Soccer Offside Judgments in Laypersons with Different Types of Static Displays

Peter Wühr, Frowin Fasold, Daniel Memmert, Philip Allen
2015 PLoS ONE  
Four experiments investigated offside decisions in laypersons with different types of static displays. Previous research neglected this group although the majority of assistant referees in soccer games at the amateur level are laypersons. The aims of our research were (a) to investigate the spatial resolution in laypersons' perception of offside situations, (b) to search for biases in laypersons' offside judgments, and (c) to develop useful displays for future research. The displays showed the
more » ... oment when a midfielder passes the ball to a forward moving in the vicinity of a defender. We varied the spatial location of the forward around the defender in eleven steps and participants made their offside decision by pressing a key. Across experiments, displays varied in abstractness (simple shapes, clipart figures, photographs). There were two major findings. Firstly, both accuracy and speed of offside judgments deteriorated when the spatial distance between forward and defender decreased, approaching guessing rate at the smallest distances. Secondly, participants showed a consistent bias in favor of the non-offside response, in contrast to most studies on professional assistant referees. In sum, the results highlight the limited spatial resolution of the visual system and underscore the role of response bias in offside-judgment tasks.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133687 pmid:26252653 pmcid:PMC4529197 fatcat:rt26uqx2rnduddfyjjto6yuiau