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Amateur association football player

An amateur (from French  'one who loves' [1] ) is generally considered a person who pursues an avocation independent from their source of income. Amateurs and their pursuits are also described as popular, informal, self-taught, user-generated, DIY, and hobbyist. [2]



Historically, the amateur was considered to be the ideal balance between pure intent, open mind, and the interest or passion for a subject. That ideology spanned many different fields of interest. It may have its roots in the ancient Greek philosophy of amateur athletes competing in the Olympics. The ancient Greek citizens spent most of their time in other pursuits, but competed according to their natural talents and abilities.

The "gentleman amateur" was a phenomenon among the gentry of Great Britain from the 17th century until the 20th century. [3] With the start of the Age of Reason, with people thinking more about how the world works around them, (see science in the Age of Enlightenment), things like the cabinets of curiosities, and the writing of the book The Christian Virtuoso , started to shape the idea of the gentleman amateur. He was vastly interested in a particular topic, and studied, observed, and collected things and information on his topic of choice. The Royal Society in Great Britain was generally composed of these "gentleman amateurs", and is one of the reasons science today exists the way it does. A few examples of these gentleman amateurs are Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Sir Robert Cotton, 1st Baronet, of Connington.

Amateurism can be seen in both a negative and positive light. Since amateurs often lack formal training and are self-taught, some amateur work may be considered sub-par. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as basketball, baseball, or football are regarded as possessing a lower level of ability than professional athletes. On the other hand, an amateur may be in a position to approach a subject with an open mind (as a result of the lack of formal training) and in a financially disinterested manner. An amateur who dabbles in a field out of interest rather than as a profession, or possesses a general but superficial interest in any art or a branch of knowledge, is often referred to as a dilettante.

Amateur athletics


Through most of the 20th century the Olympics allowed only amateur athletes to participate and this amateur code was strictly enforced - Jim Thorpe was stripped of track and field medals for having taken expense money for playing baseball in 1912.

Later on, the nations of the Communist Bloc entered teams of Olympians who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession, but many of whom were in reality paid by the state to train on a full-time basis. [4]

Near the end of the 1960s, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) felt their amateur players could no longer be competitive against the Soviet team's full-time athletes and the other constantly improving European teams. They pushed for the ability to use players from professional leagues but met opposition from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). At the IIHF Congress in 1969, the IIHF decided to allow Canada to use nine non-NHL professional hockey players [5] at the 1970 World Championships in Montreal and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. [6] The decision was reversed in January 1970 after IOC President Avery Brundage said that ice hockey's status as an Olympic sport would be in jeopardy if the change was made. [5] In response, Canada withdrew from all international ice hockey competitions and officials stated that they would not return until "open competition" was instituted. [5] [7] Günther Sabetzki became president of the IIHF in 1975 and helped to resolve the dispute with the CAHA. In 1976, the IIHF agreed to allow "open competition" between all players in the World Championships. However, NHL players were still not allowed to play in the Olympics, because of the unwillingness of the NHL to take a break mid-season and the IOC's amateur-only policy. [8]

Before the 1984 Winter Olympics, a dispute formed over what made a player a professional. The IOC had adopted a rule that made any player who had signed an NHL contract but played less than ten games in the league eligible. However, the United States Olympic Committee maintained that any player contracted with an NHL team was a professional and therefore not eligible to play. The IOC held an emergency meeting that ruled NHL-contracted players were eligible, as long as they had not played in any NHL games. [9] This made five players on Olympic rosters—one Austrian, two Italians and two Canadians—ineligible. Players who had played in other professional leagues—such as the World Hockey Association—were allowed to play. [9] Canadian hockey official Alan Eagleson stated that the rule was only applied to the NHL and that professionally contracted players in European leagues were still considered amateurs. [10] Murray Costello of the CAHA suggested that a Canadian withdrawal was possible. [11] In 1986, the IOC voted to allow all athletes to compete in Olympic Games starting in 1988, [12] but let the individual sport federations decide if they wanted to allow professionals. [13]

After the 1972 retirement of IOC President Brundage, the Olympic amateurism rules were steadily relaxed, amounting only to technicalities and lip service, until being completely abandoned in the 1990s (in the United States, the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 prohibits national governing bodies from having more stringent standards of amateur status than required by international governing bodies of respective sports. The act caused the breakup of the Amateur Athletic Union as a wholesale sports governing body at the Olympic level).

Olympic regulations regarding amateur status of athletes were eventually abandoned in the 1990s with the exception of wrestling, where the amateur fight rules are used due to the fact that professional wrestling is largely staged with pre-determined outcomes. Starting from the 2016 Summer Olympics, professionals were allowed to compete in boxing, though amateur fight rules are still used for the tournament. [14]

Contribution of amateurs

Many amateurs make valuable contributions in the field of computer programming through the open source movement. [15] Amateur dramatics is the performance of plays or musical theater, often to high standards, but lacking the budgets of professional West End or Broadway performances. [16] Astronomy, chemistry, history, linguistics, and the natural sciences are among the fields that have benefited from the activities of amateurs. Gregor Mendel was an amateur scientist who never held a position in his field of study. Radio astronomy was founded by Grote Reber, an amateur radio operator. [17] Radio itself was greatly advanced by Guglielmo Marconi, a young Italian man who started out by tinkering with a coherer and a spark coil as an amateur electrician. [18] Pierre de Fermat was a highly influential mathematician whose primary vocation was law. [19]

In the 2000s and 2010s, the distinction between amateur and professional has become increasingly blurred, especially in areas such as computer programming, music and astronomy. The term amateur professionalism, or pro-am, is used to describe these activities. [20]

List of amateur pursuits

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ice Hockey World Championships</span> Recurring international ice hockey tournament for mens national teams

The Ice Hockey World Championships are an annual international men's ice hockey tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). First officially held at the 1920 Summer Olympics, it is the sport's highest profile annual international tournament. The IIHF was created in 1908 while the European Championships, the precursor to the World Championships, were first held in 1910. The tournament held at the 1920 Summer Olympics is recognized as the first Ice Hockey World Championship. From 1920 to 1968, the Olympic hockey tournament was also considered the World Championship for that year.

The Summit Series, Super Series 72, Canada–USSR Series, or Series of the Century, was an eight-game ice hockey series between the Soviet Union and Canada, held in September 1972. It was the first competition between the Soviet national team and a Canadian team represented by professional players of the National Hockey League (NHL), known as Team Canada. It was the first international ice hockey competition for Canada after they had withdrawn from such competitions in a dispute with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The series was organized with the intention to create a true best-against-best competition in the sport of ice hockey. The Soviets had become the dominant team in international competitions, in which the Canadian professionals were ineligible to play. Canada had had a long history of dominance of the sport prior to the Soviets' rise.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amateur sports</span> Sport played by non professionals

Amateur sports are sports in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration. The distinction is made between amateur sporting participants and professional sporting participants, who are paid for the time they spend competing and training. In the majority of sports which feature professional players, the professionals will participate at a higher standard of play than amateur competitors, as they can train full-time without the stress of having another job. The majority of worldwide sporting participants are amateurs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Canada men's national ice hockey team</span> Mens national ice hockey team representing Canada

The Canada men's national ice hockey team is the ice hockey team representing Canada internationally. The team is overseen by Hockey Canada, a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. From 1920 until 1963, Canada's international representation was by senior amateur club teams. Canada's national men's team was founded in 1963 by Father David Bauer as a part of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, playing out of the University of British Columbia. The nickname "Team Canada" was first used for the 1972 Summit Series and has been frequently used to refer to both the Canadian national men's and women's teams ever since.

