7 Theory Fields of Sport Science

Sport science have seven theory field model presented, which was developed in 1979 at the Departement for Sport Pedagogy of the institute of Sport and Sport Sciences, Christian Albrechts University at Kiel (HAAG 1979). It served as a model for describing the content of sport science (compare “review of literature”) and provided part of the theoretical framework for the five-volume series “Foundations for the Study of Sport Science” edited by HAAG & Straub.
The seven theory fields are : sport medicine (Hollman 1989), sport biomechanics (Ballreich 1989), sport psychology (Hahn 1989), sport pedagogy (Haag 1989b), sport sociology (Heinemann 1989a), sport history (Langenfeld 1989), sport philosophy (Haag 1989c). This list was created on the basis of logical considerations. The sequence theory fields begins with sport medicine and sport biomechanics which are close to the human being in its physical existance (natural science).

The three following theory fields – sport psychology, sport pedagogy, sport sociology – represent the behaviour of human beings in a holistic way (social-behavioural sciences). The last two theory fields, sport history and sport philosophy, stand for comprehensive meta-considerations in regard to past, present, and future (hermeneutical-normative sciences). Therefore, the model can be seen also as a continuum from concrete to abstract, from natural sciences to humanities, from empirical-analytical to hermeneutical-theoretical, from concrete to abstract, from desciptive to normative etc.

Within the continuum of seven theory of fields there are many connections and relationships. These interrelationships have to be recognised and nurtured. Furthermore, all seven theory fields have a “mother” or related discipline in the backgrounf with mostly strong interrelationships. The following figure summarises the presented characteristics of the established seven theory fields :

Theory Field
Related Science
Special Remarks
Natural Sciences
Social-Behavioural  Sciences
Hermeneutical-Normative Sciences


This model can be understood better, if each theory field is presented briefly with reference to the following points (HAAG 1991a, 119-162).
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