Gaze behaviour in offside decision-making in football

A field study
  • Urs Schnyder
  • Johan M. Koedijker
  • Ralf Kredel
  • Ernst-Joachim Hossner
Main Articles

Abstract

The current study aims to determine the relationship between gaze characteristics and decision-making of expert and near-expert assistant referees in judging offside in football. Six assistant referees with different levels of expertise judged set-played offside scenes on the football field, while their gaze behaviour was measured with a mobile eye tracker. The location of gaze, numbers of fixations and temporal characteristics of the final fixation around the decisive pass were analysed to compare the two expertise levels and response accuracies. Expert assistant referees judged more offside situations correctly than near-experts, however, without any differences in gaze patterns. Irrespective of expertise, decision accuracy was higher for trials in which the assistant referees focussed on the offside line rather than on receiving attackers or one of the other defenders at the moment of the pass. Moreover, strong trends were observed for the positive effects of an overall “quiet” gaze behaviour and, in particular, of long final fixations on correct decisions. Thus, maintaining a stable gaze on the offside line around the moment of the decisive pass should be regarded as a superior strategy for assistant referees to optimise decision-making.

Keywords

Referees Sports officiating Eye movements Soccer Error decisions 

Blickverhalten bei Abseitsentscheidungen im Fußball

Eine Feldstudie

Zusammenfassung

Ziel der aktuellen Studie ist es, die Beziehung zwischen dem Blickverhalten und der Entscheidungsfindung von hochkompetenten und weniger kompetenten Schiedsrichterassistenten bei der Abseitsentscheidung im Fußball zu bestimmen. Sechs Schiedsrichterassistenten mit unterschiedlichen Kompetenzniveaus beurteilten Standard-Abseitssituationen auf dem Fußballfeld, während ihr gesamtes Blickverhalten mittels eines mobilen Eyetrackers erfasst wurde. Die Blickposition, die Anzahl der Blickfixierungen und die zeitlichen Charakteristika der letzten Blickfixierung zur Zeit des entscheidenden Passes wurden analysiert, um die beiden Kompetenzniveaus sowie die Entscheidungsgenauigkeit zu vergleichen. Hochkompetente Schiedsrichterassistenten beurteilten mehr Abseitssituationen korrekt als weniger kompetente, jedoch ohne Unterschiede in den Blickmustern. Unabhängig von der Kompetenz war die Genauigkeit der Entscheidungen höher bei den Versuchen, in welchen sich die Schiedsrichterassistenten zur Zeit des Passes auf die Abseitslinie anstatt auf die angespielten Angreifer oder auf einen der anderen Verteidiger konzentrierten. Darüber hinaus wurde eine starke Tendenz für positive Effekte eines insgesamt „leisen“ Blickverhaltens und insbesondere einer langen letzten Blickfixierung auf die Entscheidung beobachtet. Daher sollte das Aufrechterhalten eines stabilen Blicks auf die Abseitslinie zur Zeit des entscheidenden Passes als eine überlegene Strategie für Schiedsrichterassistenten angesehen werden, um die Entscheidungsfindung zu optimieren.

Schlüsselwörter

Schiedsrichter Offiziellentätigkeit im Sport Augenbewegungen Fußball Fehlentscheidungen 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urs Schnyder
    • 1
  • Johan M. Koedijker
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ralf Kredel
    • 1
  • Ernst-Joachim Hossner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Sport ScienceUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, MOVE Research Institute AmsterdamVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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