Project

Officiating retention

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Project log

Susan Lesley Forbes
added 2 research items
Sport officials are tasked with maintaining order and adjudicating sport contests. Given their multifaceted role in enforcing rules, standardizing competitions, and keeping sport safe for all participants, they are a requisite part of the sport workforce. With ongoing reports of annual attrition rates in officiating in excess of 20-35% for various sports around the world, there is more than ample evidence that officiating dropout is a persistent, pervasive, and global challenge underpinned by multiple contributing factors including, but not limited to, the threat of verbal and physical abuse. Moreover, despite worldwide recognition and growing interest in the problem, there has not been a comprehensive resource for sport scientists and practitioners studying or working to reverse the ongoing trend. Sport Officiating: Recruitment, Development, and Retention provides a 'state of the science' summary in the emerging area of inquiry limited to sport officiating recruitment, development, and retention, and, provides insight and evidence-based approaches to the development of successful officiating development programs (ODP). This book is a primary reference work using a multifaceted, holistic, and evidence-based approach to integrate key findings from the sport science literature to date in suggesting and providing real-world solutions to the practical issues faced by sport organizers. Sport Officiating: Recruitment, Development, and Retention is a key resource for researchers interested in the development of sport officials and for sport practitioners aiming to implement officiating development programs (ODP) at any level within sport systems.
Lori A. Livingston
added a research item
Accounts of injury causing, rule breaking behaviour in invasion games are becoming increasingly common and are frequently accompanied by the suggestion that rule changes and stricter rule enforcement would minimize or reduce the rate of such occurrences. Using a content analysis approach, the purpose of this study was to critically examine the international rule books for basketball, ice hockey, and soccer to determine the extent and nature of overt rules and rule statements designed to protect participants from injury, and the language of rule enforcement in defining the game officials' roles in keeping games safe. The findings revealed that the rules of these games are numerous and clearly attempt to ensure safe playing environments for all participants. While game officials must enforce the rules of the game, game participants (i.e., players, coaches, team personnel, and spectators) must also play a role in keeping games safe.
Lori A. Livingston
added 2 research items
Avante, 2007, 11(3), 1-14. Understanding the experiences of sports officials is critical to understanding their reasons for discontinuing participation. The purpose of this study was to identify and examine factors which contribute to officiating attrition amongst Canadian amateur ice hockey officials. On-ice referees and linesmen (n=94) registered with an Ontario-based district hockey association and its affiliated minor hockey association during the 2000-2001, but not the 2001-2002 hockey season, responded to a survey that assessed their reasons for terminating participation. Abuse and poor sportsmanship by fans, players, coaches, and spectators was ranked as the number one factor contributing to attrition for the entire sample and officials with two or less years of experience. Career demands, rates of remuneration, officiating program registration fees, and dissatisfaction with local referee administrations were also key factors contributing to the decision to leave. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for theory and practice.
Avante, 2007, Vol 11(3), 15-22. The purpose of this article was to gain insight into the experiences of referees and linesmen in the Canadian minor hockey system. Qualitative methodologies, including semi-structured interviews, were used to explore and understand the officiating experiences of active ice hockey officials living in a mid-sized Atlantic Canadian city. Through data analysis and interpretation, three themes emerged. The first theme addressed the motivation of these individuals to officiate ice hockey at the district and minor levels. The second theme focused on the abuse received by officials, but more importantly, their related desire to be treated as a valued part of the hockey community. The third theme, in contrast, dealt with advancement through the ranks, and more specifically, the politics of advancement as well as the barriers imposed by the lack of existing opportunities within the region. Given these findings, university educators are encouraged to create officiating courses of the same type as those offered in the areas of coaching and sports administration. Officials should become a more valued part of the Canadian sports system, with the opportunity to participate in an environment that is safe, supportive, and free of ridicule.
Lori A. Livingston
added an update
The purpose of this project was to explore the current state of affairs with respect to what officiating-related organizational resources and supports currently exist within the Canadian sport system. To complete this task, a scoping review methodology was used to examine the content of national sport organization (NSO), provincial sport organization (PSO), and territorial sport organization (TSO) websites.
 
Lori A. Livingston
added a research item
The purpose of this article is to report on the outcome of a two-day consensus-building exercise amongst sport scientists and sport practitioners interested in the recruitment, development, and retention of sport officials. Twenty participants including volunteers and paid employees affiliated with nine Ontario-based sport organizations, university researchers, and provincial government policy makers participated. A call to action regarding sport officiating and, more specifically, “What do we know?”, “What don’t we know?”, and “Where does the research need to go from here?” is presented. A willingness to consider and embrace these ideas is critical in moving sport officiating from being an understudied and undervalued segment of the sport system to receiving the attention and respect it deserves going forward. Keywords: perceived organizational support – long-term officiating development – sport governance
Lori A. Livingston
added a research item
In comparison to athletes and coaches, sport officials have received relatively little attention from the sport science community. The purpose of this investigation was to examine resilience, participation motivations, and perceptions of organizational support for those officiating aesthetic sports. Seventy-six (62 females, 14 males) Canadian officials volunteered to participate. They completed measures of resilience, motivation, and POS and provided qualitative responses to a series of open-ended questions. The results indicated that they were highly resilient and motivated to participate because of their love for the sport and desire to stay connected to the sports' social communities. Univariate ANOVA procedures revealed significant differences, including three-way interaction effects in measures of resilience, motivation (i.e., extrinsic motivation as introjected regulation, amotivation), and POS by sex, officiating rank, and officiating setting. Implications for sport and officiating administrators are discussed.
Susan Lesley Forbes
added a research item
On-ice officials are a vital part of the Canadian amateur hockey system, yet annual attrition rates are alarmingly high at 30%. Previous research has largely emphasized the role of stress/psychological factors as contributors to officiating dropout. In contrast, we explore a broad range of factors that might contribute to amateur ice hockey officials' decisions to discontinue their participation. We observe that new, inexperienced officials were more likely to cite stress/psychological factors (e.g. verbal abuse, threat of abuse) while experienced long-serving officials were more likely to indicate career or family demands as their primary reason for leaving officiating. Importantly, regardless of experience level, organizational factors emerged as secondary yet omnipresent contributors to these decisions. Thus, the purpose of this investigation is to re-examine the qualitative responses received in our two aforementioned investigations using an analytical framework premised on the theory of perceived organizational support. Our findings reveal, in order of descending frequency, that officials who had discontinued their participation felt negatively about their local hockey associations with respect to the lack of (1) opportunities to move up the ranks; (2) appropriate fee structures to pay them what they deserve; (3) assistance to help them perform their duties to the best of their abilities; (4) consideration given to officials' best interests when making decisions that affect them and (5) appreciation for their efforts. These findings provide important insights into issues that local hockey associations might address in an effort to retain officials.