How deep is the importance and influence of organized sports in Alberta? Discover key episodes and players in the history of Alberta's organized sports and read how sport shaped the lives of individuals as well as of communities of indigenous people, settlers, and immigrants. Read new perspectives on well-known sports stories along with tales of lesser-known games that remained on the margins of most histories for reasons of race, class, and gender. Whether a spectator, supporter, scholar, or fan, readers will be informed and delighted by the research contained in this sport history.
About the author
Karen L. Wall is an Associate Professor in the Communication Studies Program at Athabasca University. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.
- Unknown, AAUP Book, Jacket & Journal Show - Book Design / Scholarly Illustrated
- Unknown, The Alcuin Society Citations for Excellence in Book Design in Canada - Prose Non-Fiction Illustrated / Second Prize
"Game Plan is a very welcome addition to Canadian sport history.... This book is the first, comprehensive, academic history of sport in a Western Canadian province. [Karen Wall] had two goals in writing Game Plan: to provide a broad chronological narrative as a foundation for understanding how core sports and sporting cultures in Alberta evolved and to expand the edges of this developmental chronology by introducing the people, teams, spectators, and lesser-known games that remain on the margins of most sport histories." M. Ann Hall, Journal of Sport History, Fall 2013
# 2 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week on December 07, 2012
"This impressive book is the first comprehensive history of sport in this province. It covers virtually every sport played in Alberta, giving the history and development of each and examines their place in our society. The book really contains two sections. One deals with the formal histories of various sports, and the second analyses them in relationship to their social and political impact." Hugh Dempsey, Alberta History, Summer 2013
"The typographic sophistication of this book is among the best in the competition; the leading and margins are appropriately generous, and the unorthodox shoulder heads succeed in piquing the viewer's interest." The Alcuin Society, Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, 2012
"Throughout the text, Wall demonstrates a well-developed and nuanced approach to situating sport within broader social and cultural themes.... One of the most important contributions of Game Plan to the field of sport history is the compilation of primary and secondary source materials. Additionally, the images and photographs interspersed throughout the text provide vivid connection to the individuals who have lived the sporting history of the province.... [An] important contribution to the field in its contribution to the growing body of literature concerned with Canadian sport history at the political and social space below the national level. Ultimately, Wall has compiled a cogent history of sport in Alberta while engaging and integrating individuals and groups who comprise the margins of sport in the province." Robert S. Kossuth, Labour/LeTravail 72, Fall 2013
"Game Plan makes an extremely valuable contribution to sport history in Alberta and in Canada. I highly recommend it as a fine example of how a region's extensive history of sport can be constructed and communicated in an engaging fashion. Game Plan is a worthwhile purchase both as a reference work and as a resource for readers and researchers interested in regional history or in sport's role in cultural and societal development." Fiona A.E. McQuarrie, Leisure/Loisir, 37:2 (2013)
"Karen L. Wall’s Game Plan offers what is arguably the first integrated history of Alberta’s sporting past. A compilation and celebration of the diverse scholarship on the topic, Wall’s book is a timely addition to the historiography of Canadian sport…. This book, especially its exhaustive and comprehensive bibliography and index, is an incredible resource for students, researchers, and community enthusiasts, as well as a formative piece of research on the history of sport in Alberta."
Great Plains Quarterly, Volume 34, Number 1
"Wall offers the reader a delightfully detailed narrative that is meticulously researched and accessible to a multitude of audiences.... Wall is particularly skilled in weaving together archival material, primary, and secondary resources to address the vantage points of stakeholders, founders, athletes, and citizens.... [R]eaders may find themselves captivated by athletic accomplishments while remainng aware of the greater message linking sport to culture for her audience."
"Interspersed throughout are a good number of photographs that nicely illustrate the sporting pastimes of Albertans in the last century. The range of sports the author covers is also impressive: Indigenous games; winter games such as hockey, figure skating, skiing, and curling; and summer sports such as lacrosse, soccer, baseball, football, basketball, rodeo, cycling, and track and field.... In sum, the strongest part of the book is the lineage of amateur organizations for all sports that Wall carefully traces from past to present. What the study lacks, however, is more about the individual and-for want of a better word-the heroic.... Such achievements belong alongside collective team sports, which the author has done so well at chronicling in this magnum opus." Anthony Rasporich, Western Historical Quarterly, Summer 2014
"This interior design does such a wonderful job of capturing the energy and excitement of sport. The overall quality and content of the photography is excellent throughout. I love the way the part titles introduce each new section with elegant, modern type decisions and the circular motif, which repeats in new and surprising ways without feeling overwhelming." AAUP's Book, Jacket, and Journal Show, Jury Comments, 2013
"The strength of Wall's argument lies in her exhaustive research and her ability to discern connections between society at large and sports. Game Plan convincingly demonstrates that changing perceptions of race, class, and gender have shaped athletics in Alberta while acknowledging the individual athletes as catalysts for these changes."
Pacific Northwest Quarterly