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20-Meter Agility Test

The 20-meter agility run is a simple measure of an athlete’s ability to accelerate, decelerate, change direction, and to accelerate again. The participants run to a marker 5 meters either side of them, touching the line with their foot. There is a version of this test, the 20-Yard Agility Test, in which the only difference is that the measurement is in yards. The NFL uses a similar test for the NFL Combine Testing — the 20-yard shuttle in which the starting position is different and the lines are touched with the hands.

purpose: to measure an athlete’s ability to accelerate, decelerate and change direction.

equipment required: start/stop timing gates or stopwatch, tape measure, non-slip running surface, cone markers.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions (including the running surface condition). Measure and mark out the course. Ensure that the participants are adequately warmed-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

test layout: Set up three marker cones in a straight line, exactly five meters apart - cones B, A (center) and C. At each cone place a line across using marking tape. The timer is positioned at the level of the center A cone, facing the athlete.

procedure: To start, the athlete straddles the center cone A with feet an equal distance apart and parallel to the line of cones. When ready, the athlete runs to cone B (touching the line with either foot), turns and accelerates to cone C (touching the line), and finishes by accelerating through the line at cone A. The stopwatch is started on the first movement of the athlete and stops the watch when the athlete’s torso crosses the center line.

scoring: Record the best time of two trials.

comments: Encourage athletes to accelerate through the finish line to maximize their result. This test is part of a fitness testing battery for lacrosse officials.

The Test in Action

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