Relationships among field-test measures and physical match performance in elite-standard soccer referees
Journal of Sports Sciences
= 197 words Manuscript = 3838 words Figures: 2 Tables: 2 Abstract The aim of this study was to assess the extent to which measures derived from the new FIFA referees fitness tests can be used to monitor a referee's match-related physical capability. Match-analysis data were collected (Prozone®, Leeds, UK) from 17 soccer referees for 5, s=1.7 FA Premier League matches per referee during the first four months of the 2007/08 season. Physical match performance categories were: total distance
... tal distance covered; high-intensity running distance (speed >5.5 m·s -1 ); and sprinting distance (>7.0 m·s -1 ). The tests involved a repeated 40-m sprint test followed by a 150-m interval test. Interval test heart rate load was correlated to match total distance covered (r=-0.70, P=0.002) and high-intensity running (r=-0.57, P=0.018). Fastest 40-m sprint was related to total distance covered (r=-0.69, P=0.002), high-intensity running (r=-0.76, P=0.000) and sprinting distance (r=-0.75, P=0.001) and mean time for the 40-m sprints was related to total distance covered (r=-0.70, P=0.002), high-intensity running (r=-0.77, P=0.000) and sprinting distance (r=-0.77, P=0.000). The referees with the 'best' interval test heart rate load and 40m fastest produced the best physical match performances. However, only the 40-m test and in particular the 40m fastest sprint time showed appropriate construct validity for the physical assessment of soccer referees.