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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  BODY COMPOSITION, NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 March;59(3):434-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08326-3

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Body composition and somatotypes of male Zimbabwean Premier League football referees

Morris BANDA 1, 2, Heinrich W. GROBBELAAR 2 , Elmarie TERBLANCHE 2

1 Department of Sports Science and Coaching, Faculty of Applied Sciences, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; 2 Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa



BACKGROUND: Elite athletes need to optimize their body composition to deliver world class performances and this argument could be extended to elite referees as well. Unfortunately, there is a scarcity of body composition information among football referees. The aim of the study was to determine and compare the body composition and somatotypes of male football referees and assistant referees who officiated in the 2013 Zimbabwe Premier Football League.
METHODS: Forty-one participants (21 referees, 20 assistant referees; 8 FIFA, 33 ZIFA licensed referees) with a mean age of 34.89±5.13 years took part. They had on average 10.85±3.85 years of refereeing experience. The ISAK restricted anthropometric profile was used to measure body mass, height, skinfolds, girths and bone breadths, from which Body Mass Index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), percentage body fat and somatotype were calculated.
RESULTS: The referees were significantly taller than the assistant referees. The FIFA referees had moderately more desirable anthropometric profiles than the ZIFA referees. With a mean somatotype of 2.62-4.65-2.65, the total sample could be classified as balanced mesomorphs. They had lower BMI and body fat percentages than that observed among referees from other nationalities in the available literature.
CONCLUSIONS: The results add to the paucity of information on the body composition of football officials. Referees aiming to excel at higher levels need to obtain and maintain an ideal body composition since elite level football is intense and requires high fitness levels.


KEY WORDS: Anthropometry - Soccer - Body composition - Somatotypes

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