Vertical Jump Test (NHL)

There are many methods for measuring vertical jump (see discussion). The method described below is as used for the NHL Combine. A force plate is used to measure jump forces and jump time, and vertical jump height is calculated from the time in the air. See more about measuring jump height using air time.

equipment required: force plate (e.g. Kistler). The Kistler Force plate is a research platform linked to a video camera that provides information about forces passing through foot joints and the foot in all three planes of space.

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: The athlete stands in bare feet, as still as possible on the force plate, with weight evenly distributed over both feet. Once ready, the athlete jumps vertically as high as possible using both arms and legs to assist in projecting the body upwards. The test involves six separate maximum effort vertical jumps, with 10 seconds of rest between each jump.

scoring: The three best jumps are recorded and averaged to get a final score and ranking.

target population: this protocol was developed for elite ice-hockey players, but is relevant for any high level athlete in a sport requiring good leg power.

disadvantages: if using jump time to calculate jump height, it is important that the athlete then lands back on the plate with both feet at the same time, and with legs extended.

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