Beyond the technical: The role of emotion regulation in lacrosse officiating

Andrew P. Friesen, Tracey J. Devonport, Andrew M. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Emotions can influence the performance of referees leading to a need to examine emotions experienced, and regulation strategies used by referees. The present study assessed emotions and emotion regulation strategies of 19 referees officiating at an Under-19 Lacrosse World Championship. Using survey methods and focus group interviews, officials responded to five questions: (a) What emotions were experienced? (b) What events elicited emotions? (c) How did lacrosse officials manage their own emotional states prior to, throughout, and following a competitive game? (d) How did officials manage others’ emotional states? (e) What were the perceived consequences of these strategies? Results indicate that emotions fluctuated throughout the tournament as referees encountered intrapersonal and interpersonal emotion-eliciting events. These fluctuations are suggested to come from a progressively diminished capacity for emotion regulation. Participants used emotion regulation strategies that could be classified into Gross’ (1999) families of emotion regulation strategies, often relying on suppression, emotion contagion, and preventative refereeing. Collectively, the results offer new insights into referee emotion regulation at international events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-586
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 19 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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