Resources and links for Referee fitness standards and testing protocols
With rugby players, coaches and fans all moving toward a faster and more technical game, rugby referees are being asked to make quick decisions in this new expansive game. Referees have been focusing on fitness as a key component of their training to ensure they are in the right place to make the right call and best serve the game. World Rugby has led the way in mapping out fitness goals for their referees and the TRRA have followed this model.
Referees are now training more like players throughout the week, mixing in strength training, running, referee skills and other items to help them prepare for matches. Having the endurance to be present and ready to make a tight call in those big matches has become an imperative. Being fit is one of those controllable that belongs solely to the referee.
This new focus on fitness is another reason players are making the jump to refereeing, as they find the same challenge they had as a player. They can stay fit, stay on the field, and contribute to the success of a rugby match after they have finished their playing career.
Being fit and focused to make clear calls will ultimately lead to good performances, which in turn builds your self-esteem and gives you confidence. There are amazing opportunities for a fit confident referee, who has fun and helps make the game fair and safe for the players.
Reacting to the new needs in a fitter, faster game; the TRRA, along with USA Rugby is switching their fitness testing protocols from the beep test to the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test. This new test mirrors a referees activities on the field, puts the TRRA in line with World Rugby’s testing protocols, and gives referees a new opportunity to show their hard work through fitness testing. Although the same 20-meter shuttle structure, the Yo-Yo gives the participants a 10-second recovery after each shuttle, which better simulates the start and stop nature of a game.
Below is the chart of fitness levels and requirements for USA Rugby Referees. We have also included several resources to help referees and referee organizations to take and monitor the test. If you have questions about the TRRA testing process or protocols please contact TRRA Chairman Scott Green at firstname.lastname@example.org
USA Rugby Fitness Standards
Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test
- ELITE: 18.5
- NATIONAL PANEL: 18
- B PANEL: 18
- C1: 17
Reporting Process and Annual Reporting:
To be considered for a grade promotion, you must achieve the standard within twelve months of the active season.
Tests must be administered, witnessed and reported by one of the below parties:
TRRA Vice Chair
RATO Leadership Group
If a referee chooses not to take a fitness test (i.e. comply with a requirement for refereeing) then they may only receive matches well within their scope of experience related to their grade. They would also not be afforded any further opportunities for advancement/promotion and unavailable for exchanges.
Bi-annual testing is due by January (Spring) and September (Fall). Both the beep test and YoYo test are acceptable.
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