Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 327 - 334

Research article
Energy Expenditure and Intensity of Physical Activity in Soccer Referees During Match-Play
Alberto Inácio da Silva1, , Luiz Cláudio Fernandes2, Ricardo Fernandez2
Author Information
1 State University of Ponta Grossa, UEPG, Paraná, Brasil
2 Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Paraná, Brasil

Alberto Inácio da Silva
✉ Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Campus Uvaranas - Av. General Carlos Cavalcanti, 4748, CEP 84.030-900, Ponta Grossa - Paraná - Brasil
Publish Date
Received: 07-11-2007
Accepted: 02-06-2008
Published (online): 01-09-2008
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The aim of this study was to determine the caloric expenditure and the intensity of physical activities performed by official soccer referees during a match expressed in Metabolic Equivalent (METs). The physical activity of referees accredited by CBF (Brazilian Confederation of Soccer) was video-recorded during twenty-nine official games of Paraná Championship (Brasil), Series A and B of the 2005/2006. Computerized video analysis was used to determine the time spent in 6 locomotor activities (standing still, walking, jogging, backwards running, running and sprint). The frequency and duration of each activity were recorded and these data were utilized to calculate the distance covered by the referee. Energy expenditure values were estimated, utilizing specific equations, from the time players spent in each motor activity. The referees observed in this study had a mean age of 38.9 ± 3.8 years, body mass of 86.1 ± 7.1 kg, stature of 1.80 ± 0.07 m and a body mass index of 26.5 ± 0.6 kg·m-2. During match-play, referees covered an average distance of 9155.4 ± 70.3 meters (8411 - 9765), with a mean energy expenditure of 734.7 ± 65 kcal. This energy expenditure was significantly reduced in the second half: 359.9 ± 6.3 vs 374.7 ± 6.6 kcal (p = 0.006), and averaged to be moderate energy intensity (5 METs) with predominant utilization of the aerobic energy system. In total, during 67% of match-play the intensity was equal or lower than 3.8 METs and in 33% it was higher than 9.8 METs. The pattern of movement observed in the present study confirms that soccer refereeing may be considered as a highly intermittent exercise mode. The high to low-intensity activity ratio may be defined as 1:7.1. In conclusion, referees officiating in professional soccer matches in Brazil should perform a physical conditioning regime that provides the stamina required at this level and consume appropriate and adequate nutrition to meet the energetic demands for match-play.

Key words: Motion-analysis, referee, football, METs, oxygen consumption

           Key Points
  • In order to elaborate a diet that sufficiently restores the athlete’s energy expenditure during training and/or competition, the first step would be to measure energy expenditure during activity.
  • We observed that during officials matches soccer referees perform physical aerobic activities of low and moderate intensity, and present a significant decline in energy expenditure between the first and second half.
  • The pattern of movement observed in the present report confirms that soccer referees, like players undertake intermittent type exercise.
  • Nutritional habits of soccer referees must be adapted to their daily physical activities, short training periods and moderate energy intensity physical activity, on average, during match refereeing.
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