Date of Award

Spring 4-29-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Exercise Science


Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Jacob Grazer

Second Advisor

Gerald Mangine

Third Advisor

Garrett Hester


Within competitive soccer, assistant referees are expected to keep up with the top speed of players on the field, despite being hindered mechanically by a flag held down at their side. This ability to keep up with speed-of-play can determine effectiveness of calls on the field, yet while being tested, referees are not required to replicate the game-like state of flag-carrying. The purpose of this study was to examine kinetic and kinematic effects of flag-carrying within sprinting and change-of-direction performance in assistant referees to better inform training programs and testing protocols. 18 male referees (mean age 32.11 ± 9.08 years) ran six trials each of 60m sprints while attached to a resistance cable, and Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) standardized change-of-direction ability test (CODA). Each referee ran three trials with, and three trials without a flag, in randomized order. One-way repeated measures ANOVA were run to determine differences between trials with flag-carrying versus unhindered running conditions. Total time (0.174±0.050, p=0.005) and total step count (0.923±0.182, p