Does video technology improve the decisions of soccer referees?

Publication: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution - Published abstract for conference with selection processResearchpeer-review


Introduction For the first time in soccer history, the FIFA allowed additional technology to support referees’ decisions at the World Cup 2014. However, given the costs of some technologies, the gains obtained through better technology could also be obtained by investing in refereeing training (Borooah, 2013). The present study was aimed to investigate if participants change their decisions with video replay and if yes, do their decisions improve? Methods In a pilot study, we asked 31 soccer players (Mage = 25.52; Mplaying experience = 16.20 years) to judge 19 video clips on foul decisions in the penalty box. Each video clip was shown once in real time (RT) and twice in slow motion (SM). After the video clip in RT and SM respectively, the participants indicated if the situation should be categorized as no foul, foul, yellow card or red card and rated their decision confidence. Results From RT to SM displays, participants changed 3.61 decisions on average, with 2.42 decision improvements and 1.61 deteriorations. Overall, they significantly improved their decision accuracy from 12.13 (2.01) to 13.71 (1.92), t(30) = 4.93, p < 0.01, d = 0.89. Participants rated their decision confidence significantly higher after the SM (M = 4.95) than after the RT displays (M = 4.11), t(30) = 10.83, p < .01, d = 1.93. Discussion Participants changed their decisions after watching video clips in SM, resulting in more accurate decisions and higher confidence. The preliminary results seem interesting, considering the current discussions about additional technology in soccer (see also economic investigations, Borooah, 2013). So far, even the use of little technology (only SM, no additional viewing perspectives) increased decision accuracy and confidence. References Borooah, V.K. (published online before print November 15, 2013). Upstairs and downstairs: The imperfections in cricket’s decision review system. Journal of Sports Economics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport Psychology : Theories and Applications for Performance, Health and Humanity
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event14th European Congress of Sport Psychology - Bern, Switzerland
Duration: 14.07.201519.07.2015