The art of sports officiating: Learning how to referee rugby union

Year: 2013

Author: Baldwin, Christopher, Vallance, Roger

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper forms part of an ongoing doctoral research thesis. The purpose of this paper is to report an aspect of the pilot interviews as part of the doctoral thesis. This paper investigates the learning opportunities (LOs) of rugby union referees. To date no refereeing studies have sought to document and evaluate the LOs of rugby union referees nor look to gain insights into the experiences of referees in LOs. This paper seeks to address this gap in the research. This paper has three central aims: first, to catalogue the various LOs that are available to rugby union referees in Australia; second, to describe typical experiences of referees in these various LOs; and third, to evaluate these LOs in terms of effectiveness. To achieve this, this paper will utilise documentary research sourced from the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Australian Sports Commission (ASC) as well as semi-structured interviews with a small number of NSW Rugby Union Premiership referees.