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Question Number: 15835

Pre-Game 6/19/2007

RE: General Other

Learning of Memphis, TN USA asks...

I know many referees warm up before game starts. However, I am not sure about things I have seen around that referees do for warming up before games. Usually, they do not warm up or just run 15-20 yards or a few stretching moves that's all. I know that is not enough. I was wondering, assuming as a crew we are on the field ealry enough and want to warm up together. How should we warm up, is there a warm up procedure or set of activities that will help us to warm up before games? So that, we don't hurt ourselves on the field in the first sprint.

Thanks in advance.

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

I think a good method of warming up is something I learned about from an MLS referee, who learned it from a FIFA AR.

The warm up consists of several 20 meter trips out and back to the starting point. Every time you return to the line you are jogging and every time you run out from the line you perform an exercise in the sequence I am about to provide.

Side Stepping Left
Side Stepping Right
Back Peddling
Grape Vine (aka Karaoke) Left
Grape Vine Right
Knees Up
Heels Up

Repeat 1 or 2 more times. This should last between 5 and 10 minutes and it will get your blood pumping, if you do it at a good pace. Next, spend 8 good minutes stretching whatever you need to stretch, but do it as a group.

After that a few long runs down the length of the touchline will be useful for you to do as a crew, but the AR's may want more side stepping and the Referee may want more back peddling.

That should get you ready for the match. But remember do it as a team.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

I like to see the officiating crew warming up together. You are right, we need to see more of this. I will have my crew start out by jogging lightly around the field for about 5 minutes. Then we will stretch together usually in the area between the teams benches. You should always warm up a little before stretching. After that, we will do some plyometrics as mr Montanino stated. My sequence is high knees, butt kicks, grape vines, back pedal, accelerations, deaccelerations, and bounds. Then we will check the teams equipment and do individual drills for a few minutes, conduct coin toss, walk out on field, and begin game. Usually the pre game is done while stretching for me. There is no set way to warm up, but this is my usual procedure.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Excellent regime Ref Montanino! I was present at a professional clinic where this was introduced in America. Good Stuff!!

I introduce this and use it as a warm up for new referees when I can get a field session scheduled at the end of an entry level course. Towards the end of the warmup I recommend maximum speed, maximum acceleration and but not maximum stopping. Stretching is most important, especially when the hair is going grey. That can be done as a group or during the prematch walk of the field. Ever bend over and pick something up? Don't, put your feet close together and pick it up with both hands without bending your knees. When I was able to place both palms on the floor before I picked something up I was half stretched out; the other sides can be done in the locker room or just before starting unless you're carrying a chronic strain.


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