Heart rate responses of referees during the 2011 Eurobasket Championship


  • Alejandro Vaquera University of Leon, Spain
  • Andrew James Renfree University of Worcester, United Kingdom
  • Gavin Thomas University of Worcester, United Kingdom
  • Alan St Clair Gibson Northumbria University, United Kingdom
  • Julio Calleja-Gonzalez University of the Basque Country, Spain




Officiating, Decision making, Conditioning


The purpose of the study was to describe heart rate responses of referees during a major international basketball championship. Heart rate (HR) data was collected from 26 international referees officiating 48 matches (95 matches ‘worth’ of data) at the 2011 Eurobasket Championship. HR was subsequently normalised to percentage of theoretical maximum, and used to calculate time spent in different exercise intensity zones (Light, moderate, heavy, very heavy) across successive phases of the tournament and successive quarters (Q) of matches. Mean HR was 81.89±13.4% of theoretical maximum during match play, and there were no significant differences in HR recorded during different phases of the championship. However, relative HR progressively decreased with each quarter of the matches (Q1; 91.43±7.6%, Q2; 90.51±7.1%, Q3; 88.23±7.3%, Q4; 88.21±7.5% HRmax). This decrease in %HRmax recorded relative to Q1 reached statistical significance (P<0.05) in Q3 and Q4. Although percentage of total match time spent in ‘hard’ and ‘light’ exercise intensity categories remained similar across quarters of matches, there was a reduction in time spent in ‘very hard’ activity from 10.93±16.08% in Q1 to 5.73±10.36% in Q3 and 5.55±10.74% in Q4 (both P<0.05). This reduction in ‘very hard’ activity was accompanied by an increase in ‘moderate’ intensity activity from 15.06±14.29% in Q1 to 23.37±17.12% in Q3 and 24.35±20.31% in Q4 (both P<0.01). The data suggests that international basketball referees are unable to maintain initial exercise intensity for four successive quarters of championship play. This is in contrast to available data suggesting elite players are able to maintain or increase exercise intensity as matches progress. This has implications for the physical conditioning requirements of international level match officials. 


Download data is not yet available.


American College of Sports Medicine. 1995. Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Feibiger.

Ben abdelkrim, N., El Fazaa, S., El Ati, J. (2007). Time motion analysis and physiological data of elite under-19 basketball players during competition. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 41(2), 69-75. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2006.032318

Leicht, A.S. (2008). Physiological demands of basketball refereeing during international competition. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 11, 357-360. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2007.05.006

Marfell-Jones, M., Old, T., Steward, A., Carter, L. (2006). International standards for anthropometric assessment. Potchefstroom, South Africa.

McMorris T., & Keen P. (1994). Effect of exercise on simple reaction times of recreational athletes. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78, 123-130. https://doi.org/10.2466/pms.1994.78.1.123

McMorris T., & Graydon J. (2000). The effect of incremental exercise on cognitive performance. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 31, 66-81.

Pollock M.L., Gaesser G.A., Butcher JD, et al. (1998). American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(6), 975— 91.

Royal K.A., Farrow, D., Mujika, A., Halson, S.L., Pyne, D., & Abernethy B. (2006). The effects of fatigue on decision making and shooting skill performance in water polo players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24(8), 807-815. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640410500188928

Stojanovic, M.D., Ostojic, S.M., Calleja-González, J., Milosevic, Z., Mikic, M. (2012). Correlation between explosive strength, aerobic power and repeated sprint ability in elite basketball players. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 52(4), 375-81.

Vaquera, A., Refoyo, I., Villa, J.,G., Calleja-Gonzalez, J., Rodríguez-Marroyo, J.A., Garcia-Lopez, J., & Sampedro, J. (2008). Heart rate response to game-play in professional basketball players. Journal of Human Sport and exercise, 3(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2008.31.01

Yuhasz, M.S. (1974). Physical fitness Manual. Ed. University of Western, Ontario. Canada.

Ziv G., & Lidor R. (2009). Physical attributes, physiological characteristics, on-court performances and nutritional strategies of female and male basketball players. Sports Medicine, 39(7), 547-568. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200939070-00003


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Vaquera, A., Renfree, A. J., Thomas, G., St Clair Gibson, A., & Calleja-Gonzalez, J. (2014). Heart rate responses of referees during the 2011 Eurobasket Championship. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 9(1), 43–48. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2014.91.05



Performance Analysis of Sport