An explorative investigation of referee abuse in English rugby league

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This article explored the experiences of eighty-nine rugby league referees in England who undertook a mixed methods online survey from the 9th January to the 31st March 2017. The results of the survey produced rich data from the open responses, and the quantitative measures are used to support these open responses. Findings identified an established culture of abuse towards referees, a refereeing workforce requiring greater support, better communication with the governing body and, therefore, revisions to existing policy and training. Conclusions identified specific recommendations and policy implications to improve the operational environment and working conditions and increase support for referees.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018


  • referees
  • abuse
  • operational environment
  • working conditions
  • rugby league


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