From refereeing to constructing the profession: performance and working conditions

- Researchers involved : ACTé : G. Rix-Lièvre, F. Coutarel, M. Récopé, M-J. Biache, S. Boyer (doctoral student), M. Grimonprez (Study engineer) Exterior: P. Lièvre (CRCGM, University of Auvergne, Groupe ESC Clermont).

- Partners : Auvergne Regional Council, La Poste and French football and rugby federations - PERF Arbitrage

- Project summary: This project examines the performance and working conditions of high-level referees. We study the means of constructing referee performance without limiting ourselves to the performance of a single individual at a given moment. Referee performance is not independent of the players’ activity and falls within an organisational context that in part defines it. Therefore, the working conditions are invested in that they constitute the framework of the activity. We document the way in which each member of the system (player, coach, media, supervisor, etc.) establishes referee performance, thereby showing the diversity of expectations referees have to deal with. This diversity—which can extend to antagonist expectations—is the source of tensions for referees, tensions that are as many obstacles to performance and seem such as to create health problems. Consequently, while part of this work tends to update the various ways referee performance is established, the other part focusses on possibilities of assisting refereeing to a group construction of explicit compromises on what constitutes quality refereeing. In this direction, the construction process counts more than the temporary result that will be reached. The goal is to obtain true systematic group management of referee performance, with the referee assuming its complexity. The creation of a list of skills constitutes the chosen direction to seek to establish this dynamic through disagreements.

Area 3 of the ACTé research laboratory

- ACté