Beep Test for Referees

This is a modified version of the standard 20m beep test adapted for the specific demands of Rugby League referees, incorporating a portion of the test where the participant must backpedal (run backwards). There are other fitness tests specifically for sports referees and umpires. For more information on the beep test and its variations, see the complete guide to the bleep / beep test.

equipment required: Flat, non-slip surface with space to run at least 30m, marking cones, 30m measuring tape, beep test cd, cd player, recording sheets.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Measure out course and place marker cones. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: This test involves continuous running between lines 10m or 20m apart in time to recorded beeps. The standard beep test cd is used. To start the participants stand behind the end line (A), and begin running when instructed by the audio cd. At point (C) if the line is reached before the beep sounds, the subject must wait until the beep sounds. When the beep sounds they run backwards (backpedaling) to point (B), then at the beep run forwards again to point (D). At the end they turn around and repeat as before, running forwards 20m, then back 10m. As with the standard beep test, the starting speed is quite slow. After about one minute, a sound indicates an increase in speed, and the beeps will be closer together. This continues each minute (level). If a line is not reached in time for each beep, the participant must hurry to try and catch up with the pace within 2 more ‘beeps’. Also, The test is stopped if the subject fails to reach the line (within 2 meters) for two consecutive ends.modified beep test diagram

scoring: The athlete's score is the level and number of shuttles (20m) reached before they were unable to keep up with the recording. Record the last level completed (not necessarily the level stopped at).

target population: this test is designed for rugby league referees, though it may apply to many other sports umpires and referees.

reliability: The reliability of the beep test would depend on how strictly the test is run and the practice allowed for the subjects.

advantages: Large groups can perform this test all at once, using the standard beep test audio.

disadvantages: Practice and motivation levels can influence the score attained, and the scoring can be subjective. As the test is often conducted outside, the environmental conditions can also affect the results.

source: the details of this test was taken from a document on testing for QRL Referees.


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The 20m Beep Test (male & female voices) + Training Levels + 'Beeps Only' track + Excel Spreadsheet + eBook Guide (PARQ, consent form, test recording sheet, warm-up, tips, norms + much more!)

beep test package

The ultimate beep test package, including two versions of the beep test audio file (male and female voice), an audio track with only the beeps (no voices), 8 audio tracks for training at specific test levels, an Excel spreadsheet with an offline calculator and tables for recording, analyzing and presenting results, a 12-page eBook beep test guide which includes a PARQ, informed consent form, and test recording sheet plus much more. All these files are available individually for $5 each, or even better get them all for $10. Check out the details.

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