Ice hockey rules define the parameters of the sport of ice hockey. The sport is governed by several organizations including the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), the National Hockey League (NHL), Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and others. The rules define the size of the hockey rink where a game is played, the playing and safety equipment, the game definition, including time of play and whether tie-breaking methods are used and the actual playing rules themselves. The IIHF rule book is used in both amateur and professional leagues worldwide. The NHL's rule book is the basis for the rule books of most North American professional leagues. The IIHF, amateur and NHL rules evolved separately from amateur and professional Canadian ice hockey rules of the early 1900s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Soviet Union men's national ice hockey team</span> Former mens national ice hockey team representing the Soviet Union

The Soviet national ice hockey team was the national men's ice hockey team of the Soviet Union. From 1954, the team won at least one medal each year at either the Ice Hockey World Championships or the Olympic hockey tournament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ice hockey at the Olympic Games</span> Olympic-related ice hockey

Ice hockey tournaments have been staged at the Olympic Games since 1920. The men's tournament was introduced at the 1920 Summer Olympics and was transferred permanently to the Winter Olympic Games program in 1924, in France. The women's tournament was first held at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Triple Gold Club</span> Prestigious group of award-winners in ice hockey

The Triple Gold Club is the group of ice hockey players and coaches who have won an Olympic Games gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and the Stanley Cup, the championship trophy of the National Hockey League (NHL). The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers them to be "the three most important championships available to the sport".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Murray Costello</span> Canadian ice hockey player and administrator

James Murray Costello is a Canadian retired ice hockey player, executive and administrator who dedicated a lifetime to the advancement of ice hockey in Canada. He played four seasons in the National Hockey League, and was the younger brother of Les Costello. He was a lawyer by trade, and was president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association from 1979 to 1994, then and its successor Hockey Canada from 1994 to 1998, when he facilitated the merger of the two organizations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Dudley</span> Canadian ice hockey administrator

George Samuel Dudley was a Canadian ice hockey administrator. He joined the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) executive in 1928, served as its president from 1934 to 1936, and as its treasurer from 1936 to 1960. He was elected to Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) executive in 1936, served as its president from 1940 to 1942, as its secretary from 1945 to 1947, and as its secretary-manager from 1947 to 1960. He was secretary of the International Ice Hockey Association from 1945 to 1947, and was later vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) from 1957 to 1960. He was expected to become the next president of the IIHF before his death. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1917 then practiced law for 43 years as the town solicitor for Midland, Ontario.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fred Page</span> Canadian ice hockey administrator and referee

Frederick Page was a Canadian ice hockey administrator and ice hockey referee. He originated from Port Arthur, Ontario, where he played junior ice hockey, refereed locally and later at the Memorial Cup and Allan Cup competitions. He was a league executive in Fort William, then served as president of the Thunder Bay Amateur Hockey Association from 1958 to 1962. He was elected second vice president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) in 1962, and rose up the ranks to be its president from 1966 to 1968. Page wanted the CAHA to gain more control over its affairs, and become less dependent on the National Hockey League (NHL). Under his leadership, the NHL ended direct sponsorship of junior hockey teams. He was instrumental in negotiating the revised agreement for the NHL Amateur Draft in 1967, and later served as co-chairman of the resulting joint player development committee.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gord Renwick</span> Canadian ice hockey administrator (1935–2021)

Gordon Ralph Renwick was a Canadian ice hockey administrator, who served as president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA), vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), and was the team president of the Galt Hornets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">W. G. Hardy</span> Canadian professor, writer, and ice hockey administrator

William George Hardy was a Canadian professor, writer, and ice hockey administrator. He lectured on the Classics at the University of Alberta from 1922 to 1964, and served as president of the Canadian Authors Association. He was an administrator of Canadian and international ice hockey, and served as president of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA), the International Ice Hockey Association, and the International Ice Hockey Federation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joe Kryczka</span> Canadian lawyer, judge and ice hockey administrator

Joseph Julius Kryczka was a Canadian ice hockey administrator, coach and referee, and had a legal career as a lawyer and judge, where he was commonly known as "Justice Joe". He graduated from the University of Alberta, and played hockey with the Golden Bears. He practiced law in Calgary for more than 20 years, beginning in 1959 as a lawyer, becoming a judge, and was eventually elevated to a justice on the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta.


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Further reading