1st Edition

Sports Officials and Officiating
Science and Practice

ISBN 9780415835756
Published December 8, 2014 by Routledge
176 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

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:

  • Training and career development
  • Fitness and physical preparation
  • Visual processing
  • Judgement and decision-making
  • Communication and game management
  • Psychological demands and skills
  • Using technology
  • Performance evaluation
  • Researching and studying officials in sport

Top-level officials or officiating managers contribute in the ‘Official’s Call’ sections, reflecting on their experiences in 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.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Development of Officials  Official’s Call (Janie Frampton- former National Referee Manager, the Football Association (FA), England)  3. Physical Demands  Official’s Call (Bill Mildenhall, Referee Development Officer, Basketball Victoria and Victorian Basketball Referees Association, Australia)  4. Visual Perception  5. Judgment and Decision Making  Official’s Call (Ralf Brand, referee and member of Referee’s Advisory Board, Basketball Bundesliga (BEKO BBL), Germany)  6. Interaction and Game Management  Official’s Call (Wayne Barnes, International Rugby Board (IRB) referee, England)  7. Psychological Demands and Skills  Official’s Call (Marika Humphreys-Baranova, International Skating Union (ISU) judge, ISU trainer and examiner of Technical Specialists, England; Chris White, Rugby Football Union (RFU) Referee Academy Manager, England)  8. Technology  Official’s Call (Holger Albrecht, Federation International de Gymnastique (FIG) technical committee member for men’s artistic gymnastics, Germany; Graham Hughes, International Rugby Board (IRB) Television Match Official (TMO), England)  9. Selection, Training, and Evaluation of Performance  Official’s Call (Jacqui Jashari, International Netball Umpire; Umpire coach and mentor, Australia; Tony Parker, International Squash Official, England; Tom Lopes, Executive Director of International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO), USA) 10. Conclusion

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Clare MacMahon is Head of Sports Science at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Her research broadly examines movement cognition, exploring how thinking and moving are interlinked, with examples such as the impact of cognitive fatigue on physical performance, or the impact of context on decisions in sport. Clare has also worked with a number of professional sporting organisations understanding talent identification and development, and training of cognitive skills such as decision making. She has worked with officials in a multitude of sports, at a variety of different levels in both research and application

Duncan Mascarenhas is a British Psychological Society, Chartered Psychologist with over 15 years of experience working with sports officials. Having provided psychological support to the Rugby Football Union Elite Referee Unit he has since provided training to many clients including the Rugby Football League Match Officials and New Zealand Netball. He completed a post-doctoral research project with New Zealand Soccer referees investigating the interactive effect of physical performance and decision making. Duncan is a UK level-4 basketball referee and currently enjoys refereeing basketball, touch-rugby and soccer. He is currently employed at Glyndŵr University as a Senior Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology. Duncan is a BASES (British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences) Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist and has research interests in team decision making, sports officiating and video interventions in sport

Henning Plessner, PhD in psychology, is professor for sport psychology and director of the Institute of Sports and Sports Sciences at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. 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 various applied settings. Henning is Vice-President of the German Society of Sport Science and the author/editor of 3 books, 3 journal special issues, and more than 50 peer reviewed articles and edited book chapters. Besides, he is active as a national certified gymnastic judge for more than twenty years

Alexandra Pizzera is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Psychology of the German Sport University Cologne, where she also completed her Diploma degree in Sport Science and her PhD in Sport Science (Sport Psychology). Her research interests focus on the bidirectional link between action and perception with regard to visual and acoustic perception, expertise research and the selection, training and performance evaluation process of sports officials. She teaches courses in sport psychology and gymnastics

Raôul R.D. Oudejans is associate professor at the MOVE Research Institute Amsterdam, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, VU University, The Netherlands. 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. The last fifteen years Raôul specialized in the visual control of the basketball shot as well as in training and performing under pressure. At the moment Raôul has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers, 8 book chapters and 4 books, including the new student book in Dutch Sportpsychologie (Sport Psychology) first published in 2012

Markus Raab is the Head of the Institute of Psychology at the German Sport University and the Head of the Performance Psychology Department. Additionally, he is research Professor at London South Bank University, UK. The main focus of the research program in performance psychology is on motor learning and motor control and judgment and decision making in sports and beyond. He favors a simple heuristic approach and an embodied cognition approach to understand the interaction of sensorimotor and cognitive behavior from a psychological perspective


"One of the outstanding strengths of the book is the ‘Official’s call’ at the end of each chapter, which brings up the officials’ voices from their own perspective and practice... Moreover, the book is well-written and comprehensible and gives a lot of new insights both for people with experiences from officiating and for researchers, students, coaches, leaders and others without personal experiences from refereeing... I warmly recommend this book for sport scientist, sport coaches, leaders, administrators and officials as well as for students in sport sciences, because it addresses an central area of sport studies that is definitely under researched."— Bente Ovèdie Skogvang, Hedmark University College, Norway, www.idrottsforum.org