Topsportslab app helps monitor elite refs at EUFA EURO 2016
With the final match yesterday evening, the Euro’s in France have come to an end. Portugal and France gave their very best to become Europe’s most celebrated team for at least two years.
In addition to the 22 players there was another team of protagonists on the field. Mark Clattenburg and his colleagues fulfilled their boyhood dream in taking charge of Sunday’s UEFA EURO final.
On the website of the UEFA Marc features in an article where he believes that:
The standard of all the refereeing teams has been impressively high, Clattenburg has joined his peers in focusing on working together as a team, developing fitness levels and preparing meticulously, including detailed analysis of how sides play (Hindley, 2016).
Before the tournament began UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina told the 18 referee teams that good performances are the primary route to success (Chaplin, 2016). To achieve this they needed to perform at a top level, not only in the decision making field but also in the physical domain. This is where Topsportslab founder Werner Helsen comes into play.
Prof. Dr. Werner Helsen and his team have meticulously prepared the match officials for duty at UEFA EURO 2016. Already in preparation of EURO 2012, UEFA tasked professor Werner Helsen to develop a structured plan to prepare the selected elite referees for the 2012 Championship and beyond. The excellence plan included physical preparation, injury prevention and concentration training. Helsen has been involved in 4 FIFA World Cups and 4 European Championships. Today referees are prepared as 6-man referee teams. They undergo an intensive, structured preparation plan.
In 2010 Topsportslab was selected as preferred long term operational excellence partner for UEFA. Periodic performance screenings are being organized with UEFA elite referees. In collaboration with the medical staff, national physical coaches and the elite referees Topsportslab developed and individualized training schedules for the period ahead.
Subsequently, daily training load data are being monitored and synchronized to TopSportsLab. The TopSportsLab application provides training prescriptions and injury risk profiles using its proprietary algorithms for performance and injury prediction.
The continuous monitoring of the top referees for the EURO 2016 started four years ago. On a day-to-day basis, Helsen and his colleagues know how many hours of training the officials do, how many matches they referee in a month and what they do in terms of travelling (Chaplin, 2016).
Helsen explains that top referees today are on the same physical level as the football players. “An official runs about the same distance as a player during a match. The only difference is that a ref does so with more activity changes, transitions between standing still, walking, jogging, walking at high intensity sprinting. According to scientific research those activity changes happen every 4 seconds. Every 2 to 3 seconds decisions our officials have to make a decision that will greatly influence the game. And that’s best done at no more than 15 meters from the action. To stand there, you have to be in excellent form.” (focus on belgium, 2016).
Helsens’ back-up staff consists of five fitness coaches and six physios and masseurs who supported the referees in the most professional manner. On of the physio’s active during the EURO’s was Topsportslab’s Steven Probst.
To conclude, referees have shown fitness levels that are better than they ever have been. Players claiming a foul or a penalty are looking up to see the referee a few meters away and perfectly placed to rule on whether an offense has taken place (Economic Times, 2016).
- Hindley, M. (2016). Sacrifices ‘all worth it’ for final referee Clattenburg. UEFA.org. Retrieved on the 11th of July 2016, http://www.uefa.org/protecting-the-game/refereeing/news/newsid=2389891.html
- Chaplin, M. (2016). Collina urges ’25th team’ to shine at EURO. UEFA.org. Retrieved on july 11 2016, http://www.uefa.org/protecting-the-game/refereeing/news/newsid=2355089.html
- Chapin, M. (2016). Training the EURO’s 25th team. UEFA.org. Retrieved on the 11th of July 2016, http://www.uefa.org/protecting-the-game/refereeing/news/newsid=2374220.html
- A, P. (2016). Better training, greater fitness helped referees make right decisions at Euro 2016. The Economic Times. Retrieved on the 11th of July 2016, http://www.uefa.org/protecting-the-game/refereeing/news/newsid=2374220.html