Developmental pathways in netball match officiating: Examining the potential role of technology

Alastair Pearson, Tom Webb, Gemma Milligan, Matt Dicks, Christina Barrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Research aim: This research sought to explore the role of technology within development pathways in netball match officiating.
Research methods: A qualitative methodology was employed to gain insight into technology within development pathways. 28 participants were sampled across the five global netball regions, fulfilling single and mixed umpiring (N = 21), assessing (N = 7), coaching (N = 5), tutoring (N = 5), mentoring (N = 3), administration (N = 3), and bench officiating (N = 1) roles, with thematic analysis using inductive coding adopted to investigate perspectives specifically towards technology use.
Results and findings: Video within assessment processes and its implementation in analysis practices was highlighted as important for providing effective feedback. The effect might not be due to the technology alone and interactions between the individuals providing and receiving feedback should also be considered. Creating learning provision, enabling the sharing of resources and greater access to development opportunities were discussed as crucial, especially in developing world regions. However, socio-cultural differences might impact upon personal preferences in using technology or its perceived need, and regular monitoring of provision is crucial to ensure impact is occurring. Adopting processes to share knowledge across regions and creating greater assessment and mentoring opportunities were also seen to enhance development and learning. Implementation of technology should be considered in relation to different stages of development that are apparent across nations, with factors such as cost, required skills, and the compatibility being crucial to ensuring needs are met appropriately.
Implications: The findings identify how technology could act to benefit match officiating pathways. The crucial factor is ensuring that equity is sought in providing mechanisms of this manner, adopting policies that are aimed at effecting the global development landscape. This might, however, be impacted by cost and availability, and as such considerations need to be made towards accessible opportunities, irrespective of geographical location.
Research contribution: This research provides detail on the role of technology within development processes of sport officials and in a previously under researched sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
Early online date2 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • sports match officials
  • technology
  • talent development
  • netball


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