Measuring the formalization of community sports clubs: findings from the UK, Germany and Australia
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This article illustrates how non-profit community sports clubs run by volunteers in the UK, Germany and Australia can be clustered on the basis of formalization. Although the literature has speculated on a trend towards formalization, this has not been measured. Three different data-sets, which were not specifically collected for this purpose, were used to measure formalization. Our analysis shows how the replication of existing surveys could measure formalization. For each country, available sports club data were used to perform cluster analyses. A set of indicators for formalization was chosen based on the literature and whether the factors are accompanied with formalized procedures and processes within sports clubs. The results revealed a two-cluster solution for clubs in the UK, a three-cluster solution for Australian clubs and an eight-cluster solution for German clubs (because the German sample was larger). In each country, there was evidence of a spectrum of sports clubs from informal to highly formalized clubs with the exception of the UK where the clusters were labelled formal and semi-formal. Without a survey specifically designed to measure formalization, the article shows how existing surveys might be used to make international comparisons.
International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Sport and Leisure Management