Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Body fat in elite Spanish football referees and assistants: A 1-year follow-up study

José Antonio Casajús, Ángel Matute-Llorente, Helena Herrero, Germán Vicente-Rodríguez, Alejandro González-Agüero



The current literature about the body composition of elite football referees is scarce and almost non-existent. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess and track the percentage of body fat (%BF) of elite Spanish football referees and assistant referees across an entire season.

Material and methods

Two hundred and twenty-eight referees and assistant referees (mean age 32.5 ± 5.1 y), refereeing in Spanish First category (La Liga), Second category, and Second-B category, took part in this study. A bioelectrical impedance analyser (TANITA BC 418-MA) was used to evaluate %BF. A total of four-time-points for 1st category referees and three for all other groups were performed throughout the season.


Analysing by category and role, 1st category assistants had the highest %BF in all assessments (p < 0.05). Small variations (around 1%) in %BF within groups were observed across the competitive season.


The %BF in elite Spanish referees remains constant, analysing by category, role and age, throughout a competitive season. All groups in this study reported healthy %BF values, between 8 and 14%, which might directly help to achieve the high standards required when refereeing and to improve the level of refereeing in the Spanish leagues.

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