Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The beep test
An interesting feature in Singaporean League football is the mandatory beep test. If players cannot pass this test then they are not allowed to play in the league competition. Take Tampines Rovers veteran Ahmad Latiff, who failed the beep test at least ten times before recently passing the required level. The beep test is a multi-stage fitness examination where players must reach stage 13.1 in order to pass a measure that records the maximum oxygen intake of athletes (VO2 max). It was implemented in 2005 to ensure the fitness level of players in the S-League was at an acceptable standard. But the test has its critics. Latiff's teammate and skipper Aleksandar Duric is one. At 41 years old he's often touted as the poster boy for fitness and discipline. "I'm totally against it. I think it should have been scrapped a long time ago. To pass the test requires players to be at the peak of their fitness even before the season starts and it really kills us as the year goes on. Most players are fit enough anyway and it should be left to clubs to educate their players on how to live the professional life," he said. In defence of their obligatory exam, the FAS, Singapore's governing body, commented: "FAS sees fitness testing of our footballers as something positive and relevant especially in this modern era of professional football, but as a forward looking organisation, we always welcome new ideas and are constantly on a lookout for innovative solutions to enhance the capabilities of our players." I'm not suggesting for a moment that the beep test is ushered in by the Cambodian Federation but it's certainly something the clubs could introduce internally, if they don't already do so.