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Physical and physiological demands of elite rugby union officials

journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2019, 00:00 by MR Blair, Nathan ElsworthyNathan Elsworthy, NJ Rehrer, C Button, ND Gill
Purpose: To examine the movement and physiological demands of rugby union officiating in elite competition. Methods: Movement demands of 9 elite officials across 12 Super Rugby matches were calculated, using global positioning system devices. Total distance (in m), relative distance (in m·min-1), and percentage time spent in various speed zones were calculated across a match. Heart-rate (HR) responses were also recorded throughout each match. Cohen d effect sizes were reported to examine the within-match variations. Results: The total distance covered was 8030 (506) m, with a relative distance of 83 (5) m·min-1 and with no differences observed between halves. Most game time was spent at lower movement speeds (76% [2%]; <2.0 m·s-1), with large effects for time spent >7.0 m·s-1 between halves (d = 2.85). Mean HR was 154 (10) beats·min-1 (83.8 [2.9]%HRmax), with no differences observed between the first and second halves. Most game time was spent between 81%HRmax and 90%HRmax (40.5% [7.5%]) with no observable differences between halves. Distances covered above 5.1 m·s-1 were highest during the first 10 min of a match, while distance at speeds 3.7 to 5 m·s-1 decreased during the final 10 min of play. Conclusions: These findings highlight the highly demanding and intermittent nature of rugby union officiating, with only some minor variations in physical and physiological demands across a match. These results have implications for the physical preparation of professional rugby union referees. © 2018 Human Kinetics, Inc.

History

Volume

13

Issue

9

Start Page

1199

End Page

1207

Number of Pages

9

eISSN

1555-0273

ISSN

1555-0265

Publisher

Human Kinetics, US

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

University of Waikato, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic, NZ

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance