Decision making and performance of Malaysian rugby sevens referees

Mohamad Nizam Nazarudin, Mohamad Razali Abdullah, Pathmanathan K. Suppiah, Mohd Sofian Omar Fauzee, Vincent Parnabas, Nagoor Meera Abdullah


This study aims to examine the decision making by rugby sevens referees, and its relationship with the referees’ performance. The instruments used in this study are the Rugby Referee Decision Making Test (α=.74) and the Referee Sevens Field Performance Evaluation (α=.94). It was administered to 132 rugby sevens referees (mean age 33.4 + 1.5 years; 132 males) from the Malaysian Rugby Union (MRU), which have been refereeing in 10 rugby sevens tournaments in Malaysia. Descriptive and Inferential statistics (one way ANOVA and Pearson’s Correlation) were employed to analyse the data. Decision Making ( = 24.13, SD= 5.24) and performance ( = 136.45, SD = 4.47) were identified at a moderate level. The findings indicated no significant differences [F= (3, 128) =.246, p>0.05] in the decision making across age level, but there were significant differences [F= (3, 128) =63.159, p<0.05] across experience level. Highly experienced referees scored significantly higher in all decision making constructs compared to less experienced referees. The research findings have revealed a positive and significant relationship between decision making (r= .61, p<.05) and referee performance. In conclusion, the decision making can help rugby sevens referees’ performance, and it is recommended that referees should increase the use of decision making in future training and assessment. Future research should investigate the effectiveness of decision making interventions in enhancing referees’ performance in the future.


decision making, performance, sport officiating, rugby

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