10 meter Multistage Shuttle Swim Test (MSST)

This test is a variation on the Beep Test, called the 10-meter Multistage Shuttle Swim Test (MSST). There is also the swimming beep test using a 25m pool. This test has been developed by sport scientists in Western Australia, for the assessment of aerobic fitness of competitive water polo players. See also the similar Water Polo Intermittent Shuttle Test (WIST) which has a 10-second rest period after each shuttle.

purpose: To test the aerobic fitness of water polo players

equipment required: swimming pool, lane ropes set up 10m apart, test cd, cd player.

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. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: This test is a variation on the established testing protocol for the running shuttle test, but specific for water polo players and carried out in a pool. The subjects swim a 10-meter distance at a progressively increasing speed until volitional exhaustion. The swimmers move between lane ropes set up 10m apart, so there is no wall to push off. The test starts at 0.9 m/s, and increases by 0.05 m/sec every stage. Each stage lasts approximately one minute and the shuttles are signalled by an audio cue.

scoring: The athlete's score is the level and number of shuttles reached before they were unable to keep up with the recording.

target population: It is a test of aerobic fitness for competitive water polo players. The test is suitable for all players (male and female) ranging from school/club standard through to international level.

reliability: In the published research paper, test-retest reliability was determined using a sample of 22 female and 22 male water polo players. An intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.99 (p>0.05) was calculated between the two test scores. The technical error of measurement for the test was 2.3 shuttles or 5.0%.

validity: A validation correlation coefficient of 0.88 was found between the number of shuttles completed during the MSST and VO2max measured during an incremental tethered swim test to exhaustion. A stepwise multiple regression revealed that VO2max accounted for approximately 78% of the MSST variance.

advantages: The test allows a whole team to have their aerobic fitness effectively assessed using minimal time and pool space.

disadvantages: As with the running beep test, practice and motivation levels can influence the score attained, and the scoring can be subjective.

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