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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Jun 22

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12293-5


lingua: Inglese

Fitness assessment in talented football referees: an academy based longitudinal field-study

Carlo CASTAGNA 1, 2, 3 , Alejo P. LEGUIZAMÓN 4, Susana C. PÓVOAS 5, 6

1 Italian Football Referees Association (AIA), Technical Department, Rome, Italy; 2 Fitness training and biomechanics laboratory, Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Technical Department, Coverciano, Florence, Italy; 3 University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 4 Asian Football Confederation, Refereeing Department, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 5 Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, University Institute of Maia, ISMAI, Maia, Portugal; 6 Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Sport and Health Sciences Cluster (SHSC), University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark


BACKGROUND: This study aim was to profile physical fitness in talented football referees (FR) with performance relevant field-tests across time.
METHODS: Thirty-eight male FR (age 28±1.5 years, height 178±5.1 cm, body mass 69.0±7.34 kg, body fat 17.2±2.87%) were observed for 15 months. Endurance was assessed with the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (YYIR1) and repeated sprint ability (RSA) with 5x30m line-sprints with 30s recovery (5x30m). Long sprint endurance (LSA) and change of direction ability (COD) evaluated with novel field-tests. FR was tested six times (every three months) during the study.
RESULTS: YYIR1 performance showed large increments across testing occasions. Sprint time in the COD largely and significantly decreased across the testing occasions. Very large associations were reported between 5x30m and LSA tests grand mean (r=0.89, 0.78-0.94, P<0.0001). A nearly perfect (r=0.97, 0.94-0.99, P<0.0001) association was observed between 5x30m best sprint and 5x30m grand means.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study revealed ability-related variations in performance across time. The effect of training and competitions on the determinism of physical fitness in refereeing seem plausible. Interestingly, sprint endurance tests shared a very large variance proposing tests interchangeability and mutual physiological demands. This study information provides useful information for the development of sound field-tests batteries in talented FR.

KEY WORDS: Association Football; Soccer; Sprint endurance; Long sprint ability; Speed endurance; Repeated sprint ability; Yo-Yo test

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