Sprint or Speed Tests
- purpose: The purpose of this test is to determine acceleration, maximum running speed and speed endurance, depending on the distance run.
- equipment required: measuring tape or marked track, stopwatch or timing gates, cone markers.
- procedure: The test involves running a single maximum sprint over a set distance, with time recorded. After a standardized warm up, the test is conducted over a certain distance, such as 10, 20, 40 and/or 50 meters or yards, depending on the sport and what you are trying to measure. The starting position should be standardized, starting from a stationary position with a foot behind the starting line, with no rocking movements. If you have the equipment (e.g. timing gates), you can measure the time to run each split distances (e.g. 5, 10, 20m) during the same run, and then acceleration and peak velocity can also be determined. It is usual to give the athletes an adequate warm-up and practice first, and some encouragement to continue running hard past the finish line.
|Time to run 35 meters (in seconds)|
|very good||< 4.80||< 5.30|
|good||4.80 - 5.09||5.30 - 5.59|
|average||5.10 - 5.29||5.60 - 5.89|
|fair||5.30 - 5.60||5.90 - 6.20|
|poor||> 5.60||> 6.20|
|* for Australian team sport players|
results: You can use a measure of the time for the first 10 meters or yards from a stationary start as a score for acceleration, and the time to run between 30-60 meters for a flying sprint speed, or maximum running speed. This score can also be presented as a running velocity (distance / time). For sprint tests conducted over 100 meters or yards or so, comparing the time for the final 40 compared to the first 40 can be used as a speed endurance score.
- target population: sprinters, team sport athletes.
- reliability: Reliability is greatly improved if timing gates are used. Also weather conditions and running surface can affect the results, and these conditions should be recorded with the results. If possible, set up the track with a crosswind to minimize the effect of wind.
- see specific sprint tests over 20 meters, 30 meters, 30 yards, 40 yards, 40 meters, 50 meters, 60 yards, 60 meters.
- videos of the Speed Testing
- sprint speed to first base for baseball players, and 3/4 court for basketball players.
- warming up for sprint testing
- calculating power from sprint scores
- Training for Speed
- other anaerobic tests
- about anaerobic testing
- All about Timing Gates
- measure running speed using a Foot Pod or GPS
- Sprint Test Results
- World Records for Speed tests