The relationship between basic psychological needs and female sport officials' retention


In an effort to address the officiating shortage, researchers have examined male sport officials' motivations. Since little is known about female sport officials' motivations, our purpose was to explore variables that relate to and predict their likelihood to be retained. Through an online survey, 186 female sport officials responded to (1) the Basic Needs Satisfaction in Sport Scale (BNSSS), (2) the Referee Retention Scale (RRS), and (3) questions assessing Reasons for Becoming Officials (RBO). Pearson correlations tests were run to establish relationships among variables, and regression tests were run to determine if any variables predicted RRS scores. The five BNSSS sub-scales (competence, choice, causality, volition, and relatedness) significantly correlated with most RRS sub-scales (administrator consideration, intrinsic motivation, sense of community, and continuing education) and one RBO sub-scale (social reasons). Further, regression analysis revealed that increased scores on the BNSSS—specifically feelings of competence, choice, volition, and relatedness—predicted intentions to remain as officials, as measured by the RRS. Since the BNSSS predicts retention, sporting organizations should implement new retention strategies that focus on building competence, volition, and relatedness among female sport officials. Other recommendations for sport organizations that could facilitate female sport officials' retention include increasing the fairness of game assignments (administrator consideration), increasing social events and opportunities (social reasons and sense of community), and creating plans for ongoing education/training (continuing education).

Acknowledgments: This research was funded in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, #892-2021-1013.