Sport, counterfactual history, and rugby’s twin codes
International Journal of the History of Sport, 21, (1), . (doi:10.1080/09523360412331306033).
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Counterfactual history attracts considerable opprobrium, yet enthusiasts defend the intellectual validity of considering what could have occurred as opposed to what actually did. A prerequisite that the variables must be minimized in the interests of plausibility suggests the history of sport(s) - if not actual competition - can generate plausible consequences significantly different from the real outcomes: for example, a counterfactual scenario in which the Northern Union established a firm foothold outside its industrial heartland. What would have been the local and national consequences of rugby league consolidating its pre-1914 position in Coventry and Leicester? How did these clubs view rugby league pre-1995, and how have these attitudes changed significantly since?
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