As I sat, with millions of other Americans, watching the Grammy’s of the football world, I couldn’t help but think one thought. While everyone else was caught up in the excitement of who would win, I noticed that in order for the referees to do their own jobs right they must be in great physical shape. I mean, considering they have to run up and down the field, keep close watch on the plays, they have to be in good overall physical shape. Then I thought to myself, Are You More Fit Than a Referee?
To become a referee, one must pass the FIFA Fitness Tests for Referees and Assistant Referees. In order to pass, one is required to achieve a certain standard sprint time. For males hoping to be an international referee his sprint would have to be under 6.2 seconds, while it would be 6.0 seconds for an international assistant referee, and 6.6 for women or 6.4 seconds for a female assistant referee. For a national referees, male requirements are 6.4 seconds and 6.2 seconds for national assistant referees, while females would be 6.8 seconds for national referees, 6.6 seconds assistant. If a referee does not achieve the standard in 1 trial out of the six, then they are given 1 more trial (and one only) immediately after the 6th trial. If they fail 2 trials, the test is finished and marked as a faile.
The FIFA Interval Test – Part 1 is a two part test. The first involves 6 x 40m sprints followed by a maximum of 1 minute 30 seconds recovery after each sprint. The purpose of this test is to test the ability to recover between sprints and produce high intensity sprints repeatedly, designed to test the physical demands of soccer referees. The second portion of this test calls for 150 run, 50 walk, 150 run, 50 walk, repeating this for up to 10 laps. This test determines an individual’s ability to repeatedly perform intervals over a prolonged period of time, designed to test the physical demands of soccer referees.
After doing this research, I have a new found respect for the men in the black and white. Am I more fit than a referee? I’m honestly not too sure. This says a lot, since I am sure that I am younger than most ref’s. It’s time to strap on my Polar M400 GPS Powered Fitness Watch with Heart Rate (Black), and get to training. Are you more fit than a referee?