Many Australian and overseas sports bodies are experiencing difficulties retaining referees at the grass roots level, especially young referees. Abuse and aggression from players and spectators are the most commonly given reasons for referees leaving. This paper uses in depth interviews to explore the way a small sample of experienced, successful football (soccer) referees think about and deal with abuse and aggression.Experienced referees ultimately judge their own performance by the correctness of their decisions and application of the rules. Central to experienced referees' communication is a deliberate projection of calm and confidence in themselves and their decisions.Player abuse is perceived to be driven by frustration, disappointment and partiality. Referees adapt their response according to situation. They articulated an extensive repertoire of verbal and non-verbal techniques for enhancing player acceptance of decisions, and dealing directly with player abuse and aggression.Spectators are generally considered to be partial, poorly positioned to judge,and lacking in understanding of the rules. By focusing on the game and reminding themselves of their own expertise, referees are able to 'block out'most spectator abuse.Some of the attitudes and skills of successful referees may be passed on to inexperienced referees through explicit teaching, practising communication skills, and performance evaluation systems. Their strategies for projecting confidence and enhancing acceptance of decisions may be transferable to other professions and situations.
|Title of host publication||ANZCA2006|
|Subtitle of host publication||Empowerment, creativity and innovation: Challenging media and communication in the 21st Century|
|Place of Publication||Adelaide|
|Publisher||ANZCA/ University of Adelaide|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
|Event||Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) 2006 Annual Conference - Adelaide, Australia, Australia|
Duration: 04 Jul 2006 → 07 Jul 2006
|Conference||Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) 2006 Annual Conference|
|Period||04/07/06 → 07/07/06|
Denyer-Simmons, P. (2006). Tackling abuse of officials: Attitudes and communication skills of experienced football referees. In C. Anyanwu (Ed.), ANZCA2006: Empowerment, creativity and innovation: Challenging media and communication in the 21st Century (pp. 1-15). ANZCA/ University of Adelaide.