AAHPERD 2012 Peaceful Play presentation

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AAHPERD 2012 Peaceful Play presentation
Building Inclusive Communities Through
Peaceful Play
Dean M. Ravizza, Ph.D.
Dept. of Health & Sport Sciences/Center for Conflict Resolution
Salisbury University, Maryland USA
2012 AAHPERD National Conference
Boston, MA
March 15, 2012
This presentation will include the following:
 Mini-cases of conflict in sport
 Summary of previous research
 Introduction to Peaceful Play
 Pilot program implementation
 Summary of key findings
 Implications for future programming
Overview of the Context
• Nearly twenty-three years of conflict between the Lord’s
Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan Government Forces
• An estimated 66,000 children and youth were abducted for
various periods of time1.
• Approximately 2 million were placed in Internally Displaced
Persons (IDP) camps.
• The region is in transition from conflict to a focus on peace and
• Low-intensity disputes (eg. land, domestic, petty crime) still
remain potent at the community level2.
Survey of War-Affected Youth. Retrieved from www.sway-uganda.org, October 15, 2009.
P. & Vinck, P. (2010). Transitioning to peace: A population-based survey on attitudes about social reconstruction and justice in northern
Uganda. Berkley, CA: Human Rights Center.
Sport for Children and Youth in
Armed Conflict Settings (SCYACS)
Research Model
Select Measures
Culturally –
Qualitative Follow
Adapted from Betantcourt, T.S. (2011). Presentation made at World Bank, Washington, DC.
What the Research Provided
• Children and youth who engaged in sport most likely
do so at their schools.
• Children and youth engaged in various levels of
conflict in sport from verbal to physical.
• Children and youth resolved conflict in sport by both
peaceful and non-peaceful means.
• Non-abductees were more likely to attempt to resolve
conflicts in sport by way of peaceful responses than
their formerly abducted peers who engaged in more
violent responses.
• Former abductees experienced varying degrees of
social exclusion by peers and coaches.
See Ravizza, D.M. (2010a). The uses of sport for children in armed conflict. Journal of Sport Science and Physical Education, Sport and
Globalization issue, 59, 14-18.
Ravizza, D.M. (2012). We don’t play war anymore: The role of sport in the reintegration and social inclusion of former child soldiers in
northern Uganda. In W. Bennett & K. Gilbert (eds.), Sport for Peace and Development. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishers.
Theoretical Framework
• Dugan (1996) - Sub-system approach to
rebuilding relationships.
• Web-approach to peacebuilding - Lederach
(2005) – focus on strategic relationships or
• Lewin’s (1999) three-stage model of change –
Sport and Peacebuilding Efforts
• Keim’s (2003, 2006) research in post-apartheid South
Africa focusing on sport and nation-building.
• Sugden (2006) and Football for Peace – bridging
societal divides between Israeli Arab and Jewish
• Open Fun Football Schools – bridging divided
communities in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• Peace Players International- utilizes basketball to
bridge divides.
Keim, M. (2003). Nation-building at play: Sport as a tool for social integration in post-apartheid South Africa. Oxford: Meyer &
Meyer Sport.
Keim, M. (2006). Sport as Opportunity for Community Development and Peace Building in South Africa. Accessed from
Sugden,J. (2006). Teaching and playing sport for conflict resolution and co-existence in Israel, International Review for the
Sociology of Sport, 41(2), 221–240.
Levels of Conflict in Sport
Ravizza, D.M., & Matonak, E. (2011). Strategies for Resolution to Conflict in Sport. Center for
Conflict Resolution: Salisbury University.
Levels of Conflict in Sport and Strategies for Resolution
• Disagreement:
– Two different views about a particular play or call.
– A decision is made directly for immediate resolution.
• Argument:
– Extension on a disagreement and beyond an immediate resolution.
– A simple, “I’m sorry” or “it’s your team’s turn for the possession” will
not settle this situation.
• Physical
– An instantaneous physical reaction to an event.
– The physical aspect is often impulsive and is not always done with
malicious intent.
• Harmful
Includes deliberate retaliation.
This level may or may not be preceded by the physical level.
The player who seeks retaliation does not always seek resolution.
May be retaliation from a previous physical event or from a dispute
originating outside of the scope of the sport.
Resolutions to Conflict in Sport
• Disagreement:
– Predetermined strategies
• Alternating possessions
– Spirit of the game
• Play on
• Forgiveness
• Argument:
– Refer to existing rules
– Seek outside help/observers
Resolutions to Conflict in Sport
• Physical
– Temporary removal
from activity
– Dialogue exchange
• Harmful
– Remove from activity
– Seek additional
counseling to resolve
related issues
Pilot Program
• 6-month period (June – December 2011)
• 10 coaches/sport teachers (9 males, 1 female)
from Gulu and Kitgum Districts
• Sport teachers employed at local schools
(primary and secondary), coaches at
community-based programs
• Participated in district workshops on sport
and conflict resolution
• Monthly data collection
Data Collection Methods
Log Data
Survey Findings
• As a result of participating in the pilot
– 33% thought less of former abductees as sources of
conflict in sport.
– 66% have a more positive opinion that former
abductees are capable of resolving their conflicts
that arise during participation in sport activities.
– 33% moved in the direction of not excluding
children and youth from participation in sport if
they are perceived to be a source of conflict.
Qualitative Vignettes
• “The new strategy that I learn was involving the children to
participate on their own in the way of solving conflict so it’s like
empowering them to solve a conflict on their own because you
will not always be there for them.” G-003
• “The strategies contributed to a more peaceful atmosphere in the
sports program because I remember in October we had
(volleyball) games here for all the secondary schools. Some of the
teams were very harsh on our players. The next time, our
players were organized for them and new how to talk to them
and deal with conflict.” K-005
• “The new strategy that I learned was involving the children to
participate on their own the way of resolving conflict so it’s like
empowering the children to solve a conflict on their own because
you will not always be there for them.” G-002
Conclusions and Pathways Forward
• The role of the coach/sport teacher/facilitator
is critical to the peacebuilding process.
• Focus on building the capacity of youth to
resolve conflict rather than being merely
passive participants.
• Transfer strategies for resolution to conflicts
outside of the sport context.
• Larger scale implementation throughout
Northern Ugandan region – transfers to other
contexts/regions of conflict.
Thank you!
For more information, please contact:
Dean M. Ravizza, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Physical Education Program Director
Dept. of Health & Sport Sciences
Senior Research Practitioner, Center
for Conflict Resolution
Salisbury University
[email protected]
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