Profiling to Improve Control: Conflicts and Aggressive Behaviour Regulation by Elite Referees
International Journal of Sports Science and Physical Education
Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages: 21-34
Received: May 4, 2020; Accepted: Jun. 23, 2020; Published: Sep. 21, 2020
Views 44      Downloads 36
Grégoire Duvant, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Artois University, URePSSS, SHERPAS, Liévin, France
Williams Nuytens, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Artois University, URePSSS, SHERPAS, Liévin, France
Article Tools
Follow on us
Research question. This paper examines the activity of referees. More precisely, it studies the regulation of interactions, game circumstances and aggressive and punishable behaviours by elite handball referees in France. This article deals with the management of individuals on the pitch by the referee. It seeks to answer an important question in the field of the regulation of behaviors and management of individuals: what are the tools and strategies used by referees to regulate behaviour? Research methods. Through a field survey that relied on direct observations of the activity of referees, ethnographic interviews, and immersion, the paper offers a description of the refereeing activity without fragmenting it into different competencies. Results and findings. Taking into account the component of refereeing such as physical performance, perception, decision-making and communication, three profiles have been established and presented to the reader: the consensual referee, the rule-following referee and the perceptive referee. Implications. These profiles help us grasp the regulatory activity developed by the referees: the activity draws on multiple sources in response to the deviance phenomenon which had multiple causes and factors.
Activity, Regulation, Aggressive Behaviour, Referee, Handball, Elite
To cite this article
Grégoire Duvant, Williams Nuytens, Profiling to Improve Control: Conflicts and Aggressive Behaviour Regulation by Elite Referees, International Journal of Sports Science and Physical Education. Vol. 5, No. 3, 2020, pp. 21-34. doi: 10.11648/j.ijsspe.20200503.11
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
D’HAINAUT L. (1988). Des fins aux objectifs de l’éducation, Bruxelles, Labor, fifth edition, p. 472.
DE KETELE, J-M. (1985). Docimologie, introduction aux concepts et aux pratiques. Cabay, p. 24
MEIRIEU, P. (1991). Apprendre… oui, mais comment ?, Paris, ESF éditeur, 8th edition, p. 181.
DA SILVA, A., PEREZ, R., FERNANDES, L. (2007). ‘Determining physical capacity and anthropometric profile of soccer woman referee’. Fitness and Performance Journal (Online Edition), 6 (1), 45-52.
ELSWORTHY, N., BURKE, D., SCOTT, B., STEVENS, C., DASCOMBE, B. (2014). ‘Physical and decision-making demands of Australian football umpires during competitive matches’. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28, 3502-3507.
KAY, B., GILL, N., D. (2003). ‘Physical demands of elite Rugby League referees: part one - time and motion analysis’. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 6, 339-342.
MASCARENHAS, D., BUTTON, C., O’HARE, D., DICKS, M. (2009). ‘Physical Performance and Decision Making in Association Football Referees: A Naturalistic Study.’ The Open Sports Sciences Journal, Volume 2, ISSN: 1875-399X.
CATTEEUW, P., GILIS B., WAGEMANS, J., HELSEN, W. (2010). ‘Soccer football Offside decision making of assistant referees in the English Premier League: impact of physical and perceptual-cognitive factors on match performance’. Journal of Sport Sciences, 28, 471-481.
OUDEJANS, R., R., D., BAKKER, F., C., VERHEIJEN, R., GERRITS, J., C., STEINBRUCKNER, M., BEEK, P., J. (2005). ‘How Position and Motion of Expert Assistant Referees in Soccer Relate to the Quality of their Offside Judgments during Actual Match Play’. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 36 (1), 3–21.
PIZZERA, A., RAAB, M. (2012). ‘Does motor or visual experience enhance the detection of deceptive movements in football?’ International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 7, 269-284.
MORRIS, P., LEWIS, D. (2009). ‘Tackling Diving: The Perception of Deceptive Intentions in Association Football (Soccer)’. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. 0191-5886 (Print) 1573-3653 (Online).
CHALKLEY, D., MACMAHON, C., BALL, K. (2013). ‘Predicting ball flight in Cricket from an umpire's perspective’. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 8, 445-454.
LARKIN, P., BERRY J., MESAGNO, C., SPITTLE, M. (2011). ‘Video-based training to improve umpire decision-making’. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 14 (S1), 88.
MAC MAHON, C., HELSEN, W., STARKES, J., CUYPERS, K., WESTON, M. (2007). ‘Decision-making skills and deliberate practice in elite association football referees’. Journal of Sport Sciences, 25, 65-78.
WILSON, V. (1977). “Objectivity and effect of order of appearance in judging synchronized swimming meets”. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 44, 295-298.
