Referee Development Group

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The final development group meeting of 2014 saw the group put through their paces in the much anticipated fitness tests at Nottingham Trent University.

Alistair Nelson provided us with a report on the latest Development Group meeting, at Nottingham Trent University on the 11th December 2014.

The group were led by a team from the Nottingham Trent University sports department who had designed a programme that involved four sets of tests which aimed to measure the areas of fitness vital to a referee’s game.

We started with three, twenty meter sprints. The idea was to hit top speed as quickly as possible in a short distance, important for when a quick burst of pace is necessary to take up a good position during a match. Despite one or two questionable sprinting styles, the group completed the first set of tests well and were eager to take on the next challenge the team from Nottingham Trent University had to throw at us.

For the second and third tests, the group was split in to two. As one half of the group underwent a muscle strength test, the other half did a test which measured speed endurance.

The muscle strength test consisted of jumping vertically in the air and landing on a pressure mat whilst keeping our hands on our hips to isolate the test to the lower limb. The mat measured how much time we spent in the air and therefore how much power we had generated through our legs to enable us to jump as high as possible.

At this point height and weight were also measured so a recommended score based on our BMI could be calculated.

For the speed endurance test each member of the group had to complete six, forty meter sprints. We had thirty seconds to sprint twenty meters and perform a 180 degree change of direction, before sprinting twenty meters back. Whatever time was left over from the thirty seconds were taken as recovery before starting the next repetition. This was a particularly tough test which focused not only on our ability to keep a high pace for a number of repetitions but also our change of direction. This is especially relevant to us as two very important aspects of a referees’ game include keeping up with quick ‘end to end’ play, and performing sudden changes of direction.

The final test that the group were subject to was the yoyo test. This involved us running twenty meters, turning 180 degrees and running back in the opposite direction in a set time with a 5 second active recovery. The time is revealed by a series of beeps that sound to instruct you to start running, at half way and instruct you to stop running. The time between the beeps becomes less and less as the test intensifies. If you do not reach the half way or end point before the respective beep sounds, you stop the test and the level at which you dropped out is noted. This is a great test of endurance and the ability to run quickly even in the last few minutes of a game.

The fitness tests will be repeated towards the end of the season to measure how much we improve between now and then.

Special thanks goes to the Nottingham Trent University sports department for leading the session this month and designing a thorough fitness testing programme for us.

Report written by Alistair Nelson

MH Goals Ltd
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