Assistant referee and footballer

Referee and Match Official Research Network

Find out how we're exploring the experiences, operational climate and coordination of referees and match officials


The Referee and Match Official Research Network brings together academics, sports official industry professionals and policy makers interested in the research, insight and development of sports officials around the world.

Research and insight is coordinated and conducted from a variety of disciplines and with numerous partners and collaborators in order to develop a greater understanding of the experience, operational climate, and management of sports officials within national and international organisations and across transnational boundaries.

The network brings together scholars, policy makers and interested parties from a variety of organisations in order to develop a greater understanding of the experience, operational climate, and coordination of match officials within national and international organisations and structures.

To date, sports organisations that have collaborated and been involved in the network in a variety of ways are, UEFA, KNVB (Dutch FA), FFF (French FA), Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL), Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Surrey County Football Association, Kent County Football Association, The Referees' Association, Ontario Soccer (Canada), Football Victoria (Australia), The International Netball Federation, the Rugby Football League, Sports Officials UK (SOUK), European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE). 

The lead academic of this research group is Dr Tom Webb – please see Tom's profile page for further details.

The network deals with 3 main themes

  • Working environment and operation conditions for match officials.
  • Development and performance across organisational and societal cultures.
  • Leadership, management and coordination of match officials.

Recent publications

Further information

For more details on the work of the network – including a full list of publications and media coverage for our work, visit our external Research Portal via one of the buttons below.

Our members

Image of Dr Thomas Webb

Media ready expert

Dr Thomas Webb

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer
  • Email Address thomas.webb@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor Richard Thelwell

Professor Richard Thelwell

  • Job Title Head of School
  • Email Address Richard.Thelwell@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Mike Rayner

Dr Mike Rayner

  • Job Title Associate Head (Global Engagement and Education Partnerships)
  • Email Address hrm51494@myport.ac.uk
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Chris Wagstaff

Dr Chris Wagstaff

  • Job Title Applied Psychology
  • Email Address Chris.Wagstaff@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Matt Dicks

Dr Matt Dicks

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer
  • Email Address Matt.Dicks@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Professor Barry Smart

Professor Barry Smart

  • Job Title Professor of Sociology
  • Email Address Barry.Smart@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Education and Sociology
  • Faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Adam Cox

Media ready expert

Dr Adam Cox

  • Job Title Principal Lecturer in Economics and Finance
  • Email Address Adam.Cox@port.ac.uk
  • Department Economics and Finance
  • Faculty Faculty of Business and Law
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr Paul Gorczynski

Dr Paul Gorczynski

  • Job Title Senior Lecturer
  • Email Address paul.gorczynski@port.ac.uk
  • Department School of Sport Health and Exercise Science
  • Faculty Faculty of Science and Health

Collaborators

  • Dr Jamie Cleland – University of South Australia
  • Dr Jimmy O’Gorman – Edge Hill University
  • Manuel Armenteros - University Carlos III of Madrid, Department of Journalism and Audiovisual Communication
  • Dr Géraldine Rix-Lievre - Blaise Pascal University
  • Dr Mohsen Loghmani - Shafagh Institute of higher Education, Iran
  • Dr Denise Hill - Swansea University
  • Professor Paul Downward, Loughborough University
  • Professor Graham Cuskelly, Griffiths University, Australia
  • Professor Alan Nevill, University of Wolverhampton
  • Dr Peter Dawson, University of East Anglia
  • Dr Ian Cunningham, Ontario Tech University, Canada
  • Dr David Hancock, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
  • Dr Jacob Tingle, Trinity University, United States of America

Completed research students

  • Lee Markham (MRes) – 'Talent Identification and Development of Football Referees'

Current research students

  • Alastair Pearson – 'An International Comparative Analysis of Netball Umpire Preparation and Performance'

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