WHISSEL, R., LYONS, S. WILKINSON, D. WHISSEL, C. (1993). “National bias in judgements of Olympic-level skating.” Perceptual and Motor Skills, 77, 355-358.
BALMER, N., NEVILL, A., LANE, A., WARD, P., WILLIAMS, M., FAIRCLOUGH, S. (2007) “Influence of Crowd Noise on Soccer Refereeing Consistency in Soccer.” Journal of Sport Behavior, 2: 130-145
DOWNWARD, P., JONES, M. (2007). “Effects of crowd size on referee decisions: Analysis of the FA Cup.” Journal of Sports Sciences, 25, 1541–1545.
NEVILL, A., BALMER, N., WILLIAMS, 2002, “The influence of crowd noise and experience upon refereeing decisions in football”. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Volume 3, Number 4, October 2002, pp. 261-272 (12)
UNKELBACH, C., MEMMERT, D. (2010). “Crowd noise as a cue in referee decisions contributes to the home advantage”. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 32, 483-498.
REYNES, E., CANOVAS, S., FERRAND, C., PANTALEON, N. (2008). ‘Emotional consequences of referee's mistake among soccer players: exploratory study’. Psicologia & Sociedade, 20 (1), 5-15.
SIMMONS, P. (2010). ‘Communicative displays as fairness heuristics: strategic football referee communication’. Australian Journal of Communication, 37, 75-94.
DICKSON, S., 1999, “The relationship of officials with players and coaches.” The Sport Educator, 11, 35-37.
CUNNINGHAM, I.., SIMMONS, P., MASCARENHAS, D., REDHEAD, S. (2015). ”Exploring player communication in interactions with sport officials.” Movement & Sport Sciences - Science & Motricité, 87, 79-89.
BOYKO, R; BOYKO, A; BOYKO, M, 2007,”Referee bias contributes to home advantage in English Premiership football”. Journal of Sports Sciences, Volume 25, Number 11, September 2007, pp. 1185-1194 (10)
BALMER, N., NEVILL, A., LANE, A, 2007,”Do judges enhance home advantage in European championship boxing?” Journal of Sports Sciences. 23: 409-416
ARENI, C. S., 2014, “Home advantage, rivalry, and referee bias in representative rugby.” Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 4, 142-157.
OGIEN A. (1995), Sociologie de la déviance, Presses Universitaires de France.
NUYTENS W, (2011). L’épreuve du terrain. Violences des tribunes, violences des stades, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, coll. Des sociétés.
RIX-LIEVRE, G., BOYER, S., COUTAREL, F., LIEVRE, P. (2014). ‘Refereeing performance: From study to development’. @ctivités, 11 (1), 86-104.
RIX-LIEVRE, G., BOYER, S., TERFOUS, F., LIEVRE, P., COUTAREL, F. (2015). ‘The Co-Production of Top-Level Refereeing Performance: The Case of Rugby’. Sociologie du travail, 57, pp. 496-515.
RIX - LIEVRE, G., GENEBRIER, V. (2011). ‘Interactions players-referee during a soccer match: understandind how altercations appear or not’. Movement and Sport Sciences - Science & Motricité, 72, 27-33.
COLLARD, L. (2004). Sport & agressivité. Éditions DésIris.
COULOMB, G., RASCLE, O., PFISTER, R. (1999). «Comportements d’agression et motifs de participation en sports collectifs: influence du sexe et du type de pratique», STAPS, 49, 33-46.
BARON, R. A., RICHARDSON, DR. (1994). Human Aggression, 2nd ed. New York: Plenum Press.
BERKOWITZ, L. (1983). « The Goals of Aggression », in FINKELHOR, D. (dir.), The Dark Side of Families. Beverly Hills: Sage.
KARLI, P. (1987). L'homme agressif. Paris: Odile Jacob.
CUSSON, M., PROULX, J., (1999). «Que savons-nous sur la violence criminelle?» in, Les violences criminelles, chapitre 1, pp. 11-40. Québec: Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 353 pp.
TEDESCHI, J. T., FELSON, R. B. (1994). Violence, Aggression and Coercive Actions. Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.
NUYTENS, W., PENIN, N. (2010). ‘The uneven distribution of violences in amateur sports: Why there more than somewhere else?’ Science et motricité, 71, 49-54.
HAWKINS, R., D., FULLER, C., W. (1996). Risk assessment in professional football: an examination of accidents and incidents in the 1994 World Cup Finals. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 30: 165-170.
ANDERSEN, T., ENGEBRETSEN, L., BAHR, R. (2004). Rule violations as a cause of injuries in male Norwegian professional football: Are the referees doing their job?. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 32, 62-68.
