A step towards a field based agility test in team sports. A perspective on return to play criteria.

David Drake, Rodney Kennedy, Matthew Godfrey, Simon MacLead, Amy Davis, Matt Maguire

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Introduction: Agility performance tests can be limited by the requirement for force plates, timing gates and expensive camera systems (Correia et al., 2012; Green, Blake, & Caulfield, 2011) making application into rehabilitation programs practically challenging. The aims of this study were to assess the reliability of a field based 1v1 agility test encompassing perceptualaction performance that could be replicated in applied settings. A secondary aim was to assess the relationship between the 1v1 agility test with a range of physical performance tests including the commonly used Y step test (Paul, Gabbett, & Nassis, 2016). Methods: Twenty-eight male rugby union players volunteered (Mean ± SD age 19.3 ± 2.2 years, age range 18 e 24, weight 96.5 ± 13.3 kg). Participants were randomly assigned to attack or defensive roles (1v1 agility test)within a simulated rugby evasion task (Brault et al., 2012). A previously utilized agility performance score (Young & Murray, 2016) was modified to assess agility performance. Two independent investigators reviewed video recordings (side and behind attacking player) to score attack and defensive performance. Each participant completed 10 agility trials. Results: Cohens Kappa statistic showed inter-rater reliability of agility scoring was almost perfect .861 (CI .816 to .917). Attacking agility had a large significant relationship with Y step performance (r =-.577, p = .001), single leg repeat hop (r = .570, p = .002) and body mass (r = -.537, p = .003). Defensive agility had a large significant relationship with CMJ flight time:contraction time ratio (r = .580, p = .001) and CMJ concentric duration (r = -.656, p = .000). Conclusion: Findings show the Y step test shared 33% of common variance with 1v1 attack and 5% with defensive agility performance. Low commonality is likely due to significantly greater frontal and transverse plane movement during agility compared to change of direction tests (Green et al., 2011). It is recommended that the 1v1 agility test be considered as part of return to play criteria in team sports players to assess attacking and defensive agility performance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ee20
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
Early online date26 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished online - 26 Oct 2017


  • agility
  • rehabilitation
  • rugby union
  • perception


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