POMS results indicated that higher levels of psychological stress occurred when an international game, instead of a national game, had to be played. The players were more nervous then. Cortisol levels were higher after the games were played which can be explained by either an increase in stress or physical activity. There was no significant difference in cortisol level between national or international games. Highest cortisol levels occurred after play-off games were played which can also be the result of more stress or more physical activity (Harte & Eifert, 1995). The primary purpose of the ZOF model (variability of optimal anxiety) was confirmed, however, the ZOF notion that better performance occurs when precompetition anxiety values were within ZOF was not confirmed. Instead, best performance occurred when precompetition anxiety values were below ZOF. Further, it was expected that the ZOF conditions could also be applied to cortisol, however, a classification of cortisol in zones (low, medium, high) provided no significant differences in performance. The coaches reported feeling more nervous before an international game than before a national game and the head coach's cortisol had decreased after the games were played. This could be the result of less stress, but it could also be the usual decline of the cortisol level during the day. A surprising result was that the head coach was more nervous at the end of the competition game than at the end of the international game. The explanation for this could be that he was very annoyed after this game, which he had also reported in the POMS questionnaire.