Contributors and Constraints to Involvement with Youth Sports Officiating
Keywords:officiating, youth sports, involvement, constraints
There is a growing concern about the shortage of sports officials and its impact on organized youth sport. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of psychosocial factors that impact involvement with youth sports officiating by comparing and contrasting the experiences of officials from two distinct sports. In-depth interviews were conducted with baseball umpires and lacrosse officials. Resulting themes were classified as either contributors or constraints to involvement with officiating. The most striking difference between the two groups was the support provided in terms of mentorship, training, and administrative consideration. The baseball umpires received greater support and this was a key factor in overcoming constraints and fostering a sense of community. Implications and strategies for recruiting and retaining officials are discussed.
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