Umpire participation: is abuse really the issue?

Kellett, Pamm and Shilbury, David 2007, Umpire participation: is abuse really the issue?, Sport management review, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 209-229, doi: 10.1016/S1441-3523(07)70012-8.

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Title Umpire participation: is abuse really the issue?
Author(s) Kellett, PammORCID iD for Kellett, Pamm
Shilbury, DavidORCID iD for Shilbury, David
Journal name Sport management review
Volume number 10
Issue number 3
Start page 209
End page 229
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2007-11
ISSN 1441-3523
Keyword(s) umpire
positive experiences
negative experiences
Summary Umpires (or referees) are essential for the ongoing production of organised sport. It has been widely argued that abuse of umpires by players, coaches, and spectators is ubiquitous and aversive, therefore engendering attrition. Cognitive behavioural theory specifies that attrition and continuation are best understood by identifying the ways that stimuli are interpreted. In this study, 22 umpires of professional and semi-professional Australian Rules football were interviewed to determine what they think of abusive behaviour, and what they find to be rewarding about umpiring. Findings showed that umpires routinely reframe abuse, considering it to be a normal part of their role. Abuse was not deemed to be particularly aversive, and there was no evidence that it contributes to attrition. On the other hand, umpires enjoyed the social world they share with other umpires, and identified social interactions among umpires as a key reason for continuing to umpire. This study highlights the important role that socialisation into the social world of umpiring plays in helping umpires to reframe abuse, and the importance of socialising with other umpires in maintaining their commitment to umpiring. It is suggested that the social rewards of umpiring should be stressed in umpire recruitment, and that the social world of umpiring should be incorporated into umpire training and retention.
Notes Available online 22 July 2008.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/S1441-3523(07)70012-8
Field of Research 150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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