Psychological Skill Training Implementation to Improve Football Referee Decision-Making Skills

Mochamad Yamin Saputra, Herman Subarjah, K Komarudin, Yusuf Hidayat, Yudi Nurcahya


This study aimed to determine the impact of psychological skill training (PST) on football referee decision-making skills. The samples of the study were 12 referees with national football licenses. The samples joined the psychology skill training (PST) program for 12 meetings. The psychology skill training (PST) program carried out in this study included goal setting, self-talk, imagery, and relaxation. To find out the improvement of football referees' decision-making skills, the decision-making model of Samuel, Tenenbaum, & Galily (2020) was used. The study results showed that psychology skill training (PST) improved football referee decision-making skills (72%). Thus, the PST model significantly influences football referees' decision-making skills. Therefore, it concludes that the psychology skill training (PST) model can be used as a solution for improving the decision-making skill of football referees.


Football Referee Decision-Making, Psychological skill training

Full Text:



Baker, J., Cobley, S., & Schorer, J. (2013). Talent Identification and Development in Sport. Talent Identification and Development in Sport, 7(1), 177–180.

Beltrán-Esteve, M., & Picazo-Tadeo, A. J. (2017). Assessing environmental performance in the European Union: Eco-innovation versus catching-up. Energy Policy, 104(January), 240–252.

Burton, D., & Raedeke, T. D. (2009). Sport Psychology for Coaches. In International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching (Vol. 3, Issue 2).

Castillo, D., Cámara, J., Castellano, J., & Yanci, J. (2016). Football match officials do not attain maximal sprinting speed during matches. Kinesiology, 48(2), 207–212.

Cox, R. H. (2012). Sport Psychology Concepts and Applications (Second Edition). In Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (Vol. 14, Issue 2).

Distaso, W., Leonida, L., Maimone Ansaldo Patti, D., & Navarra, P. (2012). Corruption and Referee Bias in Football: The Case of Calciopoli. SSRN Electronic Journal, 25–26.

Folkesson, P., Nyberg, C., Archer, T., & Norlander, T. (2002). Soccer Referees’ Experience of Threat and Aggression: Effects of Age, Experience, and Life Orientation on Outcome of Coping Strategy. Aggressive Behavior, 28(4), 317–327.

Ghasemi, A., Momeni, M., Rezaee, M., & Gholami, A. (2009). The difference in visual skills between expert versus novice soccer referees. Journal of Human Kinetics, 22(1), 15–20.

Guillén, F., & Jiménez, H. (2001). Características desables en el arbitraje y el juicio deportivo. Revista de Psicología Del Deporte, 10(1), 23–34.

Hepler, T. J., & Chase, M. A. (2008). Relationship between decision-making self-efficacy, task self-efficacy, and the performance of a sport skill. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(6), 603–610.

IFAB. (2020). Laws of the games 2020/2021.



Lex, H., Pizzera, A., Kurtes, M., & Schack, T. (2015). Influence of players’ vocalisations on soccer referees’ decisions. European Journal of Sport Science, 15(5), 424–428.

Liu, S., & Tenenbaum, G. (2018). Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Psychology. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology (Issue November).

Mascarenhas, D., O’Hare, D., & Plessner, H. (2006). The psychological and performance demands of association football refereeing. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 37(2–3), 99–120.

Mathers and Brodie. (2014). Elite Refereeing in Professional Soccer: A Case Study of Mental Skills Support. School of Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, 1–23.

Maurício Gattás Bara, & Félix Guillén. (2004). MODALIDADES, LA ANSIEDAD ESTADO ENTRE ÁRBITROS DE DIFERENTES REGULAR, DEPORTIVAS DURANTE UN MOMENTO DE LA TEMPORADA. Revista De Entrenamiento Deportivo, 18, 19–25.árbitros_de_diferentes_modalidades_deportivas_y_no_árbitros

Moran, A. (2004). Sport and Exercise Psychology. In Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Nevill, A. M., Balmer, N. J., & Mark Williams, A. (2002). The influence of crowd noise and experience upon refereeing decisions in football. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 3(4), 261–272.

Nurcahya, Y., Nurmansyah, P., Rosdiana, F., & Stiadi, D. (2021). Improving the performance of football assistant referee through video-based training. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1806(1).

Nurcahya, Y., Kusumah, W., Mulyana, D., & Kodrat, H. (2021). Analysis of Football Referee Satisfaction in Making Decision Based on Experience Levels. Jurnal Pendidikan Jasmani dan Olahraga, 6(1), 110-114. doi:

Page, K., & Page, L. (2010). Alone against the crowd: Individual differences in referees’ ability to cope under pressure. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(2), 192–199.

Plessner, H., & MacMahon, C. (2014). The sport official in research and practice. In Paper Knowledge . Toward a Media History of Documents.

Rainey, D. (1995). Sources of stress among baseball and softball umpires. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 7(1), 1–10.

Samuel, R. D., Tenenbaum, G., & Galily, Y. (2020). An integrated conceptual framework of decision-making in soccer refereeing. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 0(0), 1–23.

Saputra, M. Y., Komarudin, K., Subarjah, H., & Hidayat, Y. (2020). Decision-Making of Football Referees in Indonesia. 21(Icsshpe 2019), 376–379.

Slack, L. A., Maynard, I. W., Butt, J., & Olusoga, P. (2013). Factors Underpinning Football Officiating Excellence: Perceptions of English Premier League Referees. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 25(3), 298–315.

Solomon, A. V., Paik, C., Alhauli, A., & Phan, T. (2011). A decision support system for the professional soccer referee in time-sensitive operations. 2011 IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, SIEDS 2011 - Conference Proceedings, 35–40.

Spitz, J., Put, K., Wagemans, J., Williams, A. M., & Helsen, W. F. (2016). Visual search behaviors of association football referees during assessment of foul play situations. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 1(1).

Surujlal, J., & Nguyen, S. (2011). Coping under pressure: Strategies for maintaining confidence amongst South African soccer coaches. Health SA Gesondheid, 16(1).

Titlebaum, P. J., Haberlin, N., & Titlebaum, G. (2009). Recruitment and Retention of Sports Officials. Recreational Sports Journal, 33(2), 102–108.

Vealey, R. S. (2012). Mental Skills Training in Sport. Handbook of Sport Psychology: Third Edition, 285–309.

Voight, M. (2009). Sources of stress and coping strategies of US soccer officials. Stress and Health, 25(1), 91–101.

Weinberg, R., & Daniel, G. (2019). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology 7th Ed.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Mochamad Yamin Saputra

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


View My Stats