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Illinois Agility Test (IAT)

Agility is an important component of many team sports, though it is not always tested, and is often difficult to interpret results. The Illinois Agility Test (Getchell, 1979) is a commonly used test of agility in sports, and as such there are well-established norms available.

purpose: to test running agility using various turns and movements

equipment required: flat non-slip surface, marking cones, stopwatch, measuring tape, timing gates (optional)

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 and test conditions. Measure and mark out the test area using cones. Check the timing gate equipment and calibrate if required. See more details of pre-test procedures.

Illinois agility test diagram

course layout: The length of the course is 10 meters and the width is 5 meters. Four cones are used to mark the start, finish and the two turning points. Another four cones are placed down the center an equal distance apart. Each cone in the center is spaced 3.3 meters apart.

procedure: Participants should lie on their front (head to the start line) and hands by their shoulders. On the 'Go' command the stopwatch is started, and the athlete gets up as quickly as possible and runs forwards 10 meters to run around a cone, then back 10 meters, then runs up and back through a slalom course of four cones. Finally, the athlete runs another 10 meters up and back past the finishing cone, at which the timing is stopped. (see Illinois test video examples). Several trials should be completed, with the best score recorded.

results: An excellent score is under 15.2 seconds for a male, less than 17 seconds for a female. See the full rating norm scores for the Illinois Test.

advantages: This is a simple test to administer, requiring minimal equipment. Also, the player's ability to turn in different directions and at different angles are tested.

disadvantages: The choice of footwear and the running surface can effect times greatly. Results can be subject to timing inconsistencies, which may be overcome by using timing gates. This test does not distinguish between left and right turning ability. The test often takes longer than 15 seconds, at which stage fatigue will begin to play a greater part in the results. There is a modified Illinois Agility Test which is shorter but still has the same movement elements.


references: Getchell B. Physical Fitness: A Way of Life, 2nd ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1979.

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