A Step towards a Field Based Agility Test in Team Sports

David Drake, Rodney Kennedy, Jonny Davis, Matthew Godfrey, Simon McLeod, Amy Davis

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Agility performance tests are limited by the requirement forforce plates, timing gates or expensive camera systemsmaking application into practice challenging. The primaryaim of this study was to assess the inter-rater reliability of afield based 1v1 agility test encompassing perceptual-actionperformance. A secondary aim was to assess the relationshipbetween the 1v1 agility tests with a range of physicalperformance tests including a commonly used Y step test.The third aim was to contrast the physical performance ofhigh performing players against lower performing playersin terms of agility action performance. Twenty-eight malerugby union players volunteered (age 19.3 ± 2.2 years, agerange 18-24, body mass 96.5 ± 13.3 kg). Participants wererandomly assigned to attack or defensive roles within a simulatedrugby evasion task (1v1 agility test). Previously utilizedperformance scoring (1) was modified to assess agilityperformance. Two independent investigators reviewedvideo recordings to score attacking and defensive performance.Cohens Kappa statistic showed inter-rater reliabilityof agility scoring to be almost perfect, 861 (CI 0.816 to0.917). Attacking agility had a large significant relationshipwith Y step performance (r = -0.577, p = 0.001), single legrepeat hop height (r = 0.570, p = 0.002) and body mass (r= -0.537, p = 0.003). Defensive agility outcome had a largesignificant relationship with CMJ flight time-contraction timeratio (r = 0.580, p = 0.001) and CMJ concentric duration (r =-0.656, p = 0.000). The Y step test shares 33% of commonvariance with 1v1 attacking and 5% with defensive agilityperformance likely due to significantly greater frontal andtransverse plane movement during agility compared to thechange of direction tests. We recommended the 1v1 agilitytest be included as part of physical profiling of team sportsplayers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 23 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

This study received no sources of funding at any stage of completion.


  • Change of direction
  • Athletic performance
  • Perceptual decision
  • making
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rugby union


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