The development of sport in Poland has been shaped by historical circumstances and the particular conditions they created: the period of the partitions, the process of integration after regaining independence, the destruction of the Second World War, and the subsequent Communist rule. Sport took on special meanings, and sports historiography, too, served to maintain national sentiments or ideological hegemony. Since 1989 research on sports history has entered a process of transformation characterized by new approaches, a free choice of subjects, access to new sources, and a more open academic exchange. Still, there are many blind spots in the social and cultural history of sport in Poland. Polish sports history has great potential to illuminate our understanding of inclusion, exclusion, and identity formation. It would be fruitful to leave the national focus aside, this article concludes, and to engage in comparative and transnational approaches within a Central (East) European framework.

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