USA Rugby Switches from beep test to the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test

USA Rugby has switched their referee fitness testing from the beep test to the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test. See below for more details from USA Rugby:

Reacting to the new needs in a fitter, faster game, USA Rugby is switching its fitness testing protocols from the beep test to the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test. This new test mirrors a referee’s activities on the field, puts USA Rugby in line with World Rugby’s testing protocols, and gives referees a new opportunity to show their hard work through fitness testing. Although it consists of the same 20-meter shuttle structure as the beep test, the Yo-Yo gives the participants a 10-second recovery after each shuttle, better simulating the start-and-stop nature of a rugby game.

Below is a chart of fitness levels and requirements for USA Rugby Referees. Also included are several resources to help referees and referee organizations take and monitor the test.


Markers are to be set in lanes at zero meters, five meters, and 25 meters. The start position is at five meters, creating a 20-meter shuttle and five-meter recovery lane.


 Travis Prior / KLC fotos

Educate the athlete on the testing procedure and begin the Yo-Yo IRL1 audio track.

The Yo-Yo IRL1 audio track produces a single ‘beep’ at regular intervals. Athletes must complete the 20-meter shuttle in time with the beeps, followed by a 10-second active recovery period in the five-meter recovery lane to be completed in time with beeps.

The athlete’s foot needs to be placed on or over the line in time with the beep at each 20-meter shuttle marker and the athlete must come to a stationary position at the start line at the end of the active recovery period before the next beep. A rolling start is to be avoided.

Athletes will be ‘eliminated’ if they do not reach the start position within the time frame on any two occasions. A warning is to be provided on the first occasion.

The athlete’s score for the test is the level and number of shuttles completed successfully. The shuttle at which the second failure occurs is not counted, e.g. if second failure occurs at level 19.2, the athlete’s score is 19.1. Where an athlete withdraws before a second failure occurs, the last shuttle completed successfully is their score.