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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Sep 09

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12104-8


language: English

A comparison of the internal and external load demands imposed on professional soccer referees in FIFA’s current model of physical test in relation to games

Artur A. PREISSLER 1 , Pedro SCHONS 1, Rochelle R. COSTA 1, Thaís REICHERT 1, Henrique B. OLIVEIRA 1, Guilherme D. DE VARGAS 1, Felipe L. RIBEIRO 1, Giovanni R. BRITO 1, Jonas C. ZANELLA 1, Lucas M. KLEIN 1, Benedito S. DENADAI 2, Luiz F. KRUEL 1

1 Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; 2 Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil


BACKGROUND: Based on the need to investigate the demands imposed on referees in the current model of physical evaluation and during professional games, this study’s objective was to compare these demands in the physical test versus the games. METHODS: Thus, it evaluated the heart rate, distance covered, time, and speed of all 14 referees in the physical test and during Brazil’s first division state championship games using a Global Positioning System enabled heart rate monitor. RESULTS: The maximum heart rate (HRmax) and maximum speed were higher in the physical test (183.86 ± 12.79 bpm) and (26.80 ± 0.96 km/h), respectively, than in the games (170.25 ± 17.71 bpm) (p = 0.008) and (24.27 ± 1.68 km/h) (p = 0.001), respectively. In the HRmax zone ≥90 and ≤100%, the time and percentage distance were greater in the physical test (47.87 ± 16.60% and 58.57 ± 22.78%), respectively, than in the games (17.82% ± 18.29% and 18.84% ± 18.92%, respectively; p < 0.001). However, in the speed zone <13 km/h, the time and the percentage distance were longer in the game (93.73 ± 1.26% and 86.13 ± 2.31%), respectively, than in the physical test (68.73 ± 12,31% and 39.65 ± 9.74%, respectively; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Thus, it is concluded that the professional referees perform at greater intensities during the physical test than in the games. In contrast, the demands for intensities corresponding to aerobic metabolism are greater in games or equal to those in physical testing, depending on the intensity reference.

KEY WORDS: Speed; Heart rate; Distance; Physical loads; Performance

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