Sprint or speed tests can be performed over varying distances, depending on the factors being tested and the relevance to the sport. The 40 Meter Sprint is part of the eTID Talent Identification Testing Program, and their protocol is listed here.
purpose: The aim of this test is to determine acceleration and speed.
equipment required: measuring tape or marked track, stopwatch or timing gates, cone markers, flat and clear surface of at least 60 meters.
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: The test involves running a single maximum sprint over 40 meters, with the time recorded. A thorough warm up should be given, including some practice starts and accelerations. Start from a stationary position, with one foot in front of the other. The front foot must be on the starting line. This runner should be stationary prior to starting. The person timing should stand at the finish line with one arm held high, and call ‘ready’ followed by a sweep down their arm quickly to start the subject (do not call out ‘go’ due to the time delay in the subject hearing the call). As the arm sweeps down, the tester should start the stopwatch which is held in the downward sweeping arm, and finish the stopwatch as their chest passes through the finish line.
results: Three trials are allowed, and the best time is recorded to the nearest two decimal places. See some 40m sprint test results.
target population: sports in which speed over a similar distance is important.
reliability: weather conditions and the running surface can affect the results, and these conditions should be recorded with the results. If possible, set up the track with a crosswind to minimize the effect of wind, and if running on grass wait until the surface is dry.
comments: this description is for a sprint test that can be conducted by the athlete themselves. Sprint testing may also be done using timing gates which enable more accurate results to be collected. See the general sprint testing procedure.
The Test in Action
- The 40m sprint is part of the eTID talent identification testing program.
- General information about Sprint or Speed Testing
- See some 40m sprint test results.
- Training for speed
- About the eTID Talent Identification Testing Program.
- Warming up for sprint testing
- Other anaerobic tests and about anaerobic testing
- All about timing gates
- Sprint Test Results
- World Records for Speed tests
- A 40m sprint is one test to determine Australia's Greatest Athlete