The physical attributes of sub-elite rugby union referees of inland provinces in South Africa

Abstract

Background: The purpose of the on-field referee is to implement the laws of the game. For the referee to do this successfully, he is required to keep up with the pace of play. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the physical attributes of sub-elite rugby union referees of inland provinces in South Africa.

Methods: A total of 82 referees (age: 26.5 ± 6.4 years; stature: 177.3 ± 6.8 cm; body mass: 79.1 ± 14.7 kg) were assessed with a reliable testing battery.

Results: The participants showed a refined aerobic capacity (VO2max: 61.8 ± 11.0 mL·min-1·kg-1) and good agility (Illinois Agility Test: 17.2 ± 3.8 s). A two-way unbalanced ANOVA was performed for all referees’ attributes between qualification levels (levels 1-4) and union affiliations (three unions) at a significance level of p<0.05. The results yielded significant differences across the three unions in age (p=0.002), Yo-Yo distance (p=0.0001), aerobic capacity (p=0.0001), plank time (p=0.0001) and agility (p=0.027). Similarly, differences were reported across the four qualifications in aerobic capacity (p=0.0001) and agility (p=0.037).

Conclusion: These differences may be due to the diverse training programmes offered by the various unions. Additionally, an increased level of physical fitness may occur when progressing up the qualification levels.

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Published
2021-02-10
Section
Articles