Ref4Me

How far do you typically run when in the middle or as an AR?

MattTheRef

Active Member
Level 5 Referee
If like me you use a smart watch of some description which tracks how far you move throughout a match. What is your typical distance ran?

For me I'm disappointed with anything below 5 miles (8km) in the middle. I tend to get low 5s for Sunday football and mid to high 5s for Saturday fixtures. Highest ever was 6.44 (10.36km)
When i'm on the line obviously it's all dependant on the game but generally around 2.75-3 miles (5km).

Curious to see if this is about right or if I should be moving around slightly more.
 
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Anubis

RefChat Addict
There are no answers, no too much or too little

If a team win 12-0 it can indicate one way traffic and most the play in the attacking thirds, so you wont need to run box to box

of course in reverse you can indeed have a fast free flowing end to end match

the stats like all stats can be manipulated, are you running too much because you are chasing the ball , too little because you are relying too much on reading the game...

it does not have a figure, so the correct distance ran is truly where you needed to be for that game.

my personal rough guide would be a less moving game 6km, average 8km, end to end 10km. Again no science behind this but imo if someone always around 6km, they are not moving enough, always in double figures, running too much.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
Very variable.
My average at step 5/6 this season are 8.1km per game.
Max is 8.76km (friendly) . And lowest 7.25km (FA Cup)
I pointed out the games the high and low because it really illustrates anubis' point and my next poiny which is I have reservations around the accuracy of GPS watches when refereeing as they aren't really designed for the type of activity (sprints, turning etc.).

I know mine is very accurate when I go running as I have mapped my runs on mapometer and they conform but when reffing I am never so sure.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Very variable.
My average at step 5/6 this season are 8.1km per game.
Max is 8.76km (friendly) . And lowest 7.25km (FA Cup)
I pointed out the games the high and low because it really illustrates anubis' point and my next poiny which is I have reservations around the accuracy of GPS watches when refereeing as they aren't really designed for the type of activity (sprints, turning etc.).

I know mine is very accurate when I go running as I have mapped my runs on mapometer and they conform but when reffing I am never so sure.
I have my doubts about the accuracy of all smart watches when it comes to refereeing. I'm sure there's significant differences between brands/models. Your numbers sound quite low James. I measure in miles, but since passing the fitness test, my Step 6/7 low has been 5.3, high of 6.1 and average of 5.8
I also count how many times my watch records speeds of 12.5 mph and over. My low for this has been 11 and max of 21
(flat out 17.5mph is rarely detected). 4G skews the numbers also, as does a really heavy pitch
But then I hear one or two other Refs quoting numbers a lot higher than this, suggesting their watches are way over or they're including warm-up or something. I think the numbers are of some interest, not least as my averages have shot up this year with higher fitness and demand from games

Interestingly, I had the potential to score 'below standard' for 'P&M' at 7-to-6 and 6-to-5, but I've now scored very well for the same thing at 5-to-4 without really making any changes to my movement (aside from increased distance on consistently full size pitches)
 
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JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
I have my doubts about the accuracy of all smart watches when it comes to refereeing. I'm sure there's significant differences between brands/models. Your numbers sound quite low James. I measure in miles, but since passing the fitness test, my Step 6/7 low has been 5.3, high of 6.1 and average of 5.8
I also count how many times my watch records speeds of 12.5 mph and over. My low for this has been 11 and max of 21
(flat out 17.5mph is rarely detected). 4G skews the numbers also, as does a really heavy pitch
But then I hear one or two other Refs quoting numbers a lot higher than this, suggesting their watches are way over or they're including warm-up or something. I think the numbers are of some interest, not least as my averages have shot up this year with higher fitness and demand from games
Im certain you are right.

I'm using a Polar vantage V so we are up in the top of the range in sports watches. And as I say it's accuracy is very good on the old straight line running.

There are other variables at play, such as number of sprints in a game, sprint speed, change of direction, speed of change etc. Etc.

I've 30km/h plus max sprint speeds so I'm by no means slow and I think that probably negatively affects the performance of my in game GPS tracking as within over several seconds I can be at various non correlating GPS points which probably makes it go Fuzzy.

I also don't think it likes lateral movements either like sideways or backwards.

One thing I do know is that I always perform well in fitness and positioning on my observation criteria so although the numbers "seem low" that is not what I am presenting as.

And in the long run the numbers match me and I'm only comparing against myself.

Using the OP, At 5km a line it is suggesting (at a rough 100m length pitch) that you moved the Full length of your half 100 times? Seems a lot. Given ball in play for about 60-70 mins and stood still on halfway line when ball in opposition half but again it is game dependent. My average line is 4.23km with much smaller range/deviation which could support the dislike of lateral movements in the device.
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
i do about 2km per half on the line and 3.7km per half in the middle (using a polar M430).

my watch saturday had my max speed as 14kph which i will have been way off (although not according to the spectators behind me!) as i'll have been much faster than that in reality but the watch clearly couldn't keep an accurate track over the short distance when running the line
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Im certain you are right.

