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Virtual communities of practice

Updated: May 16, 2020

In sport, and sport officiating development, sharing of best practice (which should be more appropriately known as better practice) is the aim of many NSO and SSOs.

The virtuous cycle of discovering a new methodology, testing it to ensure it holds well under different conditions, that it can be adapted sufficiently to be localized, sharing the idea then for it to be finally implemented before the next better practice rolls around.

How can we expediate this cycle, especially in the current sporting environment?

The communities of practice concept was first introduced by Lave & Wegner (1991). Defined as “a group of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise by interacting on an ongoing basis.”

The current climate seems as good as any to revisit this concept. All sports, even those that have been severely impacted by Covid-19 and are in the recovery phase can provide a connection though setting up virtual communities of practice. Such initiatives meet two objectives of the creation/maintenance of social connections while at the same time sharing better practices.

After all, what has been stopping us creating this connection through virtual communities of practice before now?

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