To examine the relation between game performance, physiological responses, and field-test results in Tunisian basketball referees.
Computerized time–motion analysis, heart rate (HR), and blood lactate concentration [La–] were measured in 15 referees during 8 competitive games (under-19-y-old Tunisian league). Referees also performed a repeated-sprint test (RSA), Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (YYIRTL1), agility T-test, and 30-m sprint with 10-m lap time. Computerized video analysis determined the time spent in 5 locomotor activities (standing, walking, jogging, running, and sprint), then grouped in high-, moderate-, and low-intensity activities (HIAs, MIAs, and LIAs, respectively).
YYIRTL1 performance correlated with (1) total distance covered during the 4th quarter (r = .52, P = .04) and (2) distance covered in LIA during all game periods (P < .05). Both distance covered and time spent in MIA during the 1st quarter were negatively correlated with the YYIRTL1 performance (r = –.53, P = .035; r = –.67, P = .004, respectively). A negative correlation was found between distance covered at HIA during the 2nd half (3rd quarter + 4th quarter) and fatigue index of the RSA test (r = –.54, P = .029). Mean HR (expressed as %HRpeak) during all game periods was correlated with YYIRTL1 performance (.61 ≤ r < .67, P < .01).
This study showed that (1) the YYIRTL1 performance is a moderate predictor of game physical performance in U-19 basketball referees and (2) referees’ RSA correlates with the amount of HIA performed during the 2nd half, which represents the ability to keep up with play.
Nabli and Ben Abdelkrim are with Tunisian Sports Performance Optimization Research Laboratory, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia. Jabri is with the Higher School of Sciences and Techniques of Tunis, University of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia. Castagna is with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. Chamari is with the Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar.