Attitudes, expectations and demands of English Premier League Football Association referees

Christopher Mason, Geoff Lovell

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


The purpose of this investigation is to assess the attitudes, expectations and demands, both physical and mental, perceived and experienced by Football Association Premier League referees in England during the 1998-99 season. To this end a mailed self-report questionnaire was completed by 72 per cent of the Premier League referees (n=13) at the time of the investigation. Responses to the questionnaire revealed considerable differences between participants in perceived fitness requirements and actual fitness conditioning undertaken throughout a Premier League season. The results also suggest that mental preparation is a consideration amongst those Premier League referees surveyed but the use of sport psychology to assist this consideration is limited. All those referees surveyed indicated that they had been subjected to a number of violent and abusive situations as a result of officiating in the Premier League. The sample also possessed diverse opinions on the proposed role of the professional full-time referee and also on the use of technology to assist the referee in decision making. A clear lack of published research literature on football officiating in England meant supporting this investigation became increasingly complex. Nevertheless, these data are discussed in terms of providing recommendations that may benefit the Premier League referee and also suggest directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-102
Number of pages15
JournalFootball Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • 2000 October Vol. 3 No. 2 p. 88-102


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