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Introduction. The heightened physical exertion stemming from greater physical loads in football matches has elicited greater development of physical conditioning in both players and referees.

Material and methods. The current study consisted of a meta-analysis geared towards identifying the scientific data currently available on the training of referees.

Results. With respect to the characterization of the training of football referees, the results of this study showed that there is a diversity of both its methods and contents. As a result of this and based on the support offered by the meta-analysis, a proposal for categorizing the contents of this training is presented. Testing-wise, the results also showed that the FIFA test fails to identify the varying intensities that occur within a match setting and to characterize the distribution of referees’ varying exertions throughout match settings. Lastly, the results of this study also indicated that the training of referees ought to include periodization guidelines over the course of a season, since doing so allows for the optimization and monitoring of referees’ performance.

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Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Public Health, Sports and Recreation, other