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Sports and Leisure Critical Reading Practice Exercises Set 2 (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 27, 2011

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  1. e.   Glimpsing a piece of the past (choice a), glorifying athletes (choice b), disparaging segregation (choice c), and learning some tennis history (choice d) are all story elements that support the main purpose of the passage: To tell the story of Althea Gibson, the woman who broke the color barrier in professional tennis (choice e).
  2. a.   The word bucolic is most often used to describe something typical of or relating to rural life. If you did not know what bucolic meant, there are contextual clues to help you. In lines 11-15, the passage tells us that Althea was born on a cotton farm and her father was a sharecropper. Also, in lines 13–14, the author contrasts the bucolic Silver with New York City's urban bustle.
  3. e.   The passage states that Althea Gibson was a two-time Wimbledon champion. However, the passage does not offer the exact number of defeats Althea suffered at Wimbledon in her career.
  4. a.   Althea's accomplishments in 1949 and 1950 should have earned her an invitation to the 1950 U.S. Nationals, but her and the ATA's efforts to secure an invitation from the USTLA fell on deaf ears (lines 51–57). It was not until the national uproar spurred by Alice Marble's editorial (lines 62–66) that the USTLA, buckling under the weight of public pressure (choice a), relented and extended Althea an invitation to play.
  5. c.   Althea was an extraordinarily gifted athlete, yet because of the color of her skin and the time in which she lived, her path to success from the very beginning was obstructed by segregation and discrimination. Althea was not allowed to practice on public tennis courts (lines 47–48), barred from USLTA-sponsored events (line 57), and was refused hotel rooms and restaurant reservations (lines 76–78). Althea's ability to put these distractions aside and excel was a triumph of mental toughness, and the author uses the quote on line 80 to illustrate that fact.
  6. b.   When looking at questions such as this one, it's important to think each choice through before hastily picking an answer. This question has two tough distracters: choices c and d. At first glance, choice c seems like a good pick, but the word immediate is what makes it incorrect. Althea Gibson's achievements were certainly victories for the civil rights movement, but in lines 6–7 it is stated that the color barrier did not come tumbling down overnight. Choice d is attractive, but Althea did not take on the world alone. The ATA and people like Dr. Eaton and Alice Marble all had a hand in guiding and assisting Althea on her pioneering path. Choice e is incorrect because Althea's historic achievements on and off the court were groundbreaking, and she accomplished it all in the face of adversity.
  7. b.   Alice Marble believed that talent should decide who can be a champion, not race (choice b). Nowhere in her comments did Alice Marble say baseball, football, and boxing are more entertaining than tennis (choice a), or that there were undeserving players in the U.S. Nationals (choice c). Nor did she propose that the USLTA make the tournament open to anybody (choice d).
  8. d.   Althea's friend probably suggested that Althea try lawn tennis because she was a champion paddle tennis player and enjoyed the sport very much (lines 16–17). The other choices either don't make sense or are not supported by facts from the passage.
  9. e.   In lines 71–75, the passage states that Althea won a total of eleven Grand Slam titles in her career. However, nowhere in the passage does it state that those eleven titles were a record number for a female.
  10. e.   The answer is found in line 58 of the passage. Chick Gandil first approached the gambler with his scheme, and then recruited the seven other players.
  11. b.   Parsimonious is a word used to describe someone who is frugal to the point of stinginess. Comiskey's pay cuts (line 27), bonus of cheap champagne (lines 32–33), refusal to launder uniforms (lines 33–34), and his benching of Eddie Ciccotte (lines 42–44) are all clues that should help you deduce the answer from the given choices.
  12. b.   Answering this question involves a bit of deductive reasoning. Though the actual name of the ballpark is never given in the passage, lines 20–21 state that the 1917 White Sox won the World Series playing in a park named for their owner.
  13. a.   As it is used in line 54, thrown means to have lost intentionally. The answer to this question is found in lines 59–60. For $100,000 Chick Gandil would make sure the Sox lost the Series.
  14. c.   Lines 14–16 state between the years of 1900 and 1915 the White Sox had won the World Series only once, and then line 21 tells us they won it again in 1917. Be careful not to mistakenly select choice d, three; the question asks for the number of World Series the Sox won, not the number of Series played.
  15. d.   In lines 42–44 the author states that after Ciccotte won his twentyninth game he was benched by Comiskey for the rest of the season. Choice d asks for the number of games he pitched. It is stated that he pitched and won twenty-nine games in 1919, but the passage doesn't mention the number of games he pitched in which he lost, so you can't know for sure.
  16. b.   Ignominious is a word used to describe something marked with shame or disgrace, something dishonorable. The ignominious label referred to in lines 71–72 is Black Sox—the nickname the Chicago press took to calling the scandalized and disgraced White Sox team.
  17. c.   It is stated throughout the passage Comiskey was a frugal man, yet in lines 76–77 it says that he paid for the players' defense lawyers. Why? The answer to that and the biggest clue to answering this question lies in the last sentence of the passage: Comiskey's once mighty team was decimated by the loss of its most talented players, and the 1921 White Sox finished the season in seventh place.
  18. b.   Lines 47–50 state that gamblers would often target with the lower-paid athletes because the money with which these gamblers tempted the players was hard to refuse. The passage tells that due to Charles Comiskey's stinginess with his players, there were many underpaid players on the White Sox who were dissatisfied (lines 61–62) and they were the most discontented team in baseball (line 35). These factors suggest that if Charles Comiskey had treated his players better, perhaps they might not have been so eager to betray him.

For more practice on sports and leisure critical reading questions, review:

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