Corporal games in 19th century physical education as a prelude to modern sports in Spain

Xavier Torrebadella-Flix, Jordi Brasó Rius

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    7 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2019, Universidad Catolica San Antonio Murcia. All rights reserved. School physical education in Spain was developed in the 19th century, coinciding with the establishment and expansion of the European gymnastic systems of physical education. In that scenario, physical-education content was subject to European influences, as evidenced by documentary sources from the period. The main aim of this study is to highlight the influence exerted by physical education on the process of social acceptance of sport in Spain. A methodology based on documentary heuristics in physical education and a positivistic analysis of the texts selected has allowed a descriptive, hermeneutic discourse to be constructed regarding the beginnings of sportification in physical education. The latter process is shown to have been influenced by a specialised bibliography that emphasised a growing presence of corporal games as content in physical education. This influence stemmed from the international projection of the English-speaking world’s conception of sport at that time, which tended to minimise the benefits of gymnastic practices. It is suggested that physical education contributed to that process of sportification, thus impacting traditional national games, which fell in popularity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-177
    JournalCultura, Ciencia y Deporte
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


    • Corporal games
    • History of physical education
    • History of sport
    • Popular and traditional games


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