Sport Officials’ Longevity: Motivation and Passion for the Sport

J.C. Bernal, Charles Nix, Douglas Boatwright

Year: 2012 Volume: 10 Issue: b

Pages: 28-39

Abstract: The purpose of this review was to examine sport officials’ motivation and passion to become and remain a referee in today’s sport climate. There are endless accounts of misconduct towards officials from participants, coaches, parents and fans. This review examined the research evidence that explained why officials continue to work in their sport and tried to determine what motivations were factors in their continued service. Additionally, this review wanted to see how passion played a role in the officials’ desire to become and remain a sport official. The findings were clear as officials often became involved with officiating or continued to officiate ‘for the love of the game’. Once they became involved they continued to officiate because of their feelings of commitment to the sport and because of the relationships that they had developed with other officials, athletes and other members of the sporting community. This review pointed out that sport officials are concerned about maintaining enough officials to continue sport. The authors suggested that once recruited, new officials should be evaluated and mentored so that these young officials have time to develop their feelings of commitment and relatedness.