The structural-interpretive framework of athletes' professionalism for the sports-career path (Study of group sports in the Kurdistan region- Iraq)

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD student in sports management, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.

2 Department of physical education, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

3 PhD in Sports Management, Gilan University, Rasht, Iran.



Purpose: The study aimed to formulate a multi-level conceptual framework of the professionalism of group sports athletes in the path of basic to competitive sports for the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Method: The research method was qualitative and quantitative. The statistical population includes people who have scientific and executive opinions in the field of research, and a sample of 17 people selected based on reaching theoretical saturation. Due to the nature of the interpretive structural method, quantitative part estimated by asking the opinions of people who mastered the perception of the relationships between variables from joint academic and executive experts (15 people).

Results: The research tool included an interview a questionnaire consisting of 11 variables determined as a pairwise comparison. Data analysis was done using interpretive structural modeling and MICMAC analysis. The results showed the factors of the consequences of professionalism for the sports system and athletes; competence and professional development of athletes and professionalism in the stages of progress; professionalization in the learning society, professional self-improvement of athletes and professionalization of field and job; The efficiency of the human resources system and the professionalization of sports talent management and the drivers and inhibitors of athletes' professionalism were identified.

Conclusion: According to the ISM method, the identified relationships were sequence effects between the fifth level and the first level. So, the professionalism of the athletes of the Iraqi Kurdistan region in the path from basic to competitive sports requires the integration of various approaches of professionalism in a multi-level process.