As the digital revolution continues apace, emergent technologies and means of communication have presented new challenges and opportunities for the field of football studies. In turn, researchers active across the social sciences and beyond have responded and are beginning to carve out a new field of study – digital football studies. In the absence of any concentrated review of this field, the purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) to critically revisit previous ‘waves’ of football studies scholarship; (2) to identify themes in current digital football studies scholarship and identify areas for future study; and (3) to begin to map out some theoretical and conceptual traditions that might better equip scholarly enterprises for the study of football, and by association leisure and sport, in the (hyper)digital moment. We also postulate the establishment of digital football studies as a collective enterprise will be especially important for a post-Covid-19 globe given the rapid acceleration towards digital during the pandemic. To this end, we argue that leisure and football studies must develop empirically, methodologically, and theoretically to better capture the nature of (hyper)digitalised societies and the ways audiences are playing with, and shifting, the boundaries and possibilities for football and leisure.
KEYWORDS Digital culture; football studies; claustropolitanism; sociology of leisure