Referees’ Decision Making Behavior and the Sport Home Advantage Phenomenon

Lovell, Geoff P, Newell, Ross and Parker, John K (2014) Referees’ Decision Making Behavior and the Sport Home Advantage Phenomenon. Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, 2 (1). pp. 1-5. doi:10.12691/rpbs-2-1-1

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The aim of this investigation was to examine the decision making behavior of soccer officials (referees) in English Premiership matches to establish whether a bias, as perceived by the media and professional players, does or does not exist. Using notational analysis, this investigation used three trained professional soccer referees to assess the decisions made by match-day officials in favor of home and away teams during the entirety of ten-matched Premiership soccer fixtures. Results revealed a non-significant trend, x2 = .843, p > .05, where the number of decisions awarded by the referees favored the home team. However, significant differences were observed in the number of contentious and incorrect / missed decisions awarded in favor of the home teams compared to away teams, χ2 = 4.17, p < .05 and χ2 = 3.86, p < .05, respectively. Conclusions from this investigation indicate that soccer referees exhibit bias in favor of home teams and suggest that referee decision making behavior may be one mechanistic explanation of the home advantage phenomenon in soccer.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: home advantage, referees, soccer, decision making
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2016 11:36
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:10

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