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Interseason variability of a functional movement test, the 9+ screening battery, in professional male football players
  1. A Bakken1,2,
  2. S Targett1,
  3. T Bere1,2,
  4. C Eirale1,
  5. A Farooq1,
  6. J L Tol1,3,4,
  7. R Whiteley1,
  8. E Witvrouw5,
  9. K M Khan6,
  10. R Bahr1,2
  1. 1Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  2. 2Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3The Sports Physician Group, Department of Sports Medicine OLVG, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4Academic Center of Evidence Based Sports Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  5. 5Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  6. 6Center for Mobility and Hip Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to A Bakken, Department of Sports Medicine, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Sport City street, P.O. Box 29222, Doha, Qatar; arnhild.bakken{at}


Background The Nine Plus screening battery test (9+) is a functional movement test intended to identify limitations in fundamental movement patterns predisposing athletes to injury. However, the interseason variability is unknown.

Aim To examine the variability of the 9+ test between 2 consecutive seasons in professional male football players.

Methods Asymptomatic Qatar Star League players (n=220) completed the 9+ at the beginning of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Time-loss injuries in training and matches were obtained from the Aspetar Injury and Illness Surveillance Program. No intervention was initiated between test occasions.

Results A significant increase in the mean total score of 1.6 points (95% CI 1.0 to 2.2, p<0.001) was found from season 1 (22.2±4.1 (SD)) to season 2 (23.8±3.3). The variability was large, as shown by an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.24 (95% CI 0.11 to 0.36) and a minimal detectable change (MDC) of 8.7 points. Of the 220 players, 136 (61.8%) suffered a time-loss injury between the 2 tests. There was an improvement in mean total scores in the injured (+2.0±0.4 (SE), p<0.001) group but not in the uninjured group (+0.9±0.5, p=0.089). The variability from season 1 to season 2 was large both in the injured (ICC 0.25, 0.09 to 0.40, MDC 8.3) and uninjured (ICC 0.24, 0.02 to 0.43, MDC 9.1) groups.

Conclusions The 9+ demonstrated substantial intraindividual variability in the total score between 2 consecutive seasons, irrespective of injury. A change above 8 points is necessary to represent a real change in the 9+ test between seasons.

  • Functional movement screen
  • Injury prevention
  • Athlete
  • Measurement

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