Refereeing as a Postathletic Career Option

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA
  • | 2 School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
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Athletes may be especially primed to become referees; yet, we do not know what former athletes think about this career choice. To address the worldwide referee shortage, it is important to better understand athletes’ perceptions of refereeing. From a Career Contingency Model framework, it is evident athletes’ perception would influence their decision to consider refereeing. This study’s aim was to examine athletes’ perceptions of the refereeing environment (RQ1) and identify referee recruitment barriers (RQ2). Utilizing a descriptive phenomenological approach, 23 current and former athletes took part in semistructured interviews based on their lived experience as an athlete. The participants identified the officiating environment as a high-stress environment with financial instability, while time and lack of knowledge and support were identified as recruitment barriers. The results contributed to the burgeoning line of research attempting to address the global referee shortage and provide both theoretical and practical implications for sport managers.

Warner (warners@ecu.edu) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6602-6081.

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