Objective: To classify Paralympic athletes, classifiers use test batteries to obtain an objective, pre-competition estimate of an athlete’s training level. We evaluated five tests to determine which combination explained the maximum variance in running performance in a non-disabled population. A non-disabled sample was required to permit psychometric evaluation of the tests without the confounding influence of impairment, and to provide an indication of normative performance.
Design: Sixty-seven non-disabled participants, male and female, (mean age + SD = 24.78 yrs + 6.53), completed a six test battery comprised of; a 30m sprint (criterion activity limitation test) and 5 supplementary activity limitation tests; Standing Broad Jump, 4 Bounds, 10m Skip, Running in Place and Split Jumps.
Results: Test reliability was high for all tests (Intra-class Correlations = 0.80 - 0.99). Pearson’s correlations with 30m Sprint were moderate to strong for Standing Broad Jump (-0.82), 4 Bounds (-0.80) and 10m Skip (0.67), but weaker for Split Jumps (0.35) and Running in Place (0.19). Multiple regression indicated that Standing Broad Jump, 4 Bounds and 10m Skip explained 75% of variance in running performance.
Conclusions: The test battery is reliable and valid in the non-disabled population and therefore has potential utility in Paralympic classification. Test results were normally distributed, a necessary pre-requisite for meaningful interpretation of future studies in athletes with impairments. Further studies evaluating the battery in populations of athletes with impairments of coordination, strength and range of movement are now warranted.
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