The relationships between physical fitness attributes and match demands in rugby union referees officiating the 2019 Rugby World Cup
Blair, Matthew; Scanlan, A.T.; Lastella, M.; Ramsey, Condi; Elsworthy, N.
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Citation:Blair, M.R., Scanlan, A.T, Lastella,M., Ramsey, C. & Elsworthy, N. (2022) The relationships between physical fitness attributes and match demands in rugby union referees officiating the 2019 Rugby World Cup, International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 22:1, 183-194, DOI: 10.1080/24748668.2022.2031527
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5503
NOTE: The Research Bank document is a pre-print/author's manuscript. This means this paper is an early draft before it is submitted to a journal for a formal peer review. The final published version can be found at DOI: 10.1080/24748668.2022.2031527 This study examined the relationships between physical fitness attributes and match demands in lead rugby union referees. Eleven referees underwent anthropometric and fitness assessments (40-m sprint, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test, 1.2-km shuttle run) prior to the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Match activities were assessed via global positioning system devices (total distance, high-speed running distance [>5 m·s-1], average speed, and peak intensities over 1-min, 5-min, and 10-min epochs) and heart rate variables were measured using chest-worn monitors (HRmean, summated-heart-rate-zones, time above 90% HRmax). 40-m sprint time was significantly related to maximum speed (P=0.004; r= -0.79) and high-speed running distance (P=0.037, r= -0.63) during matches. Likewise, ∑7 skinfold thickness was significantly correlated with high-speed running distance (P=0.01, r= -0.72). Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test, 1.2-km shuttle run test, age, and body mass index exhibited non-significant correlations (P>0.05, r= -0.58 to 0.53) with match demand variables. Results suggest it may be pertinent for referees to optimise sprint capacity and body fat composition to execute greater high-speed running volumes and reach higher peak speeds during matches. Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test and 1.2-km shuttle run tests are not correlated to specific match activity variables, and thus may not be relevant for monitoring of rugby union referees.
Keywords:2019 World Rugby Cup, referees, physical fitness, testing, GPS, elite sports, sports, rugby union
ANZSRC Field of Research:420702 Exercise physiology, 3102 Bioinformatics and computational biology
Copyright Holder:Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
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