Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Matthew Baker

Second Advisor

Gregory Colman

Academic Program Adviser

Randall Filer


This paper predicts the possibilities of specific penalty types occurring, using a logistic regression model, and evaluates whether there is any possible bias towards teams by referees' decision making. Using penalties that occurred from 2009 until 2018, there seems to be a bias towards teams which are part of larger markets. How successful the team is and how famous some of the players are can also possibly affect the odds of a referee making a penalty call. Due to how underdeveloped the area of research is, there are many ways to expand it to essentially bring further light to whether there is any referee bias in the NFL.



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