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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 23294

Fitness 5/11/2010

RE: rec Adult

alex of richmond hill, ontario canada asks...

This question is a follow up to question 23271

The comment 'too many referees do not know how to run' caught my eyes. That is one of my problem and despite I have been doing a lot more running practise, my running ability do not improve much.

Can Mr Wickham share some tips as to the proper technique and trainings in running?

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Ref Alex, you raise an interesting point. While I agree with Ref Wickham, your running "ability" is not simply how fast you can go from point a to point b. If you watch really good referees, they seem to be exactly where they need to be all the time and do so with a minimum of effort. Being able to anticipate where the ball is going and being able to look at the players and predict where they are heading is the greatest skill a referee can have and that's something you can work on.

Having raced anything from 5K to marathons, I can tell you that you are probably not training properly if your goal is to get your short distance speed increase. You have to be in excellent shape and need a base mileage. You don't, however, need to put in 75 mile weeks. I would recommend you doing 2 decent long runs a week of 8 or more miles. You want to increase your sprint speed, you have to do sprints and lots of them. Additionally, I found doing intense hill repeats helped a lot.

Good luck and continue to try to anticipate where you need to be,

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Once when injured, I was helping set up the referee fitness test. I was standing next to an instructor who also was a track coach and official. He noted the difference in form between those who knew how to run and those who didn't. It was an amazing revelation of something I should have known all along.

Training. Interval training pays big dividends for referees. Matches require lots of short sprints with a need for quick recovery. The FA and USSF have referee fitness training schedules on their websites, and these can be adapted to the referee's base level of fitness.

Form. As to form, a running coach or trainer can usually spot the problems and help you fix them.

I also agree with Ref Contarino that knowing where to run (anticipation) is a critical component of the referee's skill set.


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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Sometimes, even more important than knowing how or where to run, is to simply know that you should run. Far too many referees do not keep up with play, and try to call it long-distance. It may work for a while, but there is no better way to call the game than to be near the action.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Ah, I remember long ago when I started to referee I thought it would help me get some exercise! Little did I know that before long, I would be exercising so I could referee! Fitness counts. Getting fit requires lots of effort at running distance, running sprints, and having the good sense to have an evaluation by someone who knows all about running and can save you time and pain.

Knowing where to be and when is the essence of good refereeing. Part of that equation is knowing where play is going, what needs to be watched and (maybe most importantly) where you need to be to see all of those things. Fitness helps you achieve that goal.

Find a running group in your area that has a coach with experience teaching people in the art of running. Most of them don't cost much, or anything at all, and the investment will pay huge dividends in personal pride, fitness and improved proficiency on the field. Go for it, dear!

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