Sport Officials

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The purposes of this study were as follows: to identify the sources of acute game-related stress experienced by registered interscholastic baseball, basketball, and football officials from the United States, and to identify coping strategies utilized by the officials. The Sport Official Survey, (S.O.S.) is a sport officiating version of a multi-sport web-based survey in which participants were presented with standard, realistic, game-related scenarios of events that occur during athletic competitions. The S.O.S. was developed to analyze responses from registered high school baseball, basketball, and football officials (N = 1365) concerning sources of acute game-related stress and perceived stress intensity. The S.O.S. addresses a specific view of the types of coping strategies utilized in this sample of sport officials. Of the participants, baseball (n = 347), basketball (n = 618), and football (n = 400) officials were represented in the study. For baseball umpires, basketball referees, and football referees, the most intense source of acute game-related stress was “I made an incorrect call” followed by “I was out of position.” The identification of stressful events and coping response information obtained from this study may be beneficial to professionals working in the field of sport pedagogy, sport sociology, or sport health. Thus, this study may glean important stress identification methods as well as techniques for evaluating practicality and applicability of coping response training for those involved in the vocation of sport officiating.