Physiological Load Imposed on Iranian Elite Soccer Referees during Actual Match Play

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine physiological load imposed on Iranian elite soccer referees during actual match play in the 2007-2008 season. Ten male elite soccer referees (Age: 36.23±2.24 years, height: 180.1±4.48 cm, body mass: 78.18±8.4 kg, fat mass: 19.38±3.3 percent BMI: 23.98±1.53 kg.m-2) participated in the study. Heart rate data were collected during match using the Suunto t6 device during 2 stages with 10 weeks of interval. Paired-sample t-test and repeated measure analysis were used to compare the data of first half and second half and heart rate variations in each half respectively (P<0.05). Average total distance covered was 7872 m (range 6720-9910 m) with mean heart rate 158.63 beats/min (range 145-167) (86 % of maximal heart rate) and no significant differences were observed between halves (p>0.05). Referees, on average, covered 9% of the whole match time at heart rate <140, 72% between 140-170 and 19% of the total time at heart rate >170 and no significant differences were observed between two halves. Also, no significant variations were observed in mean heart rate from first to the last 15 min in each half. In conclusion, these results provided important data to aid the development of training programs according to physiological load imposed on elite soccer referees during actual match play.

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