Balsom Agility Test or Balsom Run is a test of agility designed for the soccer player, in which the participants are required to run around a series of cones, making several changes of directions and two sharp 180 degree turns. The test was developed by Paul Balsom (1994).
purpose: this is a test of speed, body control and the ability to change direction (agility).
equipment required: stopwatch or light gates, measuring tape, marker cones, a flat surface.
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. 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 the cones as illustrated in the diagram to mark the start, finish and the three turning points. The length of the course is 15m (the distance to cones at B, C and D have not been confirmed).
procedure: The subject starts at A and runs to cones at B before turning and returning to A. Subject then runs through cones at C, turns back at D, and returns through C. The subject turns to the right and runs through cones at B and through the finish. Two trials are allowed and the fastest time recorded. (see video).
scoring: The best (fastest) total time is recorded.
results: a sample of English Premier League Soccer players achieved an average score of 11.7 seconds (Coulson & Archer, 2009).
target population: the test was designed for soccer players, but the test would also be suitable for many team sports where agility is important.
- Balsom, P. (1994) 'Evaluation of Physical performance', In Ekblom, B. (ed.) Football (soccer), Oxford, UK: Blackwell Scientific, p.112.
- Practical Fitness Testing, By Morc Coulson, David Archer, 2009
- See video of the Balsom Agility Test
- Other agility tests
- Fitness testing for soccer
- The SPARQ football (soccer) rating