The psychology of soccer referees

Thomas Webb, Denise Hill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Referees are assessed at each of the matches they officiate, often by more than one assessor; making them some of the most accountable individuals in soccer. Referee organisations exist in every soccer-playing country in Europe, and some organisations operate across countries, working with referees from different countries. Both of these organisations predominantly manage, train, and develop the elite referees who operate in the top professional league in a given country and in continent-wide-based competitions. The intervention was multi-modal and addressed personal resilience, alongside enhancing organisational resilience, while also encouraging broader cultural changes. For the organisations that are involved in the governance of elite referees, the findings and outcomes on a micro level were generally beneficial. The cultural training was integrated in order to improve referee understanding of the impact that culture can have on their training and performance, as well as the behaviour of players, and was an important aspect of our intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Soccer
EditorsJoe Dixon, Jamie Barker, Richard Thelwell, Ian Mitchell
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003005568
ISBN (Print)9780367350277, 9780367350284
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2020

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