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Observing Basketball Players in the Park
The Research Context
From this point forward, the person doing the research will be called the observer. In the present case, the observer decides to investigate the kind of human interaction existing between basketball players who frequently visit and play in the basketball court located within a park. The community playing at the park is multicultural: the players from various backgrounds come together in an area where their differences are not important as long as they can enjoy the game they love.
Not only do they represent different nationalities, but they also represent different social groups. It is easy to spot those who derive from very poor backgrounds due to way they dress. It is also possible to assume that a person comes from a privileged background basing on way they talk. The observer could also make a generalization that different types of personalities and ethnic backgrounds are represented in the basketball court. The basketball court is visited by American Europeans, African Americans, Latin Americans, etc. who do not seem to have any conflicts based on their differences Children, teenagers, and adults move around the court as most of them want to play while others are content to observe the game.
Most of the players wear Nike basketball shoes while the rest wears recognizable brand names such as Adidas and Under Armor. There have also been observed two major brands of basketballs that the players prefer to use, including Spalding and Molten. It is hard to ignore another notable fact that the shoes they wear are considered to be as important as their skills in handling basketball.
It is important to record the fact that there are only a few places in the world where one can find different groups of people meeting and interacting with low danger of causing conflict. It is not rare to hear of incidents which take place as players participate in conflicts in the basketball court. However, the examination of the root cause of such conflicts shows that they are not connected with religion or color of skin but with the game itself.
Basing on the thorough observations, it could also be concluded that basketball is a team sport. This obvious assumption may be proven with the rules of basketball that require ten players to be inside the court excluding the referee. In some variation of the game, six players are required in a format called three on three, and in this version the players only use half the basketball court and focus only on one basket or goal. However, this is not the main reason why the observer made the conclusion that this game is indeed a team sport. In fact, almost no one comes to the park or the basketball court without a companion. In the rare occasion a person gets to the basketball court on their own, one can make a confident assumption that this person will never have an opportunity to play. It is difficult to get invited if no one knows the newcomer. It is also because of how the groups interact with each other and negotiate on how to use the basketball court, because in this area no one owns the court and they have to share it with each other.
The observer faced an unexpected realization upon studying human interaction within the basketball court located within a park. It appears that sport can bring people together, and its pull is powerful enough for people coming from different walks of life and different cultural backgrounds to set aside their differences in order to play the game they all appreciate. For the present case, it is not rare to find a person accepted in a team even if the person comes from completely different ethnical background. The players are willing to make adjustments because they are all eager to play the game and are not prejudiced.
Present case also helps appreciate the purpose of the Olympic Games when people from all over the planet meet and compete in one location. These athletes come from various countries with different forms of governments and ideologies. Although they represent competing interests, they come together: sport helps them to understand that in a certain way they are all equal. Even if some people may be prejudiced or have certain stereotypes regarding different cultures or ethnicities, the boundaries are abolished at the sports ground where all people are equal and are judged only basing on their skills.
Another important realization is that basketball is a team sport, but it is not merely due to the fact that there are rules to follow, such as the need to have ten or six players inside the basketball court. This realization did not appear by observing the rules but is based on the way different individuals try to negotiate the use of the basketball court. There are no government agencies that regulate the flow of people in and out the basketball court, and yet people who may be unfamiliar with one another and may even meet for the first time are able to come to an agreement on how to take turns in using the facility. The secondary insight is based on the fact that one can rarely see children or teenagers walking alone towards the basketball court. More often, people arrive with a team or at least a companion. Therefore, one can conclude that a popular type of sport can be utilized to bring people together in order to enjoy each other's company or to accomplish a certain goal. Basketball, unlike tennis or golf, requires a sort of herd mentality and a greater sense of brotherhood, as it is a group sport.