The Fifa fitness test for referees and assistant referees consists of two parts. The first test is also called the sprint test and measures how good a referee can sprint 6 times over 40 metres. The second one is known as the interval test and measures if the referee is able to perform at repeated high-intensity during 20 sprints of 150 metres.
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Part 1: sprinting
Equipment required: ideally you have electornic gates that measure the time from passing the start and finish gates. A cheaper option is using a stopwatch. Other things you need are measuring tape, marker cones and a track of 50 metres. You also need an extra stopwatch for measuring recovery time.
Procedure: The electronic gates (or cones) are placed with a distance of 40 metres. Before the start you need to place to cones at 1,5 metres. Referees can do a few steps to gain speed for a distances of 1,5 metres before the time starts to count.
When using electronic gates a referee can start whenever he is ready and the equipment will measure the time. When using cones you need an assistant who gives a signal that a referee has passed the start line at 1,5m and someone who measures the time with a stopwatch at the finish line.
Recovery time: Referees need to start their sprints every 90 seconds. So at 0m, 1 minute and 30 seconds, 3 minutes, etcetera until they have done six sprints. So the recovery time is 90 seconds minus the time needed for the 40m sprint.
- Fifa and national referees need to sprint 40m in 6.2 seconds.
- Fifa and national assistant referees need to do each sprint in 6.0 seconds.
- Female Fifa and national referees need to sprint 40m in 6.6 seconds.
- Female Fifa and national assistant referees need to sprint 40m in 6.4 seconds.
- The requirements for 2nd level (assistant) referees might be different per country. Check that with your national referee or football association.
Failure: If a referee falls or trips, he is given the option for another 40m sprint. Totally a referee can fail at one trial out of six. Then he'll be given another option immediately after the 6th sprint. If he fails two sprints the match official has failed the test.
Part 2: high-intensity interval test
Requirements: 400 metres athletics track, cones, measuring tape, whistle and stopwatch (or one of the pre-recorded audio files you can download below - then you need cd player or smartphone as well).
Procedure: Cones need to be placed at the start and finish point of each 150m sprint. Between the sprints is an area of 50m where referees need to walk to the start of the next sprint. Cones also needed to be placed 3 metres before and after the finish line. This area is considered walking area.
After the first whistle the contestants need to sprint 150 metres in a set time and need to arrive in the "walking area" on time. They walk 50 metres to the start of the next sprint. The rest time is also a set time, so referees need to wait for the next whistle. Referees run 10 times around the 400m track, which means they do 20 sprints of 150 metres.
- Fifa and national referees have to do the sprints in 30 seconds and have a rest period of 35 seconds.
- Fifa and national assistant referees ave to do the sprints in 30 seconds and have a rest period of 40 seconds.
- Female Fifa and national referees have to do the sprints in 35 seconds and have a rest period of 40 seconds.
- Female Fifa and national referees have to do the sprints in 35 seconds and have a rest period of 45 seconds.
- he requirements for 2nd level (assistant) referees might be different per country. Check that with your national referee or football association
Useful audio files
If you want to do the high-intensity interval test for yourself you can download the audio files below. Start and finish times are marked with a whistle. You'll also get a signal when a sprint or rest period will finish in 10 and 5 seconds. Pick the file that matches your requirements.