A Step towards a Field Based Agility Test in Team Sports

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Downloads (Pure)


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
JournalInternational Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine
Volume3 (6)
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Reference text: 1. Young WB, Murray MP (2017) Reliability of a Field Test of
Defending and Attacking Agility in Australian Football and
Relationships to Reactive Strength. J Strength Cond Res
31: 509-516.
2. Brughelli M, Cronin J, Levin G, Chaouachi A (2008) Understanding
change of direction ability in sport: a review of
resistance training studies. Sports Med 38: 1045-1063.
3. Brault S, Bideau B, Craig C, Kulpa R (2010) Balancing deceit
and disguise: How to successfully fool the defender in a
1 vs. 1 situation in rugby. Hum Mov Sci 29: 412-425.
4. Brault S, Bideau B, Kulpa R, Craig CM (2012) Detecting
deception in movement: the case of the side-step in rugby.
PLoS One 7: e37494.
5. Wheeler KW, Sayers MGL (2011) Rugby Union Contact Skills
Alter Evasive Agility Performance during Attacking Ball Carries. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching 6:
6. Correia V, Araújo D, Cummins A, Craig CM (2012) Perceiving
and acting upon spaces in a VR rugby task: expertise effects
in affordance detection and task achievement. J Sport
Exerc Psychol 34: 305-321.
7. Paul DJ, Gabbett TJ, Nassis GP (2016) Agility in Team
Sports: Testing, Training and Factors Affecting Performance.
Sports Med 46: 421-442.
8. Mann BJ, Ivey PA, Mayhew JL, Schumacher RM, Brechue
WF (2016) Relationship between agility tests and short
sprints: Reliability and smallest worthwhile difference in
National Collegiate Athletic Association Division-I football
players. J Strength Cond Res 30: 893-900.
9. Nimphius S, Callaghan SJ, Spiteri T, Lockie RG (2016)
Change of Direction Deficit: A More Isolated Measure of
Change of Direction Performance Than Total 505 Time. J
Strength Cond Res 30: 3024-3032.
10. Sheppard JM, Young WB, Doyle TL, Sheppard TA, Newton
RU (2006) An evaluation of a new test of reactive agility
and its relationship to sprint speed and change of direction
speed. J Sci Med Sport 9: 342-349.
11. Lockie RG, Schultz AB, McGann TS, Jalilvand F, Callaghan
SJ (2015) Peak ankle muscle activity of faster and slower
basketball players during the change of direction step in a
reactive cutting task. J Athlet Enhancement 6: 17-20.
12. Hachana Y, Chaabène H, Nabli MA, Attia A, Moualhi J, et al.
(2013) Test-Retest Reliability, Criterion-Related Validity, and
Minimal Detectable Change of the Illinois Agility Test in Male
Team Sport Athletes. J Strength Cond Res 27: 2752-2759.
13. Wheeler K, Sayers M (2009) Contact skills predicting tackle-
breaks in Rugby Union. International Journal of Sports
Science & Coaching 4: 535-544.
14. Sclafani MP, Davis CC (2016) Return to play progression
for rugby following injury to the lower extremity: a clinical
commentary and review of the literature. Int J Sports Phys
Ther 11: 302-320.
15. Reiman MP, Lorenz DS (2011) Integration of strength and
conditioning principles into a rehabilitation program. Int J
Sports Phys Ther 6: 241-253.
16. Spiteri T, Nimphius S, Hart NH, Specos C, Sheppard JM, et
al. (2014) Contribution of strength characteristics to change
of direction and agility performance in female basketball
athletes. J Strength Cond Res 28: 2415-2423.
17. Green BS, Blake C, Caulfield BM (2011) A comparison of
cutting technique performance in rugby union players. J
Strength Cond Res 25: 2668-2680.
18. WMA (2013) World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki:
Ethical principles for medical research involving human
subjects. JAMA 310: 2191-2194.
19. Maulder P, Cronin J (2005) Horizontal and vertical jump assessment:
Reliability, symmetry, discriminative and predictive
ability. Physical Therapy in Sport 6: 74-82.
20. Kennedy RA, Drake D (2017) Dissociated time course of
recovery between strength and power after isoinertial resistance
loading in rugby union players. J Strength Cond Res.
21. Jackson RC, Warren S, Abernethy B (2006) Anticipation
skill and susceptibility to deceptive movement. Acta Psychol
(Amst) 123: 355-371.
22. Hopkins WG (2002) A new view of statistics.
23. Viera AJ, Garrett JM (2005) Understanding interobserver
agreement: The kappa statistic. Fam Med 37: 360-363.
24. Maloney SJ, Richards J, Nixon DG, Harvey LJ, Fletcher IM
(2017) Do stiffness and asymmetries predict change of direction
performance? J Sports Sci 35: 547-556.
25. Young WB, Miller IR, Talpey SW (2015) Physical qualities
predict change-of-direction speed but not defensive agility
in Australian rules football. J Strength Cond Res 29: 206-
26. Hopkins WG, Marshall SW, Batterham AM, Hanin J (2009)
Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise
science. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41: 3-13.
27. Zifchock RA, Davis I, Higginson J, Royer T (2008) The symmetry
angle: a novel, robust method of quantifying asymmetry.
Gait Posture 27: 622-627.
28. Bishop C, Read P, Chavda S, Turner A (2016) A symmetries
of the lower limb: The calculation conundrum in
strength training and conditioning. Strength & Conditioning
Journal 38: 27-32.
29. Hewit JK, Cronin JB, Hume PA (2012) Understanding
change of direction performance: a technical analysis of
a 180 aerial catch and turn task. International Journal of
Sports Science & Coaching 7: 503-514.
30. Mirsafaei Rizi R, Yeung SS, Stewart NJ, Yeung EW (2017)
Risk factors that predict severe injuries in university rugby
sevens players. J Sci Med Sport 20: 648-652.
31. Chalmers S, Magarey ME, Esterman A, Speechley M,
Scase E, et al. (2013) The relationship between pre-season
fitness testing and injury in elite junior Australian football
players. J Sci Med Sport 16: 307-311.
32. Myer GD, Martin L, Ford KR, Paterno MV, Schmitt LC, et al.
(2012) No association of time from surgery with functional
deficits in athletes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction:
evidence for objective return-to-sport criteria. Am
J Sports Med 40: 2256-2263.
33. Myer GD, Paterno MV, Ford KR, Quatman CE, Hewett TE
(2006) Rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction:
criteria-based progression through the return-tosport
phase. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 36: 385-402.


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


Dive into the research topics of 'A Step towards a Field Based Agility Test in Team Sports'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this