Referees and Their Heterogeneity: A Case Study in French Basketball

By Broda Philippe

This paper explores the meaning attributed by basketball referees in France to their choice of activity. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 referees of various ages, some still active, others not. Among younger referees, a “sense of community” in terms of their club or team, rather than as referees, seemed to prevail. In the older group, the relationship to the competition and with their own club appeared to be the main axis of differentiation. This approach provides a typology of referees (“Sunday referee,” “servant of the club,” “competitor,” basketball “fan”), wherein each type is characterized by specific motivations and expectations.


  • basketball
  • referee
  • sense of community
  • competition
  • serious leisure activity
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