RefSix

How your fitness has changed as a result of Covid-19

KeysToReferee

New Member
Level 3 Referee
Hi there,

I'm from KeysToReferee - a leading referee blog which has contributors including Keith Hackett, Roger Dilkes and Stuart Carrington.

I'm wanting to write a blog post on how referees are keeping fit during the coronavirus pandemic. Would be great to have any guidance?

Any help is appreciated.
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
not much has really changed for me, i may be running outside more often as i cant use the gym but what i do isnt changing much.

happily i have some local pitches so i've been going there and practising the L3 fitness test or running L4 test on a loop round my house. been aiming to do one every other day,
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
Can you please do a study into why the standards of refereeing has apparently declined over the last few years when the Overall fitness levels are undoubtably better. Surely concentrating on actual refereeing standards is a better measure of how a game went that breeding refs fit as a butchers dog who have all the tog but no idea??
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Can you please do a study into why the standards of refereeing has apparently declined over the last few years when the Overall fitness levels are undoubtably better. Surely concentrating on actual refereeing standards is a better measure of how a game went that breeding refs fit as a butchers dog who have all the tog but no idea??
I can see both sides to the argument you've avouched
Hi there,

I'm from KeysToReferee - a leading referee blog which has contributors including Keith Hackett, Roger Dilkes and Stuart Carrington.

I'm wanting to write a blog post on how referees are keeping fit during the coronavirus pandemic. Would be great to have any guidance?

Any help is appreciated.
I was refereeing manfully with a bad back prior to Covid. The lock-down allowed for rest followed by progressive exercise and I'm now back to normal.
I'm furloughed, such that I'm now exercising every day... run, bike, long walk, eat, sleep, drink, repeat... :)
Lost 5 or 6lb thus far (which I need to, as I'm not you're wafer-like stereotype @Sheffields Finest is referring to)
 
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Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
I can see both sides to the argument you've avouched

I was refereeing manfully with a bad back prior to Covid. The lock-down allowed for rest followed by the progressive exercise, such that I'm now back to normal. I'm furloughed, such that I'm now exercising every day... run, bike, long walk, eat, sleep, drink, repeat... recurring :)
Lost 5 or 6lb thus far (which I need to, as I'm not you're wafer thin stereotype @Sheffields Finest is referring to)
Well, I’ve lost a stone now since Xmas and no doubt this furlough has contributed. I don’t get the absolute link between fitness and your ability to referee. Yes, if your 50 yards away then I get that but referees haven’t always been rabbits so why the push all of a sudden. I suppose it’s easier to test!
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
Can you please do a study into why the standards of refereeing has apparently declined over the last few years when the Overall fitness levels are undoubtably better. Surely concentrating on actual refereeing standards is a better measure of how a game went that breeding refs fit as a butchers dog who have all the tog but no idea??
Is there any evidence to backup that refereeing standards have declined?
If they have, there are a number of reasons.
Players are immeasurably more fit now than they were. The game is much faster, and therefore the demands placed upon the referee are much higher.
Another reason could be that law changes, one that springs to mind is offside, have made laws more complex, no longer do you just have to say a player was offside but you have to decide 1) is he offside and then 2)
does he commit an offence. Bringing back in first point as players fitness levels are higher, game is faster, the decision needs to be made more quickly as well as being a more complex decision.
Just a few things that spring to mind, if it is indeed true as you say, refereeing standards have fallen.
I'm not sure it is true, I just think the increase in TV and analysis of referee decisions give a perception they have falling, alongside the lack of respect shown towards officials from players, staff and spectators have made an impression that standards have slipped.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Is there any evidence to backup that refereeing standards have declined?
If they have, there are a number of reasons.
Players are immeasurably more fit now than they were. The game is much faster, and therefore the demands placed upon the referee are much higher.
Another reason could be that law changes, one that springs to mind is offside, have made laws more complex, no longer do you just have to say a player was offside but you have to decide 1) is he offside and then 2)
does he commit an offence. Bringing back in first point as players fitness levels are higher, game is faster, the decision needs to be made more quickly as well as being a more complex decision.
Just a few things that spring to mind, if it is indeed true as you say, refereeing standards have fallen.
I'm not sure it is true, I just think the increase in TV and analysis of referee decisions give a perception they have falling, alongside the lack of respect shown towards officials from players, staff and spectators have made an impression that standards have slipped.
Overall refereeing standards is a huge discussion and would derail the OP topic
The lock-down has been great for my own personal fitness, although this has been offset by my fondness of beer and suchlike
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
A more serious explaintion SF. Think of a very good referee you know who is very unfit (minty doesn't count :) ). Now imagine the same referee but fit as a fiddle. Would she/he be a better referee compared to her/his unfit self?
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
So far today I've had 4 weetabix, 3 pancakes with maple syrup, some salt and vinegar discos, a chicken tikka wrap and a wispa gold. Not forgetting 3 cups of tea and a litre if apple juice. For balance, I've also done a 12km walk with my partner (very isolated where I live and alot of farm land which I am a tenant on, didn't see or come into contact with anyone). I'm not very good at sitting around doing **** all. I'll either come out of this like Rambo or diabetic
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
There is little correlation (@Big Cat started these long words) between a refs decision right or wrong in whether he’s fitter. Being too close can also be a factor in missing things in you peripheral vision. Wasn’t 19 yards the optimum, i can virtually do that still today and I don’t have the best whistle anymore!
Yes being 20 stone isn’t good I’m sure but I’d rather see more correct decisions than an athletic ref with no stage presence, no man management skills and couldn’t run His own bath!
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
There is little correlation (@Big Cat started these long words) between a refs decision right or wrong in whether he’s fitter. Being too close can also be a factor in missing things in you peripheral vision. Wasn’t 19 yards the optimum, i can virtually do that still today and I don’t have the best whistle anymore!
Yes being 20 stone isn’t good I’m sure but I’d rather see more correct decisions than an athletic ref with no stage presence, no man management skills and couldn’t run His own bath!
Theres merit in both sides of the argument. If you want to referee at a standard where theres paying punters and paid players then being overweight is not an option. It's a semi professional environment and therefore you should be at least semi fit! Equally, being extremely fit clearly does not make you a good referee. It obviously doesn't really matter at grass roots, we just want competence and anything else is a bonus I'd imagine. But the idea that a young ref wants to get into the professional game but can't get themselves fit would for me be the end of their progression.
 

