Theme: The COVID 19 Pandemic: Influences, Issues and Impacts of the Corona Virus on Sport and Society


AASBS volume editors:

Prof Urmilla Bob

University of KwaZulu-Natal


Prof Sadhana Manik

University of KwaZulu-Natal


The spread of the Coronavirus which has led to the COVID-19 pandemic has distressing and far reaching influences and impacts on life globally.

Sport has been severely disrupted by strategies (including social distancing protocols, travel restrictions and lockdowns) to curb and stop the spread of the virus.

Sport plays important roles in society linked to entertainment and spectatorship, contributing to social cohesion and nation-building, and encouraging healthier lifestyles.

The cancellation and suspension of various sporting activities and events as well as the closure and restrictions on the use of sport facilities have considerably changed how people consume and participate in sport. It has also changed the very essence and nature of what constitutes the sport and exercise experience for many as virtual/ online training, participation, and even competition, have increased substantially.

Globally, almost all major  sporting events and activities have been suspended, postponed or cancelled including the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Games which has been moved to 2021. As Gough (2020: 1) asserts, the pandemic has “wreaked havoc to the sporting calendar”.

Training and sports facilities have been closed or re-purposed, for example, as health facilities or to assist with dealing with the homeless to contribute to dealing with the pandemic.

Sports personalities (athletes/ players), organisations, businesses, etc. have also contributed to educate the public about the virus, leveraging funding and resources and using facilities to deal with the pandemic.

Sport participation and consumption are largely social and cultural events which can at times become political events ( for example the 2010 Soccer World  cup in South Africa which was advanced as having united the nation), associated with both players/ athletes and spectators interacting with each other. Additionally, sport-related activities (from training to competitive professional sports) are associated with social gatherings and interactions as noted by Parnell (2020). There are therefore several social and cultural aspects that are important to examine for this focus, especially in the context that the sports sector has several codes, different types of activities/ events, and it provides socio-psychological and health benefits.

Furthermore, several stakeholders are impacted such as players/ athletes, businesses, sport clubs/ organisations, trainers, educators, managers and owners of facilities, government departments, employees, etc. in a variety ways, ranging from income, through advertising, to the fostering of psychosocial wellbeing, and contributions to social cohesion and community.

This Book adopts a multi-disciplinary and socio-cultural and political lens to examine sports-related issues (themes) , influences, impacts, responses and challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chapter contributions are therefore invited to address, but are not confined to, the following key questions:

  • What are the social and/ or cultural and/ or political dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on sports in relation to participation, consumption, competition and business enterprises?
  • How are different stakeholders experiencing and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What are the differential impacts of COVID-19 on specific sporting codes and activities (including training and competition) and what are the responses?
  • What are the immediate, medium and longer term impacts on sports?
  • How is the COVID-19 pandemic likely to change sports as we once knew it, in society?
  • What are the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic discernible in the sports sector?
  • How are participation and consumption patterms of sports events and activities changing, and what are the social implications?
  • What are regional and/ or country level trends in relation to the issues, influences, impacts and responses in the sports sector?
  • What are the socio-psychological as well as perceptions and experiences of sports fans and participants given the outbreak and spread of the corona virus?
  • How has COVID 19 influenced sport for vulnerable groups such as the physically challenged (disabled persons).


A chapter should be between 4000 and 6000 words.


Expected date of publication: 4 September 2020



Interested contributors are encouraged to submit their abstracts to the Alternation corresponding editor of this special edition, Prof Urmilla Bob ( and cc co-editor Prof Sadhana Manik ( The SUBJECT line of the email should read as: COVID-19 Sports and Society Abstract by... (Name of the corresponding author).



  • A succinct title
  • A brief abstract (± 200 words) which includes at least the focus of the study, the importance of the study/ contribution to knowledge, the methodological approach adopted and key findings/ aspects to be covered
  • Author/s name/s
  • Author/s institutional affiliation
  • Contact details



  • Friday 18 May 2020: Deadline for submission of abstracts
  • Friday 29 May 2020: Final date for acceptance of abstracts
  • Friday 30 June 2020: Final date for submission of chapter
  • Friday 1 July to Friday 24 July: Peer review process
  • Friday 21 August 2020: Submission of final edited chapters
  • Friday 4 September 2020: Publication


ALTERNATION Book Publications

Starting with a number of books generated in the midst and the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this book will form part of the Alternation African Scholarship Book Series (AASBS).

Provisionally titled, The COVID 19 Pandemic: Influences, Issues and Impacts of the corona virus on Sport and Society ( 2020), the book is edited by Prof Urmilla Bob and Prof Sadhana Manik, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The AASBS is being published in hardcopy as well as online on the same open access webpages as the Alternation journal, and according to the same research protocols and measures as the journal at:


ALTERNATION Journal Publications

Alternation journal is a fully accredited, peer-reviewed South African Department of Higher Education and Training journal. It is edited by Prof J.A. Smit, former Dean and Head of School, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, and published at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, on an Open Access platform. All articles are subject to peer-review by at least two independent peer reviewers. All articles that pass the review process, and that are accepted for publication, are published online, at:

The Alternation homepage is available at:



Full author guidelines are available at:



Gough, C. 2020. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disease Pandemic Effect on the Sports Industry - Statistics & Facts. 03 April 2020. Available at:

Parnell, D., Widdop, P., Bond, A. and Wilson, R., 2020. COVID-19, networks and sport. Managing Sport and Leisure, pp.1-7.