THOENIG, J-C. (1998). «L’usage du concept de régulation», Revue droit et société, vol 24, 19.
DE TERSSAC G. (2012). «La théorie de la régulation sociale: repères introductifs». Interventions économiques: papers in Political Economy, pp. 1-16.
REYNAUD, J.-D. (1997). Les règles du jeu. L'action collective et la régulation sociale. Paris, Armand Colin.
NUYTENS, W., PENIN N. (2015). “La place des arbitres dans les mécanismes de régulation”. Jurisport, revue juridique et économique du sport, 149.
MASCARENHAS, D., COLLINS, D., MORTIMER, P. (2002). The Art of Reason Versus the Exactness of Science in Elite Refereeing: Comments on Plessner and Betsch (2001)” Journal of Sport and Exercise Physiology, 24 (3)
ACKERY, A. D., TATOR, C. H., SNIDER, C. (2012). ‘Violence in Canadian amateur hockey: the experience of referees in Ontario’. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 22, 86-90.
KITCHENS, C. (2014). Identifying changes in the spatial distribution of crime: evidence from a referee experiment in the National Football League. Economic Inquiry, 52, 259-268.
WEBB, T., THELWELL, R. (2015). “He’s taken a dive”: Cultural comparisons of elite referee responses to reduced player behaviour in association football. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 5 Iss: 3, pp. 242 – 258.
CUSSON, M., (1983). Contrôle social du crime. Paris: Les Presses universitaires de France, 342 p.
MONTARGOT, N. (2016), ‘Gastronomy and excellence at the heat of identity building of the best workers in France’ in Question (s) de Management, 2016/3, n°14, p. 77-87.
BONNET, E. (2004). ‘Restaurant Critics: Some Characteristics of an Expert Activity’. Sociétés contemporaines, no 53 (1), 135-155. doi: 10.3917/soco.053.0135.
FASSIN, D. (2011). La force de l’ordre. Une anthropologie de la police des quartiers, Le Seuil, Paris.
MOLINO J., MOLINO-LAFHAIL R. (2003). Homo Fabulator. Théorie et analyse du récit. Léméac. Actes sud. pp. 249-280.
DARGERE, C. (2014). L’observation incognito, entre œil de Caïn et œil de Moscou: réflexions déontologiques et idéologiques autour de «la clandestine», Recherches qualitatives, Vol. 33 (1), pp. 41-63.
ARBORIO, A-M., FOURNIER, P., & DE SINGLY, F. (2005). L'observation directe (2nd ed.). Paris: Armand Colin.
HUGHES, E., C. (1971). The Sociological Eye: Selected papers, Chicago, Aldine.
PANDRAUD, N. (2013). ‘A theory of observation in situ. Story, situation and perception’. SociologieS [online], First papers, published online on 20 February 2013, accessed on 09 April 2017. URL:
BECKER, H. S. (2003). Inférence et preuve en observation participante. Fiabilité des données et validité des hypothèses. In D. Céfaï (Ed.), L'enquête de terrain (p. 350-362). Paris: La Découverte.
COENEN-HUTHER J. (2003), “The Ideal Type as an Instrument of Sociological Research”, Revue française de sociologie, 3/2003 (Vol. 44), p. 531-547.
ROCHER, G., (1993). « Type idéal » in André-Jean Arnaud, Jacques Commaille et al. (editors). Dictionnaire encyclopédique de théorie et de sociologie du droit. Libraire Générale de droit et de Jurisprudence, pp. 628-630 [2nd edition].
DANTIER B. (2004). Les « idéaltypes » de Max Weber, leurs constructions et usages dans la recherche sociologique. Les catégories de la sociologie T. 1 de Max Weber, Economie et société, 28-29.
HIRSCHMAN, A. (1970). Exit, voice and loyalty. Responses to decline in firms, organizations, and states. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
HAGEDOORN, M., VAN YPEREN, N., VAN DE VLIERT, E., BUUK, B. (1999). “Employees’ reactions to problematic events: a circumplex structure of five categories of responses, and the role of job satisfaction. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20 (3), 309-321.
WITHEY, M., COOPER, W. (1989). “Predicting exit, voice, loyalty and neglect”. Administrative Science Quarterly, 34 (4), 521-539.
RUSBULT, C., FARRELL, D., ROGERS, G., MAINOUS III, A. G. (1988). “Impact of exchange variables on exit, voice, loyalty and neglect: an integrative model of responses to declining job satisfaction”, Academy of Management Journal, 31 (3), 599-627.
SAINSAULIEU, R. (1996). L’identité au travail. Paris, Presses de Sciences Po.
MERTON, R. K. (1949). Social Theory and Social Structure, Free Press.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186