I was watching a FIFA Futuro DVD video on referee fitness and gazed in awe at one particular clip showing multiple back-to-back counter-attacks done by both teams on the field causing the referee to run at full tilt all around the pitch. The amount of running was noticeably exhaustive however, it really opened the eyes of those who didn’t notice right away.
Having watched a recent friendly between Germany and Chile, I stumbled upon this clip early in the match under the management of Mark Clattenburg (ENG).
These are High Intensity runs and a muscle pull early in the match is all you need during one of these bursts to be out of commission. This video is a great example of the benefits and main goal behind the High Intensity fitness testing now commonly done for referees.
The 12-minute monotonous Cooper run does little to prepare or test a referee for these challenges on the field. High Intensity fitness training is definitely “interesting” since it can take a toll and happen from nothing. It also takes very little time to recuperate following the run so you may be surprised to find yourself recovered (at least with breathing) quite fast.
Another referee who impressed me with his fitness was Milorad Mazic, the Serbian official named to the 33 team World Cup referee. He was end-to-end in the recent PSG-Chelsea UCL quarterfinal making it look easy in addition to great game management. Looks like he is well on his way to becoming a top official (not that he already isn’t on the Elite list).
Now if you are me, don’t eat all this before your High Intensity fitness test!
Just kidding. It’s for someone else!