The Referee as Educator: Hermeneutical and Pedagogical Perspectives
Nowadays, in contemporary sports studies scarce attention is devoted to studying the referee and his/her functions in light of the philosophical and pedagogical approach. For this reason, the main aim of this study is to use a hermeneutical philosophic methodology to reflect on the role and functions of this figure, and to show his or her importance in preserving the intrinsic values of sport in front of youth and society. Starting with a historical analysis of the referee and the sport judge in ancient Greek athletics, this study will highlight how such this important figure has always been a key element of competitive sport. This study will demonstrate that refereeing is a practice that needs a specific set of hermeneutical skills and the development of complex pedagogical knowledge and ways of acting. It will also define the concept of “refereeing” in light of a pedagogical approach demonstrating that this practice is, fundamentally, a communicative action implying an ethical and hermeneutical dimension of the referee as a critical-reflective professional committed to enforcing sport’s rules and values. In conclusion, the study will stress the importance of looking at referees and sport judges not as a mere technicians and evaluators of performances in competitions but as educators whose specific knowledge must be developed in all of the courses for their training and education.
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