Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
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).
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.
Includes bibliographical references.
Gershon Tenenbaum, Professor Directing Thesis; Yanyun Yang, Committee Member; Ryan Rodenberg, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Use and Reproduction
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.