Teamwork and Decision Making among Basketball Referees: The 3PO Principle, Refereeing Level, and Experience
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Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Levinsky-Wingate Academic College, Netanya, Israel.
Department of Physical Education, Kaye Academic College of Education, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Department of Business Administration, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Submission date: 2023-03-18
Acceptance date: 2023-06-05
Online publication date: 2023-07-25
Corresponding author
Eran Sabag   

Physical Education, The Academic College Levinsky-Wingate, 4290200, Netanya, Israel
Journal of Human Kinetics 2023;89:313–326
In this study, the three-person officiating (3PO) principle was employed as an innovative method to examine decision-making (DM) processes among basketball referees. We aimed at exploring whether the ranking, experience, and teamwork among 25 basketball referees could predict accuracy of DM in ambiguous situations taken from basketball games. An analysis of 283 officiating cases taken from 100 filmed games was conducted. The events were then classified by nine experts according to whether the officiating decision was accurate, and which referee (Lead, Centre or Trail) was standing in the main coverage area, as per the 3PO principle, when the decision was made. Our findings indicate that the teamwork (coordination) component was associated with the quality of DM. Of the 283 events, 60 decisions (21%) were not made from the recommended position according to the 3PO principle; 49 of those decisions were incorrect. The findings are discussed from both developmental and instructional perspectives.
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