Sprint or speed tests can be performed over varying distances, depending on the factors being tested and the relevance to the sport. The 60 yard dash is commonly used in testing baseball players, with many Major League clubs making this test mandatory for prospective players. See also the 30 yard dash which is part of the SPARQ rating system for baseball, and the baseball specific Home to First Base sprint test.
purpose: The aim of this test is to determine acceleration, and also a reliable indicator of speed, agility and quickness.
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 60 yards, with the time recorded. A thorough warm up should be given, including some practice starts and accelerations. Start from a comfortable stationary 3-point stance position, a position that is most familiar to you and that you think will yield the best time. The front foot must be on or behind the starting line. This starting position should be held for 3 seconds prior to starting, you may lean across the starting line, and no rocking movements are allowed. The tester should provide hints to maximizing speed and encouragement to continue running hard past the finish line. See video examples of the Sprint Tests.
results: Two trials are allowed, and the best time is recorded to the nearest 2 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. Most Major League baseball clubs look for times under 7.00. A 60-yard dash time of between 6.7 - 6.9 usually equate to an average runner on the playing field.
target population: baseball, fastpitch and other sports in which speed over that 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.
notes: 60 yards is 54.864 meters.
- General information about Sprint or Speed Testing
- Training for speed
- Videos of Speed Testing
- The SPARQ rating system for baseball and the baseball specific Home to First Base sprint test
- Warming up for sprint testing
- Other anaerobic tests and about anaerobic testing
- All about timing gates
- Sprint Test Results
- World Records for Speed tests