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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

Thomas Webb Portrait

Dr Thomas Webb

Senior Lecturer

Thomas.Webb@port.ac.uk

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Richard Charles Thelwell Portrait

Professor Richard Thelwell

Head of Department

Richard.Thelwell@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Michael Rayner Portrait

Dr Mike Rayner

Associate Head (Global Engagement and Education Partnerships)

Mike.Rayner@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Christopher Robert David Wagstaff Portrait

Professor Chris Wagstaff

Professor of Applied Psychology

Chris.Wagstaff@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Matthew Miller-Dicks Portrait

Dr Matt Miller-Dicks

Senior Lecturer

Matt.Dicks@port.ac.uk

School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Barry Edward Smart Portrait

Professor Barry Smart

Professor of Sociology

Barry.Smart@port.ac.uk

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Adam John Cox Portrait

Media ready expert

Dr Adam Cox

Reader in Economics

Innovation Services Lead

Adam.Cox@port.ac.uk

Economics and Finance

Faculty of Business and Law

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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'
  • Ignacio Aliende Povedano - 'Data science applied to the analysis and improvement of football referee's careers and federation policies'

Current research students

  • Robyn Bate - 'Understanding barriers and facilitators to mental health among English football referees'
  • Matthew Parry - 'Development of emotion regulation and emotional intelligence in officials'
  • Alastair Pearson – 'An International Comparative Analysis of Netball Umpire Preparation and Performance'