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It is impressive when a referee can use explosive movement or sprints effectively. Some mentors may praise a referee for their use of sprints. But it’s always important to ask if all the sprints were actually needed. When we sprint, our heart rate goes up. When we run fast, our vision is not as good. A raised heart rate and a compromised view both contribute to lowered accuracy of our decisions. Therefore, although a ref that can run fast may impress us, a ref who does not rely on unnecessarily sprints are actually more impressive.

In the video below, the referee makes a good sprint. But what could have done to avoid having to run so fast? Watch where he was when the attack started. He was on the defensive half of the field. As a result, he was far from the next phase of attack and he had to sprint. If he had positioned himself ahead of play, he would not have had to sprint at all, or at least sprint as fast or as far.

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