New York: American Sports Publishing Company, . First edition. Handbooks were released by the American Physical Education Association annually from about 1923 to the late 1930s. The handbooks circulated the quickly evolving rules for women’s sports. The present edition includes expanded sections on track and volleyball. All editions of the handbooks are scarce, with no more than three copies of any edition on OCLC. OCLC records two copies of this edition (UNC Greensboro and the University of Wisconsin. With a fold-out chart (24” by 13”) noting record-setting performances of women athletes and another fold-out chart (18” by 14 ”) with the rules of volleyball. Also with dozens of diagrams and eight black-and-white photo reproductions of women athletes. A bit of light wear to corners and spine. The track and field fold-out chart has come loose from the binding but is laid in at its original position. Some chipping and some small open tears to chart. Pieces missing from upper corners of couple leaves (likely from dog earing). Margins a bit toned. With an order form for other items from the American Physical Education Association. A very good, clean copy of an interesting item produced at a time when the place of women in sports was hotly debated. Original paper wrappers printed in orange and blue. 5 in. by 6 in. 144 pp. Item #16849
In Active Bodies: A History of Women’s Physical Education in Twentieth-Century America, Martha Verbrugge explains that debates on the appropriateness of girls and women in organized sports flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. Arguments against women participating in sports usually centered around the alleged biological inferiority of women, which was used to fuel panic over gender role transgression, lesbian sexuality, and racial inclusion in organized sports. The debate prompted some colleges and universities to ban women from participating in sports during menstruation or shut down women’s sports programs altogether. The present item even includes a page in section four arguing against the notion that track and field was unsafe or unhealthy for young women because of their supposed tendency to injure themselves.
Verbrugge, Martha. Active Bodies (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 47-62, 73, 290.