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20 Yard Shuttle Test

This test is part of a fitness testing protocol for the NFL, NHL and MLS Combine Testing and for the SPARQ rating for baseball, hockey, and football. It is also called the Pro Agility Shuttle or 5-10-5 Shuttle, as it involves running to 5 yards, back 10 yards, and back again 5 yards. The USA Women's Soccer Team use a very similar test the 20 yard agility shuttle, though only touching the lines with their foot. The NFL also conduct the similar but longer 60 yard shuttle test.

purpose: this is a test of speed, explosion, body control and the ability to change direction (agility).

equipment required: stopwatch or timing gates, measuring tape or marked football field, 3 marker cones, a flat non-slip 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 test area. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: Three marker cones are placed along a line five yards apart. The player straddles the middle line and puts one hand down in a three-point stance. The player can start by going either to the right or left direction. For example, on the signal 'Go' the player turns and runs five yards to the right side and touches the line with his right hand. He then runs 10 yards to his left and touches the other line with his left hand, then finally turns and finishes by running back through the start/finish line. The player is required to touch the line at each turn. See video example.

scoring: The time to complete the test in seconds to the nearest two decimals is recorded. The score is the best time of three trials.

results: US Decathlete Bryan Clay reached 4.38 seconds in this test during a SPARQ testing exercise (published in SPARQ Magazine, Summer 2008). See also some results from the NFL Combine.

target population: This test is part of the NFL testing combine, though it would be suitable for athletes involved in many team sports such as basketball, hockey, rugby, soccer.

comments: Turning technique and coordination is also a large factor in this test. This test is also called the Pro Agility Shuttle or 5-10-5 Shuttle. It is called the 20 yard shuttle as the total distance covered is 20 yards. 20 yards = 18.3 meters.

The Test in Action

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