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Criticality of Game Situations' Effect on Officials' Stress Levels

Title: Criticality of Game Situations' Effect on Officials' Stress Levels.
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Name(s): Ritchie, Jason, author
Tenenbaum, Gershon, professor directing thesis
Yang, Yanyun, committee member
Rodenberg, Ryan, committee member
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Sports officials experience moderate to low amounts of stress, which can affect the outcome of games, seasons, and officials' careers. Furthermore, officials' report that the criticality of game situation (situation criticality) is one of the major sources of stress they experience. Situation criticality is comprised of score differential (i.e., more pressure in close games) and time remaining in a game (i.e., more pressure as time expires). Surprisingly, there is a lack of research examining the association between situation criticality and officials' stress level. However, previous research has indicated that situation criticality impacts athletes' stress levels (Bar-Eli & Tenenbaum, 1998a). Thus, the present study explored the effect of situation criticality on officials' stress levels. Specifically, high school basketball officials were given a survey packet containing game situations that vary in criticality (i.e., score differential: > 6, < 6, and tied game; time of game: two minutes into the first half, last two minutes in the first half, last two minutes in the second half). For each game situation (a total of nine) officials completed the Stress Appraisal Measure (SAM). The SAM includes a measure of overall stress level as well as the officials' appraisals of the stressor. Results revealed that situation criticality has an effect on officials' perceived stress levels. Officials' perceived stress levels increased as score differential decreased and as time remaining in the game decreased. In addition, officials reported that a tie game at the end of the second half was the most stressful situation presented. Both threat and challenge appraisals were positively correlated with perceived stress. Furthermore, results indicated that threat appraisal had the greatest impact on overall stress level. These findings indicate that officials' stress levels fluctuate within games depending on score differential and time of game. This finding should encourage officials to manage their stress, possibly through their appraisals, to improve performance and job satisfaction. Additionally, this finding can impacts the training of officials in the management of stress as well as potential rule changes that reflect the increased situational demands on officials in critical situations (e.g., expanded instant replay).
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-9077 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2014.
Date of Defense: July 9, 2014.
Keywords: Appraisal, Officials, Officiating, Performance, Referees, Stress
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Gershon Tenenbaum, Professor Directing Thesis; Yanyun Yang, Committee Member; Ryan Rodenberg, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Educational psychology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-9077
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Ritchie, J. (2014). Criticality of Game Situations' Effect on Officials' Stress Levels. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-9077