Effects of the off-season period on field and assistant soccer referees` physical performance

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Daniel Castillo, Jesus Camara, Carlo Castagna, Javier Yanci

The evolution of referees’ physical fitness has been studied over one or several seasons, however, the variation of the physical performance between the end of the competitive season (T1) and the start of the following pre-season (T2) has not been ascertained. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the effects of the transition period on physical performance variables (i.e. linear straight sprint, change of direction ability and endurance) in National Soccer Division referees. Forty-five Spanish referees volunteered to participate in this study. Participants were classified according to competitive status, field referees (FR, n = 23) and assistant referees (AR, n = 22). A loss of performance (p < 0.05) was observed in the 20 and 30 m linear straight sprint between T1 and T2 in both FR (1.64-1.56%, d = 0.29 to 0.32) and AR (2.01-3.41%, d = 0.33 to 0.60). In T2 the FR significantly improved the distance covered (p < 0.05, 13.11%, d = 0.39) in the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery test (YYIR1). Besides, significant differences were observed between FR and AR in the distance covered (p < 0.05, -23.55%, d = -0.97) in the YYIR1 test in T2. More research may be necessary to focus on the off-season period in order to implement specific training programs and consequently reduce the loss of sprint ability in field and assistant referees and the decrease in cardiovascular fitness in assistant referees.
DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2017-0033
Key words
detraining, acceleration, change of direction, endurance, physical fitness, soccer

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