Among widening social anxieties about practices and performances of contemporary masculinity are questions about the place of hyper-masculine (contact) sports, such as games of football. Foremost are concerns about some of the values and attitudes that appear to circulate within such contexts. With their historical leaning towards character attributes aligned to hardness, solidarity and stoicism, there is growing pressure on coaches and teachers to manage and mediate the participation of young males in this arena. Against this backdrop, this paper explores some of the tensions that emerge in schools when the codes and mores frequently associated with a hyper-masculine sporting identity are seen to flourish. Foremost here is the emergence of cultures of entitlement, abuse and exclusion. Following the illumination of such cultures across three research narratives, this paper discusses the sorts of reforms that are needed to promote more educative and responsible engagement with hyper-masculine sports in, and beyond, schools.
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