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The influence of crowd noise and experience upon refereeing decisions in football

Nevill, AM; Balmer, NJ; Mark Williams, A; (2002) The influence of crowd noise and experience upon refereeing decisions in football. Psychology of Sport and Exercise , 3 (4) 261 - 272. 10.1016/S1469-0292(01)00033-4.

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Abstract

Objective. The existence of the home advantage in sport is well known. There is growing evidence that crowd noise plays a crucial part in this phenomenon. Consequently, a quantitative study was undertaken to examine influence of crowd noise upon refereeing decisions in association football (soccer). The association between years of experience and any imbalance in refereeing decisions was also addressed. Methods. To investigate whether the presence or absence of crowd noise might influence qualified referees when assessing various tackles/challenges recorded on videotape. Binary logistic regression was used to assess the effect of crowd noise and years of experience on referees' decisions. Results. The presence of crowd noise had a dramatic effect on the decisions made by referees. Those viewing the challenges with background crowd noise were more uncertain in their decision making and awarded significantly fewer fouls (15.5%) against the home team, compared with those watching in silence. Conclusions. The noise of the crowd influenced referees' decisions to favour the home team. It is suggested that referees' decisions are influenced by the salient nature of crowd noise, the potential use of heuristic strategies, and the need to avoid potential crowd displeasure by making a decision in favour of the home team.

Type:Article
Title:The influence of crowd noise and experience upon refereeing decisions in football
DOI:10.1016/S1469-0292(01)00033-4
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1469-0292(01)00033-4
Language:English
Keywords:Referees; Decision making; Home advantage
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws

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