Fear, Anger, and Loneliness: Emotional Pain and Referee Attrition in English Grassroots Football

Potrac, Paul, Hall, Edward and Nichol, Adam (2022) Fear, Anger, and Loneliness: Emotional Pain and Referee Attrition in English Grassroots Football. Sociology of Sport Journal, 39 (3). pp. 298-308. ISSN 0741-1235

Fear anger and loneliness- Emotional pain and referee attrition in English grassroots football_.pdf - Accepted Version

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2021-0052


This interpretive study provides original insights into the socioemotional experiences that contributed to referee attrition in English grassroots football. Data were generated using an online survey (n = 251) and in-depth interviews (n = 20) with former referees. Using complementary symbolic interactionist and relational conceptualizations of identity, social interaction, and emotional pain, the analysis addressed the participants’ interpretations of their problematic encounters with the various significant others (e.g., coaches, managers, players, spectators, and administrators) that comprised their respective social networks in grassroots football. Importantly, the participants described several emotionally painful issues related to match day environments, disciplinary proceedings, and deployment and development processes that simultaneously coexisted alongside and exacerbated one another. The findings present important implications for those individuals and governing bodies who are responsible for referee retention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: role identity, role exit, social interaction, match officials
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2021 13:34
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2022 15:00
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47248

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