Doug Shows Referee

Doug Shows Referee Discusses the Fitness Regimen of College Basketball Officials

Career General

Doug Shows is a college basketball referee with decades of experience with managing the game. In the following article, Doug Shows emphasizes how staying in optimal shape is not merely a matter of personal health, but a pivotal attribute that significantly influences a referee’s ability to excel on the court.

The players tend to get all the credit for their athletic prowess — and for good reason. However, the basketball officials must be just as fit and healthy. In truth, they don’t really have a choice. They have to keep pace with the ever faster and stronger players! Their own rigorous fitness regimes are really just as incredible.

Doug Shows referee says that the range of student-athletes will always be around 18 to 22 years old, yet officials get older every season. As such, they have to be diligent about their physical fitness during both their on- and off-season to be able to run their average of four miles per game.

Doug Shows Referee on the Importance of Cardiovascular Fitness for Keeping up with the Players

Officials require a stringent, regular routine that targets lung and heart strength through cardio exercises like jogging, walking, swimming, cycling, hiking, and similar activities.

Doug Shows referee mentions that keeping an eye on training periods is vital, particularly where cardio is concerned. Following the Final Four, refs allow themselves three to four weeks of low to no cardio, giving their legs the time they need to recover from the season.

Referees typically begin their cardio regimes in May, training four days a week.

But not all stick to this general recommendation. Instead, some can focus more on activity, doing some sort of cardio and lifting, one body part each day.

Doug Shows referee says that regardless of how college basketball refs choose to retain and improve their cardiovascular fitness, they need to understand their target heart rate range — a figure that’s much easier to ascertain thanks to modern-day fitness bands.

Strength Training for Injury Prevention and General Fitness

Despite all the on-court running required of officials, they don’t leave strength training out of the equation. Whether it’s their favorite part of the routine or not, the best of the best understand its importance.

Doug Shows referee notes that weight-bearing movements build definition and muscle tone, but these professionals aren’t doing it for the aesthetics. Instead, they’re doing it to build extra energy in the mitochondria of the cells, giving them more energy during games and helping to prevent injuries.

It’s clear the old “get into shape just before the game” way of working doesn’t cut it anymore. College basketball officials are constantly on the exercise grind, whether it’s on- or off-season.

Doug Shows Referee

Flexibility Training: The Part Often Neglected by Newbies

Doug Shows referee explains that those who want to get into officiating or who’ve just started refereeing college basketball will likely neglect this very important aspect of their training regime. Flexibility, alongside muscle strength, is the key to preventing injuries — perhaps being even more important in this regard than for strength training.

Some officials note that “recovery is critical after each game, so stretching is key.” Rest and recovery are just as important as actively working toward physical fitness to keep pace with the athletic youth.

Doug Shows referee also notes that, according to fitness experts, stretching should be done for 10 to 20 minutes, twice a day, with no single stretch lasting longer than 20 seconds. While whole-body stretching is ideal, referees tend to focus on their quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves to keep their legs fit for running around the court on game day.

Working Through Injuries as a College Basketball Official

Doug Shows referee says that even the fittest officials experience injuries from time to time, but it’s their recovery processes and their preventative measures that make it so outstanding. It has simply become a vital component of how they stay in shape for game days.


Being a referee isn’t easy but the more you prepare, the better equipped you will be. Referees are athletes on the court as well. In addition, they deal with extensive travel and various climates throughout the season and life on the road is not easy. Training and eating well are crucial for injury prevention and limiting fatigue.

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