The positive side of refereeing: Perception of organisational support, motivation and commitment

Gerard Soriano, Yago Ramis, Miquel Torregrossa, Jaume Cruz


Framed on Self Determination Theory, the aim of this paper is to evaluate if the referees’ perception of organizational support favours the commitment and if the type of motivation (i.e., autonomous or controlled) has a mediating role in this relationship. The study involved 385 Catalan licensed soccer referees in early stages (M age = 20.03) who were surveyed about the degree of perceived organizational support, as well as the reasons for participating in refereeing and their commitment. Structural equation modeling was performed, the results supported a partial mediation model where perceived organizational support positively predicted commitment via autonomous motivation (β = 0.558, p < 0.001) and negatively via controlled motivation (β = -0.137, p < 0.001). There was a direct effect of perceived organizational support on commitment and an indirect effect through autonomous motivation. The results provided evidence about the influence of a supportive environment on self-determined motivation and commitment.


Self determination theory; Referees; Soccer; Structural equation modeling

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