Duncan Mascarenhas

duncan mascarenhas

Dr Duncan Mascarenhas

Associate Professor - Sport & Exercise Psychology & Coaching


Duncan is an Associate Professor of Sport Psychology & Coaching at Edinburgh Napier University. He is a Chartered Psychologist with 20 years of experience working with elite sports officials. His research has focused on developing decision making under pressure and game management in match officials. He has provided psychological support to the Rugby Football Union Elite Referee Unit and has worked with a wide variety of match officials including the Rugby Football League Match Officials, New Zealand Netball, SRU High Performance Referees, Scottish Basketball and the ECB Association of Cricket Officials. He completed a post-doc research project with New Zealand Soccer referees investigating the effect of physical performance upon decision-making. Duncan is a former video producer and uses his expertise in video production and editing to develop online learning materials for coaches & sports officials.

Research Areas


Research Degree External Examining

  • External Examination PhD: Paul Renton - The identification of a referee practice model and a pedagogy for the coaching of rugby union referees. Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • External Examination PhD Nathan Elsworthy - Factors Influencing the Physiological and Perceptual Decision-Making Demands of Australian Football Field Umpires. The University of Newcastle, Australia
  • External Examination PhD Jochim Spitz - Expert Perception & Performance in Elite Association Football Referees. KU Leuven University, Belgium


Invited Speaker

  • Sports Officials UK Keynote Presentation
  • First International Conference on the Science & Practice of Sports Officiating
  • Inaugural Sports Coaching Conference, Llandrillo College Wales, Keynote Presentation
  • University of Gloucester Referee Scholarship Programme. Communication Skills for Sports Officials
  • University of Gloucester Referee Scholarship Programme. What can sports science research do for sports officials?
  • University of Gloucester Referee Scholarship Programme. Sports Officials & Officiating: Science & Practice
  • National Programme Umpiring Association (England Hockey NPUA). Verbal Communication
  • England Netball High Performance Conference (Netball Superleague Umpires). Coping with Pressure
  • England Netball High Performance Conference (Netball Superleague Umpires). Mental Toughness Training for Elite Umpires
  • England Netball High Performance Conference (Netball Superleague Umpires). Decision Training for Elite Umpires
  • Scottish Rugby Union Elite Referee Panel Conference
  • The Future of Training Specialst & Expert Organ Retrieval Teams in the use of Novel Technologies and Practices.
  • PERF Arbitrage (Referee High Performance Centre, Clermont-Ferrand) workshop on developing sports officiating excellence.


Membership of Professional Body

  • British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences
  • British Psychological Society


Fellowships and Awards

  • SportScotland BASEM & BASES 1st Place Prizewinner for presentation - Training coherent decision-making in rugby union referees
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy



  • Psychology of Sport & Exercise, Journal of Sports Sciences, International Journal of Sport Psychology, The Sport Psychologist, International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, Journal of Sport Behavior, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, Graduate Journal of Sport Exercise & PE Research, European Journal of Sport Science, and Sport Exercise & Performance Psychology, Open Journal of Sports Sciences.


Media Activity

  • Video: Verbal Communication for Hockey Umpires


Visiting Positions

  • Visiting Senior Lecturer - Charles Sturt University, Australia


Conference Activity

  • Concepts of co-construction in match interactions between high performing rugby union match officials and players.


Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Helping the Man in the Middle, Rugby Football Union Applied Research Project
  • Helping the Man in the Middle, Rugby Football Union Applied Research Project
  • English Volleyball Association
  • Rugby Football League Superleague Referees Applied Research Project
  • Sport & Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) Grant for Netball New Zealand
  • Sport & Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) Grant for Soccer NZ
  • England Cricket Association of Sports Officials (ECB ACO)

Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • Phd Ian Cunningham - Becoming a skilled communicator in sport officiating: Concepts, experiences, and contextualised practice. Charles Sturt University, Australia
  • MPhil Jon Hughes - An exploratory study to identify the fundamental skills necessary in self-defence training. Wrexham Glyndwr University