ABSTRACT

This chapter will concentrate on sanctioned aggressive and violent play as an accepted part of the action in some contemporary sports. Much of the discussion will focus on the motivation and emotions of the athletes involved, the rewards associated with participating in team contact sport and the development of physical aggression and violence as a particular source of pleasure. Most of the published material on aggression and violence in team contact sport has concentrated on male athletes, but recently there is a small but growing interest in female athletes. Some exploration of female athlete responses to aggression and violence is also undertaken in this chapter. In addition to reversal theory, which is used to provide a theoretical explanation for understanding sanctioned aggression and violence in sport, the Hedonic Tone Management Model of Addictions (Brown, 1997) will be used to explain how an athlete’s positive reward from physical aggression and violence develops over time and may eventually become addictive.