Sprint or speed tests can be performed over varying distances, depending on the factors being tested and the relevance to the sport. The 50 Meter Sprint is part of the International Physical Fitness Test, and their protocol is listed here.
purpose: The aim of this test is to determine acceleration and speed.
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 50 meters, with the time recorded. A thorough warm up should be given, including some practice starts and accelerations. Start from a stationary standing position (hands cannot touch the ground), with one foot in front of the other. The front foot must be behind the starting line. Once the subject is ready and motionless, the starter gives the instructions "set" then "go.". The tester should provide hints for maximizing speed (such as keeping low, driving hard with the arms and legs) and the participant should be encouraged to not slow down before crossing the finish line.
results: Two trials are allowed, and the best time is recorded to the nearest two decimal places. The timing starts from the first movement (if using a stopwatch) or when the timing system is triggered, and finishes when the chest crosses the finish line and/or the finishing timing gate is triggered.
target population: soccer and other sports in which speed over a similar distance is important.
reliability: Reliability is greatly improved if timing gates are used. Also 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.
comments: the person timing should stand back away from the running track so they can clearly see the first movement and also see the runner pass the finish line.
The Test in Action
- The 50 m sprint is part of the International Physical Fitness Test
- General information about Sprint or Speed Testing
- Training for speed
- Videos of Speed Testing
- Warming up for sprint testing
- Other anaerobic tests and about anaerobic testing
- Sprint Test Results
- World Records for Speed tests