The role of embodied cognition in sports officiating

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Sports officials are responsible for the correct enforcement of laws and regulations at sporting competitions and games. To meet these high expectations and making correct judgments and the right decisions, they have to develop a great amount of expertise, usually reached through a variety of experiences and different sources of information. For instance, one of the factors influencing the performance of sports officials and therefore leading to expertise comes from the sports officials themselves, by developing alongside their sporting career. The following chapter will give an overview of a new perspective on expertise of sports officials by focusing on these internal factors from an embodied cognition viewpoint. In more detail, studies will be reviewed that have analyzed and interpreted the sports officials’ previous experiences as athletes (motor experience) and spectators (visual experience) and their officiating experiences in terms of their relation to officiating performance. This line of research in embodied officiating addresses the link between cognitive judgments
of sports officials and their motor, visual and officiating experiences. Recent research will be described and transferred to the applied field of sports officials, offering practical implications based on scientific findings. This review will show that in order to describe and understand expertise in sports officiating from a holistic point of view, the field of embodied cognition should be integrated,
which so far has been neglected in sports officiating research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement & Sport Sciences
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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