is basically out of their control. Fifty supporters of the Spanish team watched the final in a public space or at home, with their families or friends. The researchers asked for their expectations and feelings before the match, and they checked their testosterone and cortisol levels before, during and after the match.