Referee Fitness

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the importance of refereeing fitness

It doesn’t matter the level that you referee, Surrey FA emphasise that our registered referees must have a certain level of fitness in order to fulfil the requirements of refereeing standards expected in Surrey.

In view of this, we have created this page which outlines the fitness requirements for our referees, hints and tips for ensuring that you are of a correct level of fitness, and advice for newly qualified referees.

regular fitness sessions

It is important for any referee, both newly qualified and experienced, to communicate and engage with their local Referees Society for various reasons. Learning about fitness and undertaking fitness sessions is just one benefit that a Referees Society can provide as throughout the season, numerous fitness sessions will be taking place throughout the County.

Unsure of where your nearest Referees Society is or who to contact? Click here for a list of societies in Surrey or email Referees@SurreyFA.com and we will help to put you in touch with your nearest society.

Experience has shown us that referees who participate in fitness sessions find them of a great benefit in their overall refereeing ability and experience so we encourage all of our referees to communicate with their Referees Society and have an emphasis on continually reviewing and improving their fitness throughout the season

new referees

So you have completed your basic course of training to become a referee, taken the exam, and passed with flying colours.

Congratulations! You are now one of over 1,000 registered Football Association referees in Surrey.

Referees in Surrey run on average 6km or more per game. Are you fit enough to do it? If you are fairly active then you’ll probably be fine, however if you have been inactive or have had a reasonable lay off prior to qualifying as a referee, think carefully about your fitness levels before taking charge of your first match.

A common misconception is that refereeing will get you fit. Although that is true, always remember that you should get fit to referee, not referee to get fit!

important information

Warning - The older you are and the longer you have not been involved in physical activity the more care you must take before starting to referee.

Whatever your age the amount of exercise you do should be carefully considered so you do not suffer from undue fatigue or strain.

After a bout of exercise you should feel 'pleasantly tired' and not totally exhausted. If you do too much too soon you will become fatigued and the results could be harmful. Getting fit is a slow and gradual process and cannot be achieved overnight.

A medical check-up should not be necessary before you start a fitness programme however you should gently and gradually increase the amount of exercise you undertake.

Consult your doctor if you have any doubts about your health or if you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, chest trouble or aches and pains in your back or joints.

Fitness is not an exam - you cannot cram it all in at the end.

It is your responsibility as an active referee and part of the Surrey FA Refereeing Community to attain and maintain a level of fitness appropriate to the level at which you referee.

remember to cool down

‘Cooling down’ is arguably even more important than warming up before a match however so few people do it. The cool down is aimed at getting the body to return to its resting state as quickly as possible, in a controlled way.

Never immediately return to the dressing room and slump on a chair.

Remember to:
• Jog across the pitch
• Gradually slow down at the touchline to long stride walking then to normal walking speed
• Stretch after the match, holding the stretches for 30 seconds on calves, quads, hamstrings and achilles. This will help to prevent muscle stiffness and the onset of muscle soreness.  

training tips

1. Don't work too hard too soon. Improvements in fitness take time. If you rush your progression you may injure yourself. The primary objective is that you stay injury free, so don't over-train.
2. Try to vary your training so you alternate hard and easy days.
3. All sessions should start and finish with a warm up/down followed by stretching.
4. Always train within your training zone (i.e. 70%-90% of maximum heart rate)
5. Do not train if you are ill.
6. If you are injured try and substitute training for activities such as cycling or swimming to help you maintain your fitness.
7. Invest in decent clothing and footwear. It is important to wear good shoes especially when training on hard surfaces.
8. Don't jog in fog or adverse weather.
9. If you go jogging in the dark always wear light coloured clothing so you can be seen easily. Better still, wear a reflective jacket.
10. Don't eat, drink caffeine or use tobacco products within 2 hours of a game or training session.

key documents referee

Please click on the links below to download, read and print further advice on fitness.

Cardiovascular Training
Core Stability and Conditioning
Speed, Agility and Quickness

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