The purpose of this study was to determine the contribution of selected stressors to the level of stress experienced by South African soccer officials. Forty-two South African Football Association (SAFA) accredited officials, attending a training camp in Potchefstroom, participated in this study. The group comprised of 40 male and two female officials. The average age of the officials was 37.52 (±6.09) years, and the period for which they were accredited as a SAFA official ranged from 2 to 27 years. The Ontario Soccer Officials’ Survey (OSOS) was used to determine the perceived levels of stress. The results indicated that fitness concerns were rated as the highest contributor to the stress experienced followed by role-culture conflicts, fear of failure, peer conflicts, interpersonal conflict, time pressures and lastly, fear of physical harm. The Spearman Rank Order Correlation showed a high correlation between the number of years the officials were accredited with SAFA and the total level of stress they experienced. Furthermore, the results indicated that 60% of the officials, who served as an accredited official for longer than 12 years, experienced five to seven stressors, which contributed to the total level of perceived stress.
Keywords: Soccer; Officials; Acute stress; Certification; Sport; South Africa
South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, 2012, 34(2): 53-62.