Sports Officials and Officiating
Science and Practice
By Clare MacMahon, Henning Plessner, Alexandra Pizzera, Raôul Oudejans, Markus Raab, Duncan Mascarenhas
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
Sports officials (umpires, referees, judges) play a vital role in every sport, and sports governing bodies, fans and players now expect officials to maintain higher professional standards than ever before. In this ground-breaking book a team of leading international sport scientists and top level officials have come together to examine, for the first time, the science and practice of officiating in sport, helping us to better understand the skills, techniques and physical requirements of successful refereeing.
The book covers every key component of the official’s role, including:
Every chapter contains a contribution from an active, top-level official – ‘Official’s Call’ – which reflects on real, in-game situations across a wide range of international sports and on how a better understanding of science and technique can help improve professional practice. No other book has attempted to combine leading edge contemporary sport science with the realities of match officiating in this way, and therefore this book is vital reading for any advanced student of sport science, sport coaching or sport development, or any practising official or sports administrator looking to raise their professional standards.
Introduction 1. Development of Officials: Training histories, pathways, and the career span 2. Physical Demands 3. Judgment and Decision Making 4. Interaction and Game Management 5. Psychological Demands and Skills 6. Technology 7. Selection, Training, and Evaluating Performance 8. Conclusion
Clare MacMahon is a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research expertise is in acquisition and performance of skill, and judgment and decision making in sport. A particular area of focus is on the training and performance of sports officials and in this research she has worked with the Canadian Football League, UEFA and FIFA, and further in the sports of basketball, baseball, and cricket.
Alexandra Pizzera is an early career researcher based in the Department of Performance Psychology of the German Sport University, Cologne. Her main interests are in judgment and decision making of sports officials, focusing on different factors influencing their performance as well as the selection, training and performance evaluation of sports officials.
Henning Plessner is Professor for Sport Psychology at the University of Heidelberg. Currently he is vice-president of the German Association of Sport Science (dvs) and member of the ethics committee of the German Society of Psychology (DGPs). The focus of his theoretical and empirical research work is on the experimental investigation of basic processes of social judgment, as well as on the study of judgment and decision making in sport.
Raôul R.D. Oudejans is an associate professor at the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences since 1991. Currently his main research and teaching areas are perceiving and moving in sports (including sports officiating) and other high-pressure contexts with emphasis on the psychological factors involved in performing.
Markus Raab is a tenured professor, head of the Department of Performance Psychology and currently head of the Institute of Psychology at the German Sport University, Cologne.