Fair call- Player perceptions of justice in football referee communication

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Studies in organisations and other contexts have shown that people who perceive fairness tend to behave more cooperatively (Lind, 2005). Focus group discussions were held with 40 football (soccer) players to explore their expectations of referees and perceptions of referees' verbal and non-verbal communicative displays.The analysis applied organisational justice concepts to the emergent themes and displays. Three forms of referee meta-display were revealed - displays of self, displays of reaction to players and pressure, and displays of preferred interaction style. Player perceptions of fairness are enhanced when players perceive referees to be: - competent to perform as a referee - dependable in the face of pressure on their decisions- respectful of players.Many displays are amenable to practice and improvement, some are not. Even before the game starts, young referees are perceived to be less physically and mentally competent, less dependable, less respectful, and consequently less fair.The study is exploratory and preliminary but the findings suggest that justice models and concepts can raise understanding of referee-player communication, and contribute to referee training by making them more aware of influential verbal and non-verbal displays.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationANZCA2007 conference proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationCommunications, civics, industry
EditorsJohn Tebbutt
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
PublisherANZCA/LaTrobe University
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780646490663
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference - The Law School, Melbourne, Australia, Australia
Duration: 05 Jul 200707 Jul 2007


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference


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