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New fitness test

MattTheRef

Well-Known Member
Level 4 Referee
I have heard rumours that there is a new fitness test being introduced for level 4s (and above?) next season.

I believe it is to be 4000m total distance, split into 75m run -> 25m walk x 40. Has anyone got an idea on what the time will be for this? Or if indeed this will be implemented next year?

Has anyone done this test before? How does it compare to the current cooper test?
 
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es1

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Level 4 Referee
There were a few test sessions last month in Yorkshire and I've been giving it a go at the gym since the new year, in fact I've just got home from a session! It's tough (though I'm still hungover from yesterday which might explain tonights tiredness...) but training for and passing it will be a better test of fitness for reffing. FYI the split timings for the test sessions were 17 seconds sprint and 22 seconds walk
 

Quarryref

Active Member
Level 3 Referee
The level 3 test was changed last season - split timings there are 15 seconds sprint and 22 seconds walk. Also 6 x 40m sprints in under 6.2 seconds each, with electronic timing gates.

I think L4 may stay with the 2x50m sprints in under 7.5 seconds for the sprint part of that test - not sure whether they will implement timing gates ?
 

es1

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Level 4 Referee
Yeah the 2x 50m sprints was on the test sessions in 7.5 seconds
 
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JamesL

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Level 3 Referee
Not a rumour. It's been tested and fully expecting that to be this year's test (no inside knowledge but barring a catastrophe it's what I think the FA want)
 

Big Cat

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Level 4 Referee
The Cooper Test is underrated IMO. Whilst the shuttle run test is slightly more specific for Referees, if you scrape through one of the tests, you'll scrape through the other too. There or there abouts. The two tests are roughly equivalent in terms of VO2max, but the Cooper is a lot easier to administer and is made apt when combining with the 2x50m sprints. I don't care which test it is. I passed the Cooper in the summer and mimicked the other in training. If anything, I think the Coops is slightly harder

Anyway, since I'm fitter than Rachel Riley, I'll 'walk' either ;)
 
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bester

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Level 7 Referee
17s per 75m pace would be about 3175m on the Cooper Test. Only real danger is going too quick on the 75m sections and being caught out by lactic buildup late on.
 

es1

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Level 4 Referee
My only issue with this new test is that on a track, unless you're on the inside lane you'll be doing longer laps.
 

Russell Jones

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Level 3 Referee
17s per 75m pace would be about 3175m on the Cooper Test. Only real danger is going too quick on the 75m sections and being caught out by lactic buildup late on.
Thing to remember though is that each 75m is 'stand alone' so you have the acceleration to get up to pace at the start of each. The best tip is to hit the start of each 75m at a walk rather than stationary but even so it remains tougher than that 3175 would suggest.

Overall though, I believe it's a bit easier than the Cooper though it's a bit 'horses for courses'. I've passed it last week as part of pre season training (with 15 secs for the 75m and 20 secs for the 25m) at age 53 so can't be that tricky ;)
 

GraemeS

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Level 5 Referee
Very much looking forward to giving this a go. Even at my fittest I have always tired quickly and recovered quickly, which is part of why outside of football I've generally preferred racket sports to any kind of endurance sport. The Cooper test is irrelevant to refereeing, it's only stuck around so long because it's easy to run, but that's not a good enough excuse - this seems like a more relevant test and also, helpfully one more suited to me!
 

JamesL

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Level 3 Referee
Very much looking forward to giving this a go. Even at my fittest I have always tired quickly and recovered quickly, which is part of why outside of football I've generally preferred racket sports to any kind of endurance sport. The Cooper test is irrelevant to refereeing, it's only stuck around so long because it's easy to run, but that's not a good enough excuse - this seems like a more relevant test and also, helpfully one more suited to me!
Totally agree but it's definitely not a doddle. I could turn up and run a Cooper test without warming up. This needs a full warm up. I had one got at the l3 version our RDO put on for trialling and my hamstrings were so tight after it. I passed without too much trouble but I don't think that being good at a Cooper automatically qualifies you to pass this. (I imagine we'll get a couple more seconds on the run which will undoubtedly make it easier).
The trick is timing, you want to be hitting the walks at the end of the run, you don't want to be waiting in between intervals
 
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MattTheRef

Well-Known Member
Level 4 Referee
Very much looking forward to giving this a go. Even at my fittest I have always tired quickly and recovered quickly, which is part of why outside of football I've generally preferred racket sports to any kind of endurance sport. The Cooper test is irrelevant to refereeing, it's only stuck around so long because it's easy to run, but that's not a good enough excuse - this seems like a more relevant test and also, helpfully one more suited to me!
Feel very similar. I've always been more of a sprinter with fast recovery rate as opposed to long distance running.
 

