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Play ON! e-Learning Series - Session #5 - Impact of Covid-19 on Match Officials

By Staff, 04/01/21, 3:15PM EDT


Join us on April 8 at 1 pm. Match officials in particular face unique challenges in their return to officiating and Dr. Tom Webb will share research and insights from past and recent publications to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on match officials.

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

Ontario Soccer’s Play ON! eLearning Series presented by Respect in Sport continues on Thursday, April 8 with an educational presentation by internationally acclaimed senior lecturer, speaker and researcher Dr. Tom Webb, MSc Course Leader in Sport Management at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who will be exploring the Impact of Covid-19 on Match Officials.

Tom, who also founded and coordinates the Referee and Match Official Research Network hosted at the University of Portsmouth, will draw on his research revolving around multi dimensional aspects of sports officiating. This includes sharing key insights from two books he has published, the most recent of which, 'Referees, Match Officials and Abuse: Research and Implications for Policy', was published in November 2020, and over 50 academic and industry based articles on sports officiating.

Prior to agreeing to work with Ontario Soccer, as a Play ON! eLearning Series presented by Respect in Sport guest speaker, Tom has worked with governing bodies and officiating organisations from across the world, with a number of projects currently underway, and regularly contributes to national and international newspaper, radio and television features on officiating.

As soccer starts to prepare to Return to Play following nationalised lockdowns in Canada and across the globe, millions of players, coaches and match officials are focusing on their own return to action. Match officials in particular face unique challenges in their return to officiating, and Tom will share research and insights from past and recent publications to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on match officials. These challenges, barriers and issues will be considered based on research conducted amongst sports official populations in sports and countries around the world. 

Tom will focus on the potential impact of Covid-19 on returning to play, the issues that existed prior to the pandemic and any concerns that might still exist or be exacerbated by the breaks Covid-19 has enforced.

The session will end with questions and discussions around the experiences of match officials before and during the pandemic, and as we move forward into a Covid-19 regulated sporting environment for the 2021 outdoor season. 

Throughout the series from March 10th to April 29th, Ontario Soccer will offer a weekly online session with succinct and relevant insights and practical take-aways designed to appeal to a diverse cross-section of Ontario Soccer members and stakeholders (Clubs, Academies, Districts, Leagues, administrators, coaches, managers, volunteers, parents, players, officials, etc.).