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J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Mar;25(3):860-6. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318208ae8e.

Applicability of a change of direction ability field test in soccer assistant referees.

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Team-Sports Department, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


The aim of this study was to examine the applicability of a test for change of direction ability (10-8-8-10 test, involving line and sideward sprinting, 36 m) in elite-level soccer assistant referees (ARs). One hundred AR of the first-second and third Italian Championships (ARA-B and ARC, n = 50, respectively) performed the 10-8-8-10 on 3 separate occasions. Twenty AR authorities scored test relevance (1-5 scale, from trivial to very large) for logical validity using a questionnaire. Construct validity was examined comparing ARA-B and ARC for the 10-8-8-10 performance. Short-term reliability was assessed testing a random selection of ARs (n = 64) over 3 separate occasions every other day. Performance in the 10-8-8-10 test was assumed as total coverage time using telemetric photocells. Results showed that the 10-8-8-10 test was perceived as possessing from large (n = 4/20) to very-large (n = 16/20) relevance to AR physical match performance. No significant performance difference was found between competitive levels (p = 0.57). Area under the curve (= 0.49; p = 0.87) showed no significant sensitivity of 10-8-8-10 in detecting competitive-level difference. The intraclass correlation coefficient (n = 64) and typical error of measurement (test 2 vs. 3) values were 0.90 (p < 0.0001) and 0.18 seconds, respectively. This study showed that the 10-8-8-10 test possesses logical validity, good reliability, and it is independent of the competitive level. As such, this original investigation represents the first step in the identification and assessment of a valid and reliable AR change of direction test. Given the strength of our findings, governing bodies should look to integrate the 10-8-8-10 test into the fitness test protocols devised for ARs, with scores ≥ 9.67 being considered as a starting point for the empirical validation of minimum selection criteria for elite-level ARs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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