Sports officials (umpires, referees, judges) play a vital role in every sport, and sports governing bodies, fans, and players now expect officials to maintain higher professional standards than ever before. In this ground-breaking book, a team of leading international sport scientists and top level officials have come together to examine, for the first time, the science and practice of officiating in sport, helping us to better understand the skills, techniques and physical requirements of successful refereeing.

The book covers every key component of the official’s role, including:

  • Training and career development
  • Fitness and physical preparation
  • Visual processing
  • Judgement and decision-making
  • Communication and game management
  • Psychological demands and skills
  • Using technology
  • Performance evaluation
  • Researching and studying officials in sport

Top-level officials or officiating managers contribute in the ‘Official’s Call’ sections, reflecting on their experiences in real in-game situations across a wide range of international sports, and on how a better understanding of science and technique can help improve professional practice. No other book has attempted to combine leading edge contemporary sport science with the realities of match officiating in this way, and therefore this book is vital reading for any advanced student of sport science, sport coaching or sport development, or any practising official or sports administrator looking to raise their professional standards.

chapter 1|7 pages


chapter 2|25 pages

Development of officials

ByOfficial’s Call: Janie Frampton

chapter 3|13 pages

Physical demands

ByOfficial’s Call: Bill Mildenhall

chapter 4|14 pages

Visual perception

chapter 5|13 pages

Judgement and decision making

ByOfficial’s Call: Ralf Brand

chapter 6|22 pages

Interaction and game management

ByOfficial’s Call: Wayne Barnes

chapter 7|19 pages

Psychological demands and skills

ByOfficials’ Calls: Marika Humphreys-Baranova, Chris White

chapter 8|16 pages


ByOfficials’ Calls: Holger Albrecht, Graham Hughes

chapter 9|22 pages

Selection, training and evaluation of performance

ByOfficials’ Calls: Jacqui Jashari, Tony Parker, Tom Lopes

chapter 10|4 pages