I'm using a Polar vantage V so we are up in the top of the range in sports watches. And as I say it's accuracy is very good on the old straight line running.

There are other variables at play, such as number of sprints in a game, sprint speed, change of direction, speed of change etc. Etc.

I've 30km/h plus max sprint speeds so I'm by no means slow and I think that probably negatively affects the performance of my in game GPS tracking as within over several seconds I can be at various non correlating GPS points which probably makes it go Fuzzy.

I also don't think it likes lateral movements either like sideways or backwards.

One thing I do know is that I always perform well in fitness and positioning on my observation criteria so although the numbers "seem low" that is not what I am presenting as.

And in the long run the numbers match me and I'm only comparing against myself.

Using the OP, At 5km a line it is suggesting (at a rough 100m length pitch) that you moved the Full length of your half 100 times? Seems a lot. Given ball in play for about 60-70 mins and stood still on halfway line when ball in opposition half but again it is game dependent. My average line is 4.23km with much smaller range/deviation which could support the dislike of lateral movements in the device.
Yeh, your line average seems on the low side compared to mine too (usually 3 miles or so). I have a Garmin Instinct Tactical which samples every second Otherwise, it ain't a 'fancy' watch and doesn't make any smoothing or predictive alterations AFAIK
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
I typically get 7-8km in the middle and 4-5km on a line, so same ballpark as most.

I did manage to log 12km once, but to be fair, I think that also included some of the drive home so probably not a reasonable comparison!
 

QuaverRef

I used to be indecisive but now i'm not so sure
My average is between 8-10km, though my average on REFSIX has been totally destroy by 2 games around the 7km mark which were incredible one sided cup games
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
To get a true view you need a dedicated tracker like the ones players have in the vests they wear. Watches are expecting people to run in more or less a straight line, they aren't expecting constant changes of direction that a referee makes. So they assume there has been an error in the GPS signal and try to make a correction.

Then you have the sampling rate. The lower end ones only take your position every five seconds, and if you are doing a continuous run that is fine as they can plot your movement, but when refereeing a lot can happen in that five second period and it just cannot accurately work out where you have been. The higher end ones can sample every 1 second, I seem to remember on the v800 you could choose between 5 or 1 seconds, and the lower setting is obviously going to make the readings much more accurate.
 

RobOda

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
My gps tracker is fairly accurate, and has me pinged at 4km per half on a busy day, so 8km generally.

Youth football gets me 3km per half, if that.

Lines 2-3km, again, if that.

Really depends on the game, I am absolutely not fussed by trying to achieve a minimum distance, I'd rather be focusing on the KMI's and events on the day. If I happen to run 25km on the day, huzzah I guess?
 

SurreyWolves

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 6 Referee
For middles I tend to range from 6.5-8.8km a game. All depends on the match, pitch and ability of players.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
To get a true view you need a dedicated tracker like the ones players have in the vests they wear. Watches are expecting people to run in more or less a straight line, they aren't expecting constant changes of direction that a referee makes. So they assume there has been an error in the GPS signal and try to make a correction.

Then you have the sampling rate. The lower end ones only take your position every five seconds, and if you are doing a continuous run that is fine as they can plot your movement, but when refereeing a lot can happen in that five second period and it just cannot accurately work out where you have been. The higher end ones can sample every 1 second, I seem to remember on the v800 you could choose between 5 or 1 seconds, and the lower setting is obviously going to make the readings much more accurate.
Its the back and forth movement of the wrist which makes watches much less accurate than wearing a bra.... although im guessing you'll know that. Others may not. I think the number of sprints is more relevant than overall distance... but again most watches don't detect sprints accurately
 

ARF

RefChat Addict
My current watch (Garmin Forerunner 235) usually has me at between 8 and 9km in the middle, and 5 and 6km on the line - my old watch (Forerunner 410) usually had me at 9-10km for middles, so I'm not sure if the 235 has a lower refresh rate, the 410's GPS was less accurate, or if I'm just less fit now 😅
 

santa sangria

RefChat Addict
My current watch (Garmin Forerunner 235) usually has me at between 8 and 9km in the middle, and 5 and 6km on the line - my old watch (Forerunner 410) usually had me at 9-10km for middles, so I'm not sure if the 235 has a lower refresh rate, the 410's GPS was less accurate, or if I'm just less fit now 😅
Same Forerunner here and similar scores. 8-9km in the middle, just over 10 a couple of times, 5-6.5km on the line. I've broken 7km on the line a couple of times. And these haven't changed after changing from an old 210.

I think the reliability on the line is pretty good. Crabbing and sprinting is easy to see on GPS maps. In the middle must be +/-10% due to rotation, speed changes, irregular movement etc.

@JamesL are you missing a satellite or have some strange GPS refresh on or something... or very big strides...?
 
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