Sports Science

It’s a known fact that exercise is addictive. But CrossFitters – those who take part in CrossFit’s brutal workouts and stringent diet – are infamous for their fanatical devotion to their fitness philosophy. They can be found doing pull-ups and heavily weighted squats, flipping tires or hitting them with a sledgehammer, climbing ropes, tossing medicine balls, and “going Paleo<.”

Though the World Series is over, baseball never really ends in the modern era. There are MVP announcements, free agency and then the winter meetings. Before we know it, it will be February and pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training in Florida and Arizona.

In the NFL, teams share revenue from national television contracts and to sell local tickets, if a team has not sold at least to a specific threshold, the game is blacked out locally. If enough people are attending, the game is shown to fans in the region

That appeals to 'hometown' fans. One satellite network shows all games to its package subscribers but otherwise fans are only going to see their local team. If they don't have one, they see something nearby. It is a rule and there is no choice.

In the modern mobile population, that may not be a wise strategy. Fans no longer live within an hour of where they grew up and a new paper finds that choosing to broadcast the local team isn't always the smartest ratings decision. Writing in 

Arm pain is common among healthy young baseball players, according to a recent survey. Nearly half say they have been encouraged to keep playing despite arm pain, which suggests that more individualized screening is needed to prevent overuse injury in young ballplayers. 

The questionnaire was designed to learn more about the frequency, severity, and psychosocial effects of arm pain among active adolescent baseball payers. The questionnaire was completed by 203 players from New York and New Jersey between the ages of 8 and 18. All of the surveys were completed without input from parents or coaches.

In the United States, professional basketball, the NBA, opens its regular season tonight. That means at this time tomorrow there will be talk that some player 'flopped' - fell on the ground to draw a foul and get a chance at a free basket.

A new analysis has found that two-thirds of the falls examined by the group at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev were found to be intentional.  And it happens a lot.

It happens so much because there is insufficient punishment for deception and teams are not doing the math. A cost/benefit analysis of "flopping" finds that 90 percent of the time no penalty is awarded, so as a strategy it is pointless.

There are lots of distance runners in the United States, there is no real gender gap about participation. But there is when it comes to competition, the difference is there.

A new paper in Evolutionary Psychology says that, on average, American men participate at track meets about three times as often as American women, and this difference has been consistent since the late 1990s. By contrast, at road races, the sex difference in participation has disappeared.

If you need another good reason to hit the gym, a new study finds it can improve memory. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have found that an intense workout of as little as 20 minutes can enhance episodic memory, also known as long-term memory for previous events, by about 10 percent in healthy young adults

Dave ‘Bear’ Duerson, 22, in action. Credit: PA

By Jordan Gaines Lewis, Penn State College of Medicine

Ah, football. The great American pastime.

The freshly cut grass and crisply-painted yard lines. The sound of helmets clashing in an epic stack of large men vying for a single ball. Stands packed high with thousands upon thousands of crazed, prideful, body-painted fanatics. Dementia, confusion, and depression.

Wait, what? That last bit may not be present on game day, but for many football players, it’s brewing all along – with every clash, tackle, and fall.

Can hamstring injury be predicted? 

Hamstring strains account for most non-contact injuries in Australian rules football, football and rugby union, as well as track events like sprinting, and a team led by Dr. Anthony Shield, from
Queensland University of Technology,
and Dr. David Opar of Australian Catholic University, measured the eccentric hamstring strength of more than 200 AFL players from five professional clubs and may have a new metric for predicting problems.

Phil Mickelson tees off at Gleneagles. Credit: EPA

By Tony Westbury, Edinburgh Napier University

Medinah Country Club, Chicago, Ryder Cup 2012. There were six short feet between Martin Kaymer and the 18th hole. This was the moment. No other player, no spectator, none of the many millions watching on television would have dared breathe. The seconds stretched as the German composed himself for his final shot.