LothianRef

New Member
Level 7 Referee
I have to say my fitness levels will probably improve. My exams were cancelled so I’ve had no school work to do for coming on 4 weeks now, meaning I’ve got all day every day to do what I want. I’ve ended up going for a run 2-3 times a week, and doing smaller exercises at home, purely to fill the day up - I’d never usually choose to go for a run. 😀
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
If I wanted to actually study the effects of fitness on referees, I'd study the last 10 minutes of a match. Exhaustion affects the mind as well as the body. There is a reason players in sports that push endurance make strange mental mistakes in the late minutes--they aren't thinking as well. Similarly, I think, when referees are exhausted, they aren't able to make the same quality of decisions they could earlier in the match, even if they are in a good position. (Of course, that doesn't mean fitness is the be all and end all--without the skills, all the other key skills, all the fitness in the world won't make you a competent referee.)
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
If I wanted to actually study the effects of fitness on referees, I'd study the last 10 minutes of a match. Exhaustion affects the mind as well as the body. There is a reason players in sports that push endurance make strange mental mistakes in the late minutes--they aren't thinking as well. Similarly, I think, when referees are exhausted, they aren't able to make the same quality of decisions they could earlier in the match, even if they are in a good position. (Of course, that doesn't mean fitness is the be all and end all--without the skills, all the other key skills, all the fitness in the world won't make you a competent referee.)
Agreed
Ideally, a referee's fitness level should exceed that required to officiate for 2 hours without marked deterioration to decision making or communication

Whilst all (I'll rephrase that to the large majority) grass roots games are better off with any neutral referee, I'd hope that all match officials make an effort to improve on their fitness (however fit that may be). It bothers me that a lot of downgraded Level 5's make little effort in this respect (way off a 12 minute Cooper Test), and don't therefore do Sep 6/7 appointments much respect. I don't agree with L5 for life as it stands
The National FA has a DNA for referees which (in my opinion) exceeds that which is required to progress. They don't want referees with nous and personality. The onus is on box-ticking and a homogenised pool of referees, including 8% body fat! Easier to measure
That's what it looks like from the outside ---> in (through my window)

Fitness and other stuff aside, refereeing standards will not improve until the professional referees are allowed and encouraged to sanction misconduct in the game. Simple
 
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Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
If I wanted to actually study the effects of fitness on referees, I'd study the last 10 minutes of a match. Exhaustion affects the mind as well as the body. There is a reason players in sports that push endurance make strange mental mistakes in the late minutes--they aren't thinking as well. Similarly, I think, when referees are exhausted, they aren't able to make the same quality of decisions they could earlier in the match, even if they are in a good position. (Of course, that doesn't mean fitness is the be all and end all--without the skills, all the other key skills, all the fitness in the world won't make you a competent referee.)
Agreed, plus the events of the previous 80 mins could impact you more from a mental perspective if your physically tired.

However, and i know I bang this particular drum alot, but refereeing is not physically demanding in comparison to actually playing sport. With my background in sports, my fitness is better than almost all of the players I referee, considerably better in fact. I ran 2 half marathons in the week before the lockdown began for example. If you're young (and I'm not!) and you're finding refereeing physically hard work then you're no way near fit enough! No way near. It's not physically demanding for young people who are healthy and without injuries. I see some young referees who are far superior to me, but who can't get through a low level football match without huffing and puffing their way through and they say that they want to make it through to the professional game!
 
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