The effect of different environmental conditions on the decision-making performance of soccer goal line officials

Samuel L. Watkins, Paul Castle, Alexis R. Mauger, Nicholas Sculthorpe, Natalie Fitch, Jeffrey Aldous, John Brewer, Adrian W. Midgley, Lee Taylor

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Goal line officials (GLO) are exposed to extreme environmental conditions when employed to officiate in professional European soccer cup competitions. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of such environments on GLO decision-making ability. Thirteen male participants were exposed to three conditions: cold (-5°C, 50% relative humidity (RH)); temperate (18°C, 50% RH); and hot (30°C, 50% RH) for 90 min per condition, with a 15 min half-time break after 45 min. Decision-making ability was assessed throughout the 90 min exposure. Core and skin temperatures were recorded throughout. Decision making was improved during exposure to the temperate condition when compared with the cold (mean difference = 12.5%; 95% CI = 1.1%, 23.9%; P = 0.031). Regression analysis indicated that as skin temperature increases so does decision-making ability. Exposure to cold conditions diminished the decision-making ability of GLO.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-437
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • cognitive function
  • cold
  • hypothermia
  • referee
  • thermoregulation

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