An evaluation of the specificity, validity and reliability of jumping tests

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1997 Dec;37(4):240-5.


Background: There were three objectives of this study: 1. To describe the influence of using a single and double leg take-off as a function of run-up length in jumping for height. 2. To determine if various types of jumps are specific in nature. 3. To evaluate two methods of assessing jumping height (a modified Vertec or Yardstick and a Board) for validity and inter-day reliability.

Methods: Seventeen male subjects were tested on jumps for height from a standing position and using a 1, 3, 5 and 7 stride run-up. These jumps were performed using a single and double leg take-off measured by the Yardstick. Selected jumps were also tested using a Board method and repeated for assessment of reliability.

Results: The single leg take-off produced significantly higher jumps when the run-up was three or more strides. The inter-relationships among jump conditions were generally high, however jump types could be considered as specific when the run-up length and number of legs used in the take-off were different. The Yardstick produced significantly greater jump heights than the Board method, which questions the validity of using a board for assessment of maximum jump performance. The reliability of both methods was generally high however the jumps performed from a run-up produced less reliable results than the standing jumps for the Yardstick.

Conclusions: It was suggested that the design of tests to assess jumping ability should consider the specific jump type used in the sport of interest and that the Yardstick is the preferred mode of testing, provided that attempts are made to maximise reliability.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiology
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Posture / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Running / physiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology