Dynamic Yo Yo test for football refeerees

The Dynamic Yo-Yo test for referees and the Yo-Yo Intermittent test are approved by FIFA. In addition to the official test, the ”Dynamic YO-YO Test” and the “YO-YO Intermittent Test Level 1” may be used as methods of assessing the aerobic fitness of referees with the recommended standards.

Below you’ll find the descriptions plus a links to download audio files. With these files you can practice these test at home. These tests are optional for referees, but there is also an official test. Show me the official Fifa test for referees.

Optional test 1, Dynamic Yo-Yo: Procedure

  1. The cones must be set out as illustrated in the diagram below. It is important that the colours (i.e. red and yellow) are placed accurately and that the distance between the red and yellow cones is exactly 20 meters. Referees may start from the yellow or red cones. It is recommended that the test be run in groups comprising no more than two referees starting from each cone.
  2. Referees starting from a yellow cone should run to a red cone, turn and continue to the next yellow cone. Each run is interspersed by a recovery period.
  3. Referees starting from a red cone should run to a yellow cone, turn and continue to the next red cone. Each run is interspersed by a recovery period.
  4. The audio file will dictate the pace of the runs and the length of the each recovery period. Referees must keep pace with the audio file until they have reached the required recommended level.
  5. If a referee fails to place a foot on the ‘finish cone’ on time, they should receive a clear warning from the test leader. If a referee fails to arrive on time on a second occasion, they should be pulled from the test by the test leader.

Download the Yo-Yo Dynamic audio files to practice at home

Dynamic Yo-Yo test for football referees

Reference times for men referees

  1. International and category 1: level 18-8 / 2,040 metres
  2. Category 2: level 18-5 / 1,920 metres
  3. Lower category: level 18-1 / 1,760 metres

Reference times for women referees

  1. International and category 1: level 17-8 / 1,720 metres
  2. Category 2: level 17-5 / 1,600 metres
  3. Lower categories: level 16-8 / 1,400 metres

Yo-Yo Intermittent test

  1. Cones must be set out as illustrated in the diagram below. The distance between A and B is 5 metres. The distance between B and C is 20 metres.
  2. Referees must complete the following sequence in accordance with the pace dictated by the audio file.
    • run 20m (B-C), turn and run 20m (C-B)
    • walk 5m (B-A), turn and walk 5m (A-B)
  3. The audio file of the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery run (level 1) will dictate the pace of the runs and the length of each recovery period. Referees must keep pace with the audio file until they have reached the recommended level.
  4. The starting position requires the referees to be standing still with their front foot on the line (B). Referees must place a foot on the turning line C. If a referee fails to place a foot on the line C or fail to return to line B on time, they should receive a clear warning from the test leader. If a referee fails to place a foot on the line C or fail to return to line B on time for a second occasion, they should be pulled from the test by the test leader.

Download Y0-Yo Intermittent audio files

Yo-Yo Intermittent test for referees

Reference times for men referees

  1. International and category 1: level 18-2 / 1,800 metres
  2. Category 2: level 17-7 / 1,680 metres
  3. Lower categories: level 17-4 / 1,560 metres

Reference times for women referees

  1. International and category 1: level 16-4 / 1,240 metres
  2. Category 2: level 15-7 / 1,040 metres
  3. Lower categories: level 15-3 / 880 metres

More on fitness

Hilco de Boer, pro referee fitness coach, tells you more about fitness for referees. And have you ever done the official test? Show me the official Fifa test for referees.

Selfscan for referees

The selfscan for referees is a useful tool to map out your actions for the coming period. This tool makes your development as referee visible and helps you write down your action steps.

I got this tips when following a KNVB course as referee. It helps me to prepare better for my games plus it’s a good tool for evaluation of your games.

Summary of selfscan for referees

The model works with the following steps:

  1. Write down your current situation
  2. Give yourself a score
  3. Write down your ambition
  4. Find learning objectives
  5. Make an action plan
  6. Review every game

This selfscan for referees is a good way to work on short-term goals. Evaluate the action steps after a certain period. This all can contribute to your final destination as referee.

Download the template for the selfscan for referees.

1. Current situation (selfscan for referees)

I hope you know where you’re good at and which things you want to improve as referee. Or have a look at the assessment reports you got, because these will have some good points. Where are you now? Write down your development themes, the things you want to improve on.

To start with you can write down many points, but I advice you to focus on two or three. Please fill these out in the form, because you’ll have a higher chance of improving if you don’t do everything. You can work on other aspects of refereeing in the next month or period.

2. Score

You probably find some points you can improve, but what’s your score on each theme? If you pick “positioning at free kicks” as theme, say how good you are at it. Pick it on a scale from 1 to 7.

3. Ambition on these topics

What do you want to reach at the themes you picked in the first stage of this selfscan? How do you want to score on these themes?

Personal story

I personally took “advantange vs ball possession” as them. During games I don’t whistle for fouls at the halfway line and wait for advantage. It’s not wrong, but I wait way too long. Usually, the player has ball possession at most, but being (still) a player myself makes me want to go on. No breaks. Go! When starting this selfscan for referees I didn’t recognize these things. Call it a wrong intuition, but now it’s different. I know I do make mistakes and sometimes realise it when it is too late to whistle. I see myself developing now I am more aware of what I need to improve. That is already a big win.

Four stages of competence

It reminds me of the four stages of competence:

Selfscan for referees: for stages of competence

Selfscan for referees. File is used under Creative Commons and adapted from Noel Burch’s idea by Igor Kokcharov.

  • Unconscious incompetence (wrong intuition)
  • Conscious incompetence (wrong analysis)
  • Conscious competence (right analysis)
  • Unconscious competence (right intuation)

When filling out the current situation, you’ll get concious about your incompetences. And when you know your ambition, you can work hard to move to a different stage.

4. Learning objectives

This step is crucial, because you’ll formulate the learning objectives on each of your development themes. What is needed to go from your “current situation” (step 1) to the ambition (step 3). What is needed to reach your ambition? KNVB advises to take a maximum of three learning objectives per core task at a time. Other themes may be discussed later in the process.

5. Action plan

The big question is: What are you going to do now to work on your learning objective? Personally I will read my learning objectives before every game, because that reminds me where I am working on. This helps me keep my objectives at the top of mind. During games it reminds me what I need to do. That leads to the next action step: whistle when there’s no real advantage, but just ball possession.

As I am a player myself I know players will react when you whistle. As match preparation I also try to visualize these talks and know what I’ll say. Works good for me. During a recent game a player wants advantage, but when you point out shortly there’s no real advantage, they’ll accept it. When you know players will accept these calls, you’ll be less afraid to make the calls and wait endlessly for advantage.

A few notes from KNVB to keep in mind when making an action plan:

  • Keep in mind that this is a plan that only affects you (and is not dependent on others).
  • Sometimes a learning goal is comprehensive. Make sure you make a feasible plan that you can properly assess (wether you have / have not achieved it)
  • It may be that you have to take multiple actions to achieve a learning goal, then start with action point 1 only.

So focus, don’t do all things at once. That helps you a lot. Because doing ten things for 10% brings you nowhere. When you really see improvement, add other things.

6. Review every game

Okay, the action steps are there, but that is not the end of this model. Make sure you review every game and score your performance on the action steps you picked for that game. Due to this reflection method you’ll also be able to tweak the ambition and action steps, because you realise what works or not.

And no, it is not a lot of work. You wrote your action steps and the only thing you’ll do before every game is pick the points you want to work on. Evaluate them after the game and do that for a longer period.

Passing the course

I just finished the course and got my diploma. The selfscan for referees was one of the best tools I learned. I keep using it now after the course as well.

Me and my SO2 diploma

Update your selfscan for referees

During the summer or winter break, feel free to do a new selfscan for referees. That will change your action plans and ambitions. When you improve over time, you’ll find new things to work on. Also assessments might alter the things you want to work on. Be flexible, but make sure you know what you want to improve and focus on that.

The improvement as refere is up to YOU. Make sure you’ll make the best out of it.

Download your free template for a selfscan

To make it easier for you, you can download the template for the selfscan for referees. If you have any questions, just let me know.

Selfscan for referees download

Laws of the Game changes 2018-2019

The Laws of the Game changes 2018-2019 are published by IFAB. Below you’ll find an outline of the main changes. In the documents you can read the full texts in different languages.

IFAB Laws of the Game changes 2018-2019

No big changes for me. New terms, like video operation room (VOR) and Referee Review Area (RRA). Referees can now also caution players if they are “excessively using the ‘review’ (TV screen) signal”.

It is also specified bodycams can not be worn: “Referees and other ‘on-field’ match officials are prohibited from wearing jewellery or any other electronic equipment, including cameras.”

If you apply advantage at DOGSO offences you’ll have to show the player a yellow at all time. According to previous rules a yellow was show if the advantage results in a goal (which meant: otherwise a red card). This seems fairer.

Check out the outline of the changes below. Or download the changes directly.


  • There is no limit on the number of substitutes that can be used in youth football
  • Permission is needed from The IFAB for any modifications not already permitted
  • Temporary dismissals – System B: a player who receives two temporary dismissals and a non-temporary dismissal caution (YC) may not be substituted/replaced

Law 1

  • Clarification of measurements on the field of play
  • Reference to substituted players being permitted to be in the technical area
  • Commercial advertising is not permitted on the ground in the Referee Review Area (RRA)
  • Reference to the Video Operation Room (VOR) and Referee Review Area (RRA)

Law 3

  • Competition rules may permit the use of an additional substitute in extra time (even if not
    all permitted substitutes have been used)
  • A maximum of 12 substitutes can be named for international ‘A’ friendly matches

Law 4

  • Small, hand-held electronic or communication devices are permitted in the technical area
    if used for coaching/ tactics or player welfare
  • Introduction of a FIFA quality mark for EPTS, and data from EPTS may be received in the
    technical area during the match
  • Detailed guidelines for what can and cannot appear on players’ equipment
  • Player who has left the field because of an equipment issue and returns without
    permission and interferes is penalised with a direct free kick (or penalty kick)

Law 5

  • Reference to video assistant referees (VARs) and assistant VARs (AVARs) and the ability of a referee to use video replays for decision making as part of VAR system
  • Some sending-off offences can be reviewed even if play has restarted
  • Distinction between ‘on-field’ match officials and ‘video’ match officials
  • Match officials are not permitted to wear cameras
  • Inclusion of the referee ‘check’ and ‘review’ signals used in the VAR process

Law 6

  • Duties of the video assistant referee (VAR) and assistant VAR (AVAR)

Law 7

  • Drinks breaks should not exceed one minute
  • Allowance must be made for time ‘lost’ for drinks breaks and VAR checks/ reviews

Law 10

  • Kicks from the penalty mark – a replacement for a goalkeeper cannot take a kick in that
    ‘round’ if the goalkeeper has already taken a kick

Law 11

  • The first point of contact when the ball is played/touched is the moment when offside position is judged

Law 12

  • Biting is included as a direct free kick and sending-off offence
  • Throwing an object at the ball or hitting the ball with a held object are separate direct free kick offences (not a form of handball)
  • If the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper this does not prevent the goalkeeper handling
    the ball a second time even if the first attempt to catch/holds the ball was deliberate
  • If the referee plays advantage for a DOGSO the offender is cautioned (YC) whether or not a
    goal is scored
  • Entering the RRA or excessively showing the TV signal are cautions (YCs)
  • Where 2 separate cautionable (YC) offences are committed in close proximity, both cautions (YCs) must be issued; same principle if one is a sending off offence
  • Entering the VOR is a sending-off (RC) offence
  • If a player commits an offence outside the field of play (ball in play) against someone from their own team (including a team official) it is an indirect free kick on the boundary line

Law 13

  • Clarification that free kicks can also be awarded for offences by a substitute, substituted or sent off player, or a team official

Law 15

  • A player must stand to take a throw-in (kneeling, sitting etc. not permitted)

Deleted text in Law 2

In addition, the following wording was deleted as it is no longer relevant in Law 2:

  • Reference to previous ball quality marks: Balls carrying previous quality marks such as “FIFA Approved”, “FIFA Inspected” or “International Matchball Standard” may be used in aforementioned competitions until 31 July 2017



Change a decision as referee: do’s and don’ts

It is allowed to change a decision as referee, but what are the exact rules? The game between Mainz and Freiburg is a perfect example to explaint the rules.

