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Blowing the Whistle, Paperback / softback Book

Blowing the Whistle Paperback / softback

Paperback / softback


The football referee. Charged with controlling the players and enforcing the laws of the most popular and passionate game on the planet, they are often alone and always outnumbered. They ply their trade in the face of competitive athletes and a partisan crowd, all desperate to sway judgments in their favour. Along with players and coaches, they are the only people who can influence the result of a football match, yet despite such importance, there are many questions.

– Are referees influenced by the crowd?

– Do referees favour the home side?

– Do ‘big name’ players and managers get treated differently?

– Are referees arrogant?

– Why would anyone want to be a referee?

– Do we really trust the referee?

– Do we neglect the mental health of referees?

– How can a referee prepare psychologically for a game?

In Blowing the Whistle: The Psychology of Football Refereeing, these questions, and more, are answered.

Meticulously researched and written by leading authority Stuart Carrington, a multitude of views from the terraces, the media, academic studies, and referees themselves are brought together to bust myths and shine a light on the misunderstood, rarely appreciated, and often vilified individuals who are central to the beautiful game. Vital lessons from psychology are explored to ensure no stone is left unturned in finally understanding: what is it really like to referee a football match?


“This wonderful book gives an insight into the decision-making process, and an in depth look at officiating. It should be read by all stakeholders in the game to achieve a better understanding of the role of the referee. It turns perception into reality and will improve the performance of every referee who reads it. It is without doubt the best book I have read on officiating.” Keith Hackett, FIFA Referee 1981-1991; Former PGMOL General Manager, Author of You are the Ref.

“Good reading. An interesting insight into the mental health and attitudes of referees.” Lee Markwick, The Referees’ Association: Welfare, Representation & Partnership Lead.



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