Psychology of Sport and Exercise vol:14 issue:4 pages:577-585
The present study examined to what extent off-field offside decision-making training transfers to real-life offside situations.
Eighteen Belgian assistant referees were included in the experiment. Ten assistant referees (i.e., training group) were exposed to a pre- and posttest and, in between, four off-field offside training sessions via a web-based training protocol. The remaining eight assistant referees participated in the control group and only completed the pre- and posttest. During both test sessions, which were conducted separately for each group, both an on- and off-field offside decision-making test was completed.
First, an increase in response accuracy and a decrease in flag errors were observed for the training group from pre- to posttest in both the on- and off-field offside test. Second, only the training group improved in the recall and recognition accuracy of the position of the receiving attacker at the moment of the pass.
This study demonstrates that perceptual-cognitive skill training results in a positive and direct transfer to on-field offside decisions. Therefore, the structure and the content of the current training intervention mimics the perceptual difficulties of real-match situations and can help the assistant referees to mediate and enhance their offside decision-making skills, both on- and off-field.