Vertical Jump Using Ground-Based Laser/Infrared Beams

There are many devices for measuring vertical jump height. One such method is based on the breaking of a laser or infrared beam when jumping. The system described here measures the vertical jump height by measuring the time from when the feet leave the floor to returning to the floor. From the total time the jump, measurements of height and leg power can be calculated.

To measure vertical jump height using such devices, the subject stands with the feet in the plane of the light beam. When the equipment is ready, the subject jumps vertically as high as possible. Timing starts when the light at ground level becomes unbroken, and finishes when the subject lands and breaks the beam. A monitor device is usually connected which calculates the time between the light beams being broken, and calculates the jump height from that (see the physics of the vertical jump). Examples of equipment using this method are G-Flight, Optojump Next and Fitjump.

Advantages

Light senors devices for measuring vertical jump are usually portable, and are becoming more economical than bulkier equipment such as the vertec.

Disadvantages

Without a high mark to aim for like in the wall jump method, there is less motivation for jumping maximally, and lower jump heights may be measured.

This system also has the possible error of the feet being pulled up at landing, artificially inflating the subjects score by increasing the time before the feet hit the ground. This is the same as when using ground contact mats such as the just like the justjump mat. There is another method, also using light sensors, which has been designed to counter this problem.

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