Effect of physiological demands on decision-making in soccer referees

Mercado, Carlos (2023) Effect of physiological demands on decision-making in soccer referees. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Decision-making ability is critical to sport officials’ performances. However, current training methods that simulate the task of soccer referees ignore physiological factors that may affect decision-making. The primary objective of this research was to investigate the influence of physiological demands on decision-making accuracy among non-professional soccer referees. Skilled soccer referees (N = 10; male = 9, female = 1) were tested on a decision-making simulator. Participants ran on a treadmill for 30 minutes at varying speeds, while watching 30 different video clips; one each minute. The videos presented the referees with a foul or no foul situation, and participants called their match decisions out loud. Simultaneously, the experimenter recorded participants’ heart rate and rating of perceived exertion. Two one-way repeated measures Friedman’s tests were performed to assess decision accuracy in relation to running speed and block during the experiment. Consequently, there was no significant difference in decision accuracy for participants based on the speed at which they were running: χ²(2) = 5.013 and p = .286. Similarly, no significant difference was shown for the effect of blocks on referees’ accuracy in decision-making: χ²(2) = 1.500 and p = .472. Finally, two Pearson’s correlation tests were completed. There was no significant relationship between the referees’ average heart rate and their accuracy: r = .078, p = .689. Similarly, there was no relationship between referees’ decision accuracy and the rating of perceived exertion: r = -.078, p = .686. While the findings were not significant, it is imperative to continue this research. Specifically, studies that place referees in their natural environment (enhancing ecological validity) might offer more insights into the relationship between physical load and decision-making.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15993
Item ID: 15993
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 42-49)
Keywords: soccer referees, physiological demands, decision-making, effect
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Kinesiology
Date: May 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/6341-F149
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Soccer referees--Physiology; Soccer referees--Decision making

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