Observations of Behavioral Violations as Crisis Indicators in Competition

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Michael Bar-Eli Wingate Institute

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Gershon Tenenbaum Wingate Institute

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Twenty-two basketball experts observed 53 male basketball players (ages 15–16) during a tournament. They observed behaviors that violated the rules and classified them as minor or major violations as well as called or uncalled by the officials. In addition, they coded the exact time of each of the four categorized violations and assigned it to one of six time phases defined by Bar-Eli (1984) with respect to psychological crisis vulnerability. Non-parametric statistical analysis indicated that more frequent violations were observed in the end phase of the second half than in the other five phases. Overall, minor violations were more frequent than major ones, although major violations were more likely to occur in the second half than in the first half, particularly in the end phase. Uncalled violations were more frequent than called ones. The called violations in the main phases were relatively less frequent than in the beginning and ending phases, whereas the reverse was true for uncalled violations. The results are discussed in relation to the concept of the psychological performance crisis.

Michael Bar-Eli and Gershon Tenenbaum are with the Department of Research at Wingate Institute, Wingate Post 42902, Netanya, Israel.

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