Movement patterns and heart rate recordings of South African Rugby Union referees during actual match–play refereeing
Worldwide research regarding the movement patterns, heart rate recordings and work–to–rest ratios of rugby union referees is very limited. It is therefore very important to extend research regarding this topic. The first objective of this dissertation was to determine the frequency, duration and intensity of movement patterns and work–to–rest ratio of different refereeing panels of South African Rugby Union referees during match–refereeing at the National Club Rugby Championship in Stellenbosch during 2007. The second objective was to compare the two halves of the match with regard to the frequency, duration and intensity of the different movement patterns and the work–to–rest ratios of various of SARU referees during match–refereeing at the National Club Rugby Championship in Stellenbosch during 2007. The South African Rugby Union referees were monitored during match–refereeing by means of video and heart rate recordings for a total of 16 matches within a week tournament. The frequency and duration of the different movement patterns during both halves of the matches were analysed using a Dartfish TeamPro analysis software package. Heart rates were recorded during the matches to determine the movement pattern intensities of the referees for the duration of each match using a Suunto Team pack heart rate monitoring system. The work–to–rest ratios were determined by comparing the time (in seconds) spent working (lateral movements and sprinting) to the time spent resting (standing still, walking and jogging). The results revealed a moderate practical significant difference (d=0.51) between the mean frequency of jogging movement patterns for the different refereeing panels. A moderate practical significant difference was also found between the mean duration of jogging (d=0.43) and sprinting (d=0.43) movement patterns of different refereeing panels. The mean intensity of the movement patterns by the different refereeing panels showed large practical significant differences between the anaerobic threshold (d=3.68) and sub–threshold (d=1.36) levels and a moderate practical significant difference for the maximal heart rate zones (d=0.43). Both the provincial and contender panel referees had work–to–rest ratios of 1:4 during match–refereeing. In comparing the two halves of rugby match–refereeing, a large practical significant difference was found between the mean frequency of movement pattern values for standing still (d=2.53), walking (d=2.50), jogging (d=2.42), lateral movements (d=2.86) and sprinting (d=1.31) as well as for mean duration of movement pattern values for standing still (d=2.05), lateral movements (d=0.76) and sprinting (d=0.77). Large practical significant difference were found between the time spent in the maximal threshold (d=2.07), anaerobic threshold (d=0.92) and sub–threshold (d=7.90) heart rate zones measured during the two halves of match–refereeing. Average work–to–rest ratios of 1:3.5 and 1:5 were found for the first and second halves of rugby match–refereeing, respectively. The information gained regarding the activity profile of SARU referees could be used to determine the influence of rugby refereeing experience on the movement patterns and work–to–rest ratio of rugby referees. It can also provide information for constructing specific training programmes and drills in the development of rugby match–required fitness standards for referees. A key component of a rugby union referee’s game is positioning. Being in the right place at the right time is vital. The results of this study suggest that movements associated with positioning - namely standing still, walking and lateral movements are the major components of the game of referees’ movement during match–refereeing. However, further research is required on this topic of research.
- Health Sciences