GraemeS

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Level 5 Referee
Totally agree but it's definitely not a doddle. I could turn up and run a Cooper test without warming up. This needs a full warm up. I had one got at the l3 version our RDO put on for trialling and my hamstrings were so tight after it. I passed without too much trouble but I don't think that being good at a Cooper automatically qualifies you to pass this. (I imagine we'll get a couple more seconds on the run which will undoubtedly make it easier).
The trick is timing, you want to be hitting the walks at the end of the run, you don't want to be waiting in between intervals
Absolutely - at the very least, it's a much greater overall distance. Based on 17 second sprints and 22 second walks, that's 26 minutes to cover 4000m total.

Compared to my normal match distance of around 8km spread over the course of 90 minutes, that means you're going half the distance to a full match, but in around a quarter the time, so it's still definitely more intense than that! And as you say, a bit more "skilful" in the sense of needing to think about getting your timings right - which again I like the sound of, as I find the mental distraction of refereeing a big part of why I can get through a match easily but struggle with a fraction of the distance on a plain run.
 

Big Cat

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Level 4 Referee
Easiest way to mimic the test from a training perspective is to do 40s sets, 15s for the 75m and 25s for the walking section. That way you only need a stop watch cos no complicated timings involved. Again, to make things slightly easier, use a 100 yard football pitch to trim off 10%
Good way of knowing if you're close to passing the test without going the whole hog
Like @Russell Jones indicated, I think this test is slightly easier than the Cooper, probably because it's not so mind numbing
Also, keep in mind, the test 75m sections are not sprints, whereas we do get close to flat out sprinting in games. Flat out is what does you in
 
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JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Easiest way to mimic the test from a training perspective is to do 40s sets, 15s for the 75m and 25s for the walking section. That way you only need a stop watch cos no complicated timings involved. Again, to make things slightly easier, use a 100 yard football pitch to trim off 10%
Good way of knowing if you're close to passing the test without going the whole hog
Like @Russell Jones indicated, I think this test is slightly easier than the Cooper, probably because it's not so mind numbing
I am sure the training tapes have an extra 10 sets on.
If you can do 50 and all that 😂
Because I run (a fair amount) I don't really see the Cooper as a challenge. What I do know is I was more physically exerted after the interval test than I am after a Cooper.
 

Big Cat

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Level 4 Referee
I am sure the training tapes have an extra 10 sets on.
If you can do 50 and all that 😂
Because I run (a fair amount) I don't really see the Cooper as a challenge. What I do know is I was more physically exerted after the interval test than I am after a Cooper.
As a bigger bloke, it's easier to shuttle than it is to maintain a fairly quick pace for any duration of time
I used the training test I've detailed above to train for the Coops
 

RobOda

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Level 3 Referee
That's been the fitness test in Wales for a while now.

The trick is timing, you want to land the runs as time expires, and you want to walk so slowly that your last second step launches you into the run, so you never ever stop.

If you stop, or get the rhythm wrong it can throw you off quite easily.

I also find that unlike the Cooper test, you hit your threshold early and that's the make/break moment. If you overcome that early barrier you're basically home free for the entire test. If you can't, you've nowhere to hide as with Cooper you can slow it down and make up ground later or whatever, but with this you've nowhere to cut.

Everytime I've taken the test, all the referees rally together and strive to ensure everyone qualifies together. So, as much as I hate the test, I love the unity it brings, as we're all pushing each other to complete it. :)
 

Will_A

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 4 Referee
Is this coming in next season?

Obviously I’ve done the Cooper test as part of my 5-4 season, will I then have to run the interval test at the start of next season or does my Cooper test as part of promotion count for the 1st season?

@JamesL is anyone down here planning a trip to Par Track for a practice run?
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Is this coming in next season?

Obviously I’ve done the Cooper test as part of my 5-4 season, will I then have to run the interval test at the start of next season or does my Cooper test as part of promotion count for the 1st season?

@JamesL is anyone down here planning a trip to Par Track for a practice run?
You still have to pass the FA test. The one County do is to verify you can do it to stop people getting all the way to promotion and then failing the test. My old County wouldn't even observe you if you hadnt passed the test.

Last year Luke did a practise test at Carn Brea. If be surprised if that didn't happen again and if it wasn't done at Par too for the more eastern County refs.
 
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