Fitness is a key component to refereeing. The goal is to reach a level and maintain it. Fitness testing is only a measurement to establish a base. Consistency in monitoring and test familiarization is key.
Bronco has become a core test in rugby. The preferred application for referees, recommended by former World Rugby Strength & Conditioning expert, Phil Dunne, is to reverse the shuttles of 20m and back, 40m and back, 60m and back, to 60-40-20. The reason is that it is easier to establish a consistent pace by starting with the 60m shuttle. The goal is to run each set five times and record your time. Running the Bronco once or twice a week is a great way to improve and maintain fitness levels.
MULTISTAGE FITNESS TEST (BEEP)
The “Beep” (known as “BLEEP” in some parts of the world) is one of the most common endurance fitness tests, and involves running 20m shuttles back and forth on audio “beep” prompts, and gets progressively faster. It is a maximal test, running until the athlete is unable to complete two consecutive shuttles. It is primarily an aerobic fitness test, also testing running efficiency, turning technique, anaerobic capacity, motivation and social dynamics.
The Yo-Yo measures the ability at high-intensity aerobic performance and provides a base of predicting VO2 max and aerobic power. Like many test measurements, practice, knowledge and understanding, help to improve performance. The first one can be tough and have a negative emotional affect, which makes it more difficult to improve performance. Increasing speed, agility and overall fitness, and working within a group can significantly improve results.
The Yo-Yo involves running between two markers, 20m apart, and another marker 5m in front if the start. Audio prompts dictate the running speed required. One shuttle is 20m and back, with an active break of 10 seconds, walking around the 5m marker, before running 40m again. The running speed increases at regular intervals. The test continues until the participants are no longer able to keep up with the required pace.