Timing Effect on Training-Session Rating of Perceived Exertion in Top-Class Soccer Referees

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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To examine the effect of recall timing on training-session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) in a population of athletes well familiarized with the method and procedures during a 5-d training microcycle.


Fifty-one top-class field referees (FRs) (age 38.4 ± 3.3 y, height 181 ± 5.6 cm, body mass 76.8 ± 6.8 kg, body-mass index 23.4 ± 1.7 kg/m2, body fat 20.4% ± 3.6%, international refereeing experience 5 ± 3.5 y) from 43 national football associations worldwide, preselected by the FIFA refereeing department for officiating during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil, volunteered for this study. The FRs were randomly allocated into 3 assessment groups (n = 17 each), defined according to the timing of the sRPE, ie, immediately at the end of or 30 min or 7 h after the training sessions’ end. The CR10 Borg scale was used to rate the training sessions (n = 5). All FRs again rated each training session of the 5-d training microcycle on the next morning (~20 h after) for confirmation (absolute and relative reliability).


No significant timing effect was found between or within groups. Relative reliability ranged from large to very large with trivial within- and between-groups differences.


This study showed no effect of recall timing on postexercise RPE when well-familiarized athletes are submitted to training during a weekly microcycle. Posttraining RPE was reported to be a reliable subjective measure; however, specific timing is advisable to reduce difference in RPE values.

Castagna is with the Fitness Training and Biomechanics Laboratory, Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Coverciano (Florence), Italy. Bizzini is with the Human Performance Lab, Schulthess Clinic, Zürich, Switzerland. Póvoas is with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, University Institute of Maia, Maia, Portugal. Póvoas and D’Ottavio are with University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.

Castagna (castagnac@libero.it) is corresponding author.