Referee Engagement and Officiating Accuracy in a College-Level Volleyball Sport Education Season

Zachary Wahl-Alexander, Oleg A. Sinelnikov, K. Andrew R. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated university students’ levels of engagement and accuracy of officiating volleyball during their first Sport Education season. The participants in this study included 20 students (12 male, 8 female) enrolled in a beginner volleyball activity course. The volleyball Sport Education season included 21 lessons that lasted 75 min each. All season gameplay was video recorded and data were collected so that we could determine student engagement and officiating accuracy for every referee throughout the season. A series of paired-samples t tests examined changes over time, and bivariate correlations examined the relationships among engagement and officiating decision variables at preseason and during the formal competition. The results of this study indicated a significant increase in active engagement of officials from preseason to the formal competition phase with the corresponding decrease in passive engagement. Furthermore, while there were no significant differences in the accuracy of some officiating decisions over time, the overall officiating accuracy significantly increased from preseason to formal competition. The levels of engagement were related to the complexity of officiating calls and to an overall accuracy. Officiating competency needs to be intentionally developed during Sport Education, and teachers should allocate ample time for students to practice and improve their officiating abilities, because officiating serves as an important integral part of this pedagogical model.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-587
JournalThe Physical Educator
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • sport education
  • basic instructional program
  • physical education
  • officiating


Dive into the research topics of 'Referee Engagement and Officiating Accuracy in a College-Level Volleyball Sport Education Season'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this