Study calls for moral as well as social values to be considered in rugby selection process | 9/3/2013 | Staff
TaylorShaye (Posted by) Level 3
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According to Sir Graham Henry "better people make better All Blacks," but against what standards are the characters of New Zealand rugby players being judged?

A University of Otago study, published in the International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, found New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has a list of socially orientated "character assessment values," including work ethic, competitiveness, resilience, coachability, and motivation in rugby, which they use to assess players' character during the selection process.

Authors - Study - Associate - Professor - Tania

The authors of the study, Associate Professor Tania Cassidy, of the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Otago graduate Ryan Rosevear, reported that while these values all directly impact performance, leading international character academics recommend a focus also be placed on moral values, specifically compassion, fairness, sportspersonship and integrity.

"NZR lacks clear emphasis on moral values. This reflects other researchers' claims that principles such as honesty and sportspersonship are not often emphasised in elite team sports because they do not win matches," Mr Rosevear says.

Pair - Call - NZR - Values - Focus

The pair call on NZR to consider incorporating values with a moral, as well as social focus, and encourage open discussion about why some values are prioritised and not others; possible unintended consequences of adopting particular values; and the range of behaviours that reflect, and are influenced by, such values.

"The findings of this study are significant not only for rugby, in New Zealand and elsewhere, but they are also relevant and topical for any recruitment agent, employer, selector, or sports coach who either implicitly or explicitly appoints, promotes, selects or deselects participants based on character," Associate Professor Cassidy says.

Insight - Character - NZR - Researchers - Player

Along with gaining insight into how character is understood within NZR, the researchers also studied how the player development manager of a provincial union negotiates, constructs and...
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