Refereeing service in futsal: error analysis

Refereeing service in futsal: error analysis

ˑ: 

E.L. Chistov
Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg

Keywords: referee, football, errors, factors, inspector’s report, training

Background. Many experts note the growing complexity of the refereeing services in modern football [1, 3] that may be one of the key reasons for refereeing errors. The available theoretical and practical study reports offer a variety of analytical systems to classify typical refereeing errors [6, 5]. However, for the purposes of this study we would classify the error factors by the sources of errors as follows:

Internal factors:

  • Physiological factors, including different health conditions, poor vision etc.
  • Professional factors, including insufficient game rule interpretation ability, wrong positioning on the field, lack of experience, etc.
  • Emotional factors, including the individually perceived importance and rank of the event, roles of the participants, etc.

External factors:

  • Match time and place.
  • Level of the event.
  • Assistant refereeing service and other game-control actors.

A referee needs to apply basically different approaches to each group of the factors. It should be noted that the external factors are beyond control of the referee, whilst the internal game factors need to be addressed by special professional abilities. Quality of the referees’ training system must be improved to prevent or scale down the refereeing errors. However, modern practical recommendations for the referees’ training systems are mostly designed for the top-ranking or beginner referees [2]. It should be mentioned that futsal game has its specificity that needs to be fully addressed by the refereeing service.

Objective of the study was to analyze the reasons for the refereeing errors in futsal games.

Methods and structure of the study. As things now stand, a football referee’s performance in every match is assessed by the match inspector in a match report. The inspector’s match report always rates the refereeing team performance including the errors made, their chronology, specifications and impacts on the game process. In addition to the erroneous action account, the inspector’s report qualifies the refereeing team cooperation and personal qualities including mental and physical conditions, and gives general comments on and recommendations for the team service. Therefore, the inspector’s reports give enough data for analyses to identify the errors due to the referee’s background with accounts of the reasons and factors of influence on the errors. Subject to the study were 32 match reports made by 8 futsal match inspectors for the season of 2014-15 as provided by the Futsal Association of the Sverdlovsk Province, to identify the typical errors and key reasons for them.

Study results and discussion. The study found that a referee makes 5 different errors per match on average. Given in Figure 1 hereunder is the analysis of the refereeing errors made in 32 matches under the study. To make sure that every error is covered by the analysis, we were governed by the current “Futsal Game Rules” [4]. The analysis showed that most frequent were the errors related to the game rules violations and non-disciplined behaviour of the futsal players as they accounted for 43.6% of the total errors reported. Ranked second were the penalty situation qualifying errors that accounted for 17.5% of the total errors reported and analyzed. And the erroneous actions of the assistant referees were estimated to make up one-sixth of the total errors reported.

Figure 1. Refereeing errors classification

The reported data analyses showed that the higher was the complexity of the game situation, the higher was the probability of a refereeing error. Two out of ten errors were found to occur in the situations of the long-lasting draw scores. Furthermore, the reported errors chronology analysis showed the error incidence rates being notably higher by the end of a match or time, with these errors occurring in 5-7 cases out of 10.

It should be noted that the reports mentioned the match attendance numbers and physical fitness of the referees among the key factors for the errors. To check the relevance and potential impacts of these factors on the errors incidence rates, we performed a correlation analysis. The analysis found, first of all, the correlation between the refereeing errors and match attendance numbers being quite loose; and, second, an inverse average-level correlation of the refereeing errors with the referees’ physical fitness rates. These findings may be interpreted as indicative of the higher importance of the internal reasons for the refereeing errors (like the physical fitness rates in the case) versus the external factors (match attendance).

Our analysis of the recommendations given in the inspectors’ reports has contributed to the picture of the refereeing process drawbacks. Given in Figure 2 hereunder are the most common recommendations to the inspected referees. Note that the inspector’s recommendations rated as single/ individual were left beyond the analysis. The grouped recommendations were used as a basis for the referees’ training process prioritization.

Note: given in brackets are the percentage rates of the recommendations in the inspector’s reports

Figure 2. Inspectors’ recommendations and the relevant referees’ training process components

The match inspectors’ report analysis showed the inspectors being most sensitive to the drawbacks in the theoretical and practical backgrounds of the referees, and this finding was supported by the referees’ questionnaire survey data [1]. Therefore, the match inspectors’ report analysis gave the means to prioritize the referees’ training process components and content.

Conclusion. The following two important points deserve special mentioning in the findings of the match inspectors’ report analyses. The study found, first of all, the internal error factors being more influential than the external ones; and, second, the refereeing errors being mostly due to the insufficient theoretical and practical backgrounds of the referees.

References

  1. Budogosskiy A.D. Organizatsionno-pedagogicheskie aspekty postroeniya protsessa professional'noy podgotovki futbol'nykh arbitrov nachal'noy kategorii: avtoref. dis. … kand. ped. nauk (Organizational-pedagogical aspects of organization of training process of football referees of basic categories: Abstract of PhD thesis) / A.D. Budogosskiy. – Moscow, 2008. – 26 p.
  2. Kulalaev P.N. Nachal'naya podgotovka futbol'nykh arbitrov: avtoref. dis. … kand. ped. nauk (Initial training of football referees: Abstract of PhD thesis) / P.N. Kulaev. – Volzhsky, 2006.–26 p.
  3. Pityn M.P. Aktual'nye aspekty deyatel'nosti arbitrov v futbole (Actual aspects of football referee activities) / M.P. Pityn, A.V. Samchuk // Izvestiya TulGU. Fizicheskaya kul'tura. Sport. – 2013.  – №  1. – P. 230-234.
  4. Pravila igry v mini-futbol (redaktsiya 2015 goda) (Futsal game rules (revised in 2015) // Assotsiatsiya mini-futbola Rossii (Futsal Association of Russia). URL: http://www.amfr.ru/amfr/regulations/ (data obrascheniya: 20.12.2015).
  5. Yakimovich V.S. Prichiny oshibochnykh resheniy arbitrov v futbole (Reasons for erroneous decisions of football referees) / V.S. Yakimovich,  P.N. Kulalaev // Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury. – 2006. – № 7. – P. 30-32.
  6. Slack L., Maynard I.W., Butt J., Olusoga P. Factors underpinning football officiating excellence: Perceptions of English Premier League referees // Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. – 2013. – Vol. 25. – Issue 3. DOI: 10.1080/10413200.2012.726935

Corresponding author: evgeni1986@icloud.com

Abstract
An objective of the article was to analyze the reasons for the refereeing errors in futsal games. We analyzed the match inspectors’ reports to detect and analyze the refereeing errors and reasons for them. Subject to the study were 32 match reports made by 8 futsal match inspectors for the season of 2014-15 as provided by the Futsal Association of the Sverdlovsk Province. A match inspector’s report makes it possible to make a clear and consistent assessment of the futsal referees’ performance on the football field with an emphasis on the errors made during the match, their timing, nature and impacts on the game. The article presents an analysis of the factors of influence on the refereeing service quality with the errors being provisionally classified into two groups: internal and external ones. A referee needs to apply basically different approaches to each group of factors. It should be noted that the external factors are beyond control of the referee, whilst the internal game factors need to be addressed by special professional abilities. The match inspectors’ report analysis yielded the following key findings. Most frequent are the errors related to the game rules violations and non-disciplined behaviour of the football players. The match inspectors’ report analysis showed that the inspectors are most sensitive to the drawbacks in the theoretical and practical backgrounds of the referees. Therefore, the study found, first of all, the internal error factors being more influential than the external ones; and, second, the refereeing errors being mostly due to the insufficient theoretical and practical backgrounds of the referees.