Rugby union referees’ external load and heart rate responses during a National Sevens Tournament.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Rugby sevens referees often officiate multiple matches per day over consecutive days. This study analysed referees’ external load, internal load (IL) and heart rate (HR) responses across two days of competition. Following institutional ethical approval, six rugby referees (age: 26.1 ± 3.5 years), officiated matches during a two-day professional sevens tournament (day one = 3 matches, day two = 2 matches), in two subsequent years. Two referees officiated at both years. Referees wore Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receivers (Apex, 10 Hz, STATSports), allowing total running distance (TRD) and high-intensity running (HIR; > 18.4 km.h-1) distance to be determined (m). HR data was also collected via a heart rate sensor (Polar T31, Finland), analysed in relation to maximal HR (HRmax) estimated via the formula: 208 – 0.7 x age (Tanaka et al., 2001, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 37, 153-156) and the percentage of total playing time spent in six zones. IL calculation was performed as proposed by Edwards (1993, The Heart Rate Monitor Book. Sacramento: Fleet Feet Press). Paired-samples t tests revealed no differences between the two days of competition in terms of TRD (day one = 1925 ± 168 m, day two = 1977 ± 85 m; t(7) = -0.896 , P = 0.400, CI95% = -187.7-84.6, ES = - 0.31), HIR (day one = 492 ± 134 m, day two = 488 ± 67 m; t(6) = 0.066, P = 0.950, CI95% = -113.7-120.0, ES = 0.02) or IL (day one = 68.2 ± 6.3 au, day two = 61.4 ± 10.6 au; t(7) = 1.725, P = 0.128, CI95% = -2.5-16.0, ES = 0.61). On the second day, relative to the first, referees spent more time at 71–80%HRmax (day one = 1.9 ± 1.3 %, day two = 10.2 ± 8.9 %; t(6) = -2.535, P = 0.044, CI95% = -16.4-[-0.3], ES = -0.95) and 81–90%HRmax (day one = 24.7 ± 16.9 %, day two = 39.7 ± 8.4 %; t(7) = -2.735, P = 0.029, CI95% = -28.1-[-2.0], ES = -0.96). Taken together, these results imply that the first day during a rugby sevens tournament is more physiologically demanding to officiate than the second day. These findings provide information for the development of a well-structured training plan for referees to better replicate tournament demands.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2019

Cite this