Shuttle swimming test in young water polo players: reliability, responsiveness and age related value

Giovanni Melchiorri, Valerio Viero, Tamara Triossi, Elvira Padua, Marco Bonifazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: This study investigated the applicability of a sport-specific test, the Shuttle Swim Test, in young water polo players to measure RSA. The aims were: to assess the reliability and to measure the responsiveness of the SST in young water polo athletes, and to provide age- related values of SST.

METHODS: 333 elite athletes (18.3 ± 5.1 years) were involved in the study. Of these, 99 were young people under 13 (13.1 ± .5 years) who also underwent measurements for reliability and responsiveness of the SST The following six measures was used to assess anthropometric characteristics of the sample: height, weight, chest circumference, hip circumference, waist circumference, and arm span. Two performance measures were performed on dry land: push up and chin up.

RESULTS: Reliability and responsiveness were measured by comparing the average speed of two trials: SST1 was 1.48 ± .13 m·s-1 and SST2 1.47 ± .12 m·s-1. The SST showed good reliability in younger athletes (r = .96). The Minimal Detectable Change is .06 m·s-1 (6 seconds of the total time) which corresponds to 3.6% of the average value measured, confirming the good responsiveness of the test.

CONCLUSIONS: Coaches and researchers can use this value in the interpretation of the SST test results: changes below these values could be related to a measurement error. The various age-related values reported may help technicians to better interpret the performance of their athletes during competition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 13 2017


  • Journal Article


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