Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Recreation and Sport Management

Major Professor

Steven N. Waller

Committee Members

Angela J. Wozencroft, Sylvia A. Trendafilova


The occurrence of flow in a number of leisure and sport activities has been well documented, yet the question of whether sports officials experience flow has not been addressed in the literature. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the occurrence and nature of flow among sport officials, specifically intramural officials. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six University of Tennessee, Knoxville intramural officials. The interviews were transcribed by an independent transcriptionist; the data were reviewed, coded and analyzed using QDA Miner software. Subsequently, five themes emerged: (1) experience/expertise of crewmates and self; (2) motivation of crewmates and self; (3) pace of contest, (4) factors external to and within the contest; and (5) optimal experience. Significant findings of the study included: (1) more experienced officials are better able to handle game situations and serve as inspiring crewmates; (2) motivated individuals adhere to officiating mechanics, hustle, and show enthusiasm; (3) faster paced games can fluster less experienced officials, while veteran intramural officials handle game pace effectively; and (4) health and fitness, weather, personal troubles, and supervisors are factors external to the contest while fans, player behavior, and individual/crew performance are factors within the contest. In summary, the previously noted findings may have an influence on flow experiences for officials and aid in the management of intramural officiating crews.

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