There’s a pretty large field, a ball that’s going from one end to the other throughout the game, and only 3 substitution for 11 players. From this mix, it is easy to deduce that football players need to travel long distances for more than 90 minutes. A truly avid fan may have also noticed that in almost all the matches the average number of kilometers that some players go during a football match is shown. And what about referees? How much does the referee run? Let’s talk about how much players and referees can run during a game.

How Much Does A Football Referee Run?

Many people think that the route the referee makes in a match must be much greater than that of the players. But actually, it’s very similar, the referee’s route is superior but not by much. The route taken by a referee during a football match varies between 9 and 13 kilometers. However, there are always exceptional games that can require the referee to make a tour of up to 20 kilometers (while the most active players travel on average 11 kilometers). These distances are totally justified because the referee must be behind every move and in constant movement during the whole 90 minutes.

About the Players

The midfielders are the players who tend to run the most; sometimes reaching distances of more than 12 kilometers. While the goalkeepers are those who run less, about 5 km per game (and they actually do more walking than running).

These numbers should not surprise anyone. Hence the ball is constantly moving and can travel great distances in a matter of seconds, which requires players to chase it a lot. Obviously, there is some variation depending on the position played: the midfielders go after the ball up and down the field, so they run more; the goalkeepers are just there waiting for the shot, so they don’t move so much. But which is the final answer to the question of how much does an average footballer run? Well, currently the average is around 9 kilometers traveled per game.

How is The Distance Ran by a Player Measured?

Nowadays, there are a bunch of companies that offer this service, nonetheless, the pioneers of this tech were the Swedish company Chyron Hego, and now they have competition, thanks to Delta Tre. Both companies are sharing the most important tournaments and using Tracab cameras. An interesting fact is that this video technology originally was conceived for military purposes.

This tech uses cameras placed on top of the game field to register all movement on the grass and then run through software that calculates the distance ran for every player with a margin of error of 1%. Then all the processed data is used to generate statistics and important information about the performance of the players.

This research work has demonstrated that football referees are in better shape than anybody could think, hence the training and preparation is on them exclusively; also is brought to attention that according to UEFA data a footballer on 1950 ran an average of 4-5 kilometers per game, by the ’70s about 6 kilometers until the 80’s when the breach gets closer to the high level required on this era with an average run of 8 kilometers in a match.