best tracker Scottish referees are getting big decisions wrong because they ‘aren’t fit enough’ – Techss

Scottish referees are getting big decisions wrong because they ‘aren’t fit enough’

TOP Scottish football referees are getting big decisions wrong because they aren’t fit enough.

That’s according to a study that put a number of the SFA’s top officials through their paces.

Kenny Ramsay

SFA refs took part in the study[/caption]

Kenny Ramsay

VAR has dominated Scottish football this season[/caption]

With the help of 13 refs, scientists with the European Journal of Sport Science investigated how varying degrees of physical demands affected the decision making of whistlers.

And it revealed they got the majority of decisions WRONG when things got particularly intense.

The study found that the fitness levels of Scottish referees are high – but when the demands were really pushed, that’s when errors began to be made.

As reported by the Sunday Mail, referees officiating in the Championship and League One were picked for the study and it took place at the University of the West of Scotland.

The whistlers were put on a treadmill, running for two separate blocks of 16 minutes with varying degrees of intensity, intended to mimic their movements during a match.

And during the session, the refs were shown footage of in-match incidents and asked to make a decision.

They were asked to decide whether a foul had taken place and to decide what punishment was warranted.

Former referees then assessed whether the decisions were correct, while the scientists kept track of the fitness levels.

130 decisions were made across the study, and 99 of those were deemed to be right.

However, the accuracy of decision making got WORSE as the demands on the referees’ fitness got higher.


In fact, they were deemed to only get 40 per-cent of decisions correct when their heart rates were at their highest.

And that went down further – to 35 per-cent – when the refs were breathing hardest.

The study revealed that when refs were running at 9.3mph they were FOUR TIMES more likely to get a decision wrong.

The scientists who carried out the studies said that stress on the refs’ physical demands may cause them to lose focus or blood flow to the brain slowed-up, making errors more likely in later stages of the game.

And the SFA have been urged to look at adapting training sessions to ensure referees get fitter.

It recommended “training sessions that help prepare officials for the periods of match play that prove most problematic to their decision making.”

While the SFA didn’t comment on the findings themselves, an insider was reported as saying training based on the study is being brought in.

The insider also said that the overall fitness levels in the study was found to be “very high” and the mistakes only came in when they were pushed to a level of duress “they rarely experience during a game.”

Former category one referee John Rowbotham added: “The game has got far faster. I don’t know how these scientists reached their conclusions but I don’t think the general public knows just how demanding the training is for refs.”

It’s a period of big change for refereeing in Scotland.

As first revealed by SunSport, refs’ chief Crawford Allan is to LEAVE his role.

The former top flight whistler is stepping down after what’s been a season dominated by VAR controversies.


Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers at the Scottish Sun football page 

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