Aerobic Fitness Relation to Match Performance of Japanese Soccer Referees

Yoshihiko Ishihara, Hisashi Naito, Hayao Ozaki
and Masafumi Yoshimura

[Received February 17, 2015; Accepted November 11, 2015] 

This study was conducted to investigate the relation between aerobic fitness parameters and match performance of Japanese soccer referees. This study examined 14 Japanese male referees (25.9 ± 3.1 yr) using a submaximal incremental treadmill test to ascertain the running speed at the onset of blood lactate accumulation (s-OBLA) and to estimate VO2max from the heart rate. Match performances (total distance, high-intensity running (HIR: ?15 kmh-1) and distances from fouls) were calculated during competitive matches using data recorded from a GPS device and a video camera. The total distance covered during a match was 11.3 ± 0.6 km, of which 1.9 ± 0.4 km was covered by HIR. The mean distance from a foul was 14.4 ± 1.0 m. The s-OBLA was 14.5 ± 1.0 (12.6-16.3) kmh-1, which was correlated positively with the distance covered at HIR (r = 0.77; p < 0.05) and negatively with the mean distance from a foul (r = -0.62; p < 0.05). The estimated VO2max was not related to these variables (p > 0.05). Results suggest that OBLA assessment is a good index of fit referees who can cover longer distances at high speed and judge foul plays from short distances.

Keywords: Blood lactate, Onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA), Submaximal incremental exercise, High intensity running, Global positioning system

[Football Science Vol.12, 91-97, 2015]