External Activity Demands Differ Between Referees and Players During a Sub-Elite, Men’s Basketball Match

Leicht, A.S., Fox, J., Connor, J., Sargent, C., Sinclair, W., Stanton, R., Scanlan, A.

The purpose of this brief report was to document the activity demands of sub-elite basketball referees during a match and compare them with those of players. Three referees and six players participating in the same match were monitored for external activity using microsensor technology, specifically measuring PlayerLoadTM (PL). Additionally, the proportion of time spent in pre-set PL bands during each quarter and the entire match was analyzed to develop PL profiles.

Results showed that referees experienced an absolute PL of 310 ± 28 arbitrary units (4.2 ± 0.4 AU.min−1), which was approximately 40% lower than that of the players. Referees exhibited a match PL profile dominated by the lowest PL band (~91%), while players’ PL profiles were slightly shifted towards higher bands.

In conclusion, sub-elite basketball referees experienced substantially lower activity demands compared to players during the same match. This could be attributed to limited movement patterns resulting from recommended court positioning. These differences in PL between referees and players emphasize the need to develop specific training regimes tailored to focus on key fitness capacities for each match role.

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