Okay, it is a little different than in your games, because the video referee takes action. The players of both teams are in the dressing rooms, because of half-time. The referee is on the pitch and waits for the VAR.

The best way to learn as referee is to watch a situation yourself, take notes and think about what you will do. Below the video there’s an explanation, but please try to find your own solutions first.

Change a decision – what the LOTG say

So, what did you notice?

The Laws of the Game say the following. “The referee may not change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if …

  1. play has restarted
  2. or the referee has signalled the end of the first or second half (including extra time) and left the field of play
  3. or terminated the match.”

Yes, it looks so weird that all players have to come back from the dressing rooms. The goal is scored in 47 +7, which indicates it takes very long. But it’s all about the second reason here. Because the referee remains on the pitch he can change a decision.

Michael Fröhlich, VAR project manager and Elite Referee manager in Germany, confirms this. According to him the referee can change a decision if he’s still on the pitch. “That’s the case in yesterday’s game”, he declares on the DFB website. Video-assistent Bibiana Steinhaus got in touch with referee Guido Winkmann before he left the field. This is confirmed by audio and video from the Video Assist Centre in Köln,where they keep a copy in the archives.”

When is the penalty kick completed?

A second lesson in this situation. The referee allows additional time at the end of the half for a penalty kick. But when is the penalty kick completed?

First thing: the referee can indeed add time for this. “Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken and completed at the end of each half of the match or extra time.”

When additional time is allowed, the penalty kick is completed when, after the kick has been taken:

  • the ball stops moving,
  • goes out of play,
  • is played by any player (including the kicker) other than the defending goalkeeper,
  • or the referee stops play for an offence by the kicker or the kicker’s team.

If a defending team player (including the goalkeeper) commits an offence and the penalty is missed/saved, the penalty is retaken.”

In this situation the ball goes in, but did you notice what the referee did? He explains to the taker that he can shoot, but there is no rebound and no teammate can play it. You’ll see that the taker also explains this to his teammates.

Change a decision as referee

Don’t expect players to know the rules

The penalty after VAR was a big call. In terms of game management it will be difficult if you have to disallow a goal, because the taker misses and the rebound is scored. Yes, it’s in the football rules, but don’t expect players to know them.

So prepare them what the outcome of the kick can be if the kicker misses. Take control, prevent things by give a short explanation beforehand.



Why I will not combine refereeing with playing futsal

Monday was a big day for me. I will no longer combine refereeing with playing futsal. The last game of the season went well, although we did not win. It’s a big choice, but one I needed to make.

Will I miss it? For sure. It’s great to be part of the team and have a talk afterwards together.

For me, the main reason to stop with futsal is the number of small injuries. After refereeing a game I feel my legs a lot, because of tackles in futsal months ago. My hips, knee tendons. Hopefully this little pains will go away when I focus on refereeing and specific training for it.

But that’s not all you need to think about. How does continuing playing effect your refereeing? I’ll share three questions you need to think about yourself too.

Me playing futsal

3 questions you need to ask yourself

A questions you need to ask yourself: Does playing futsal have an impact on your performance? As Joshua replied on my tweet: “It’s very difficult to “retire” from playing but when the knocks/strains start having an impact on performance, a decision needs to be made.” Personally, the pains are mostly during the period after a game, but they might still effect my performance.

How do you manage it to play futsal and still improve as a referee physically? Futsall is quite intense, but you can’t train specifically for your games as referee. Keep this quote from Hilco de Boer, fitness coach of the Dutch pro referees, in mind. “Only refereeing or assisting games won’t make you fit and you will not be able to carry on until the end of the season. Make sure you do enough specific training sessions [for referees]”. So make sure you have time for at least one specific traing if you combine playing and refereeing.

How does playing effect your refereeing? In my opinion a football background as a player will benefit your refeereeing career. It makes it easier to read the game, because you know tactics and how they play. As referee, my pitfall is thinking too much as a player. I want play to continue, but sometimes it’s better to blow the whistle and not wait for the advantage that doesn’t come. If you can split these two roles, it is easier to combine both.

Just a few thoughts and questions to think about when combining refereeing and playing yourself. How important are these two for you?