Situation criticality and basketball officials’ stress levels

Ritchie, Jason, Basevitch, Itay, Rodenberg, Ryan and Tenenbaum, Gershon (2016) Situation criticality and basketball officials’ stress levels. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35 (21). pp. 2080-2087. ISSN 1466-447X

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Officials are expected to perform impeccably despite the wide range of stressors they experience. A stressor that officials’ frequently report is situation criticality. Situation criticality is comprised of score differential (i.e., more pressure in close games) and time remaining in a game (i.e., more pressure as time expires), which affects athletes’ stress levels. The present study explored the effect of situation criticality on officials’ stress levels. High school basketball officials (n = 108) with an average of 18.1 (SD = 11.2) years of officiating experience were given a survey packet containing game situations that varied in criticality. For each game situation (n = 9) officials (n = 108) completed the overall stress and appraisal portions of the Stress Appraisal Measure (SAM). Results revealed that situation criticality has an effect on officials’ perceived stress levels. Both threat and challenge appraisals were positively correlated with perceived stress. Overall, these findings indicate that officials’ stress levels fluctuate within games depending on score differential and time of game. The findings encourage officials to recognize and manage their stress, possibly through their appraisals. Additionally, the findings can affect the training of officials in the management of stress, as well as prompt the consideration of potential rule changes that reflect the increased situational demands on officials in critical situations (e.g., expanded instant replay).

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: stress, appraisals, criticality, officials, referees
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Itay Basevitch
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2016 10:56
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2022 11:17

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