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April 17 is National Officials Day in Canada!

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There's no arguing, officiating comes with its challenges! Today's officials are fit, smart and passionate about what they do. Many are experts in their sport – from techniques, tactics, skills and strategies to formations in the game, it’s a job that deserves respect. Officials come from all walks of life, parents, teens, coaches and former athletes, all of which have one thing in common - a love of sport.

SIRC has compiled articles and links that cover coping under pressure, fair treatment, crowd noise and the retention of sport officials.

For even more information, SIRC Members can login to check out some of the research regarding officiating in our Member Resources section along the left menu.

Feature Articles

Grace Under Pressure

Courage. Preparation. Self-control. Those are the elements that lead to exemplary officiating. Once those elements are understood and mastered, it's a lot easier to stay cool when the pressure's on. Focusing on positive thoughts alone is not going to produce a great performance. Rather than thinking about specific outcomes, think about each facet of your performance; the outcome will take care of itself. In essence, control what you can control and don't worry about the rest.

... Read more »

Supplementary Article

Coping under pressure: cognitive strategies for referees

Stress and hockey officiating

Officials are People Too!

It is a player’s game – for and about the players. Not the coaches’ game, not the referee’s game, not the fans’ game. These are all merely “cogs of the wheel,” to parts of the game that exist to enable it to function better. Unfortunately, these “cogs” do not always function in the best interest of the players. Such is the case with the growing adversarial relationships that exist between coaches and referees.

... Read more »

Supplementary Links

A Little Respect

Influence of Crowd Noise

A definition of home advantage describes it as a phenomenon in which the home teams in sport win over 50% of games played under a balanced home and away schedule. A large proportion of research associated with home advantage has examined the crowd as causality. This research has taken several differing routes into how crowd may affect the game directly or indirectly and has had findings showing home advantage as a result of officiating influences from the crowd influences on the players and also how the crowd is presented has effects of the outcome of the game.

... Read more »

Supplementary Articles

Crowd noise and refereeing consistency

Through the eyes of the referee

Retention of Sports Officials

Sports officials represent a critical aspect of the sporting infrastructure, yet those responsible for officiating athletic contests are leaving sport at an alarming rate. The Canadian Hockey Association, for example, loses approximately one - third of its referees and linesmen on an annual basis. However, the problem of officiating attrition is not unique to ice hockey or to Canada; rather it is a significant global issue for many sports that has yet to receive adequate attention from the sports science research community.

... Read more »

Supplementary Articles

Predicting the Retention of Sports Officials


News from SIRC

Upcoming Webinars

April 24, 2013 - The Business and Behaviours Behind Executive Agreement - Presented by Margo Crawford

May 21, 2013 (TBC) - Change Management - Presented by Jennifer Birch-Jones and Alain Rabeau

... Register online »

SIRC 2013 Research Award

Submission Deadline: April 26, 2013:

Research paper is electronically received by

SIRC’s mailing address is:

180 Elgin Street, Suite 1400, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2K3

Winners will be notified by June 23, 2013

... Read more »


SIRC members have access to SIRC librarians and we are pleased to share some of your questions.

Dear SIRC:

I'm a ref for a local hockey team and I occasionally come across 'extreme' fans that can be disruptive or aggressive during a game. I have had many people offer up their advice on how to deal with these disruptions but I would like to know if SIRC has any articles or information on the best way to approach this issue.


Malcolm R.

... See Response »

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SIRC is pleased to be able to share the attached articles from the SIRC Collection with you. Please note these articles represent the views of the authors and not necessarily those of SIRC.

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