The reliability of a new functional balance protocol for use in sports requiring jump landing tasks

Oliver, Ben orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4841-3309, Cheema, Sam, Dunbar, Amanda Jane and Richards, Jim orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4004-3115 (2017) The reliability of a new functional balance protocol for use in sports requiring jump landing tasks. Physiotherapy Practice and Research, 38 (2). pp. 79-85. ISSN 2213-0683

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Background: The current gold standard of balance testing within elite academy football has been shown to be time consuming and contain movement requirements non-specific to football.

Purpose: To assess the reliability of a new balance protocol for use in elite academy football, due to the difficulty in testing large group sizes and the limited movements patterns with the current gold standard tests.

Methods: 10 Participants completed a series of functional jumps, incorporating forward, lateral and vertical movement and landing strategies, with single leg landings. The participants’ jumps were videoed for retrospective analysis as well as scored in real time by two observers. The subjects balance abilities were graded based on pre-determined criteria derived from the current gold standards of balance testing. Both intra and inter-tester reliability of the functional balance protocol was assessed.

Main Results: The results show the FBP has ‘excellent’ inter-rater reliability for both real-time analysis and retrospective video analysis, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.864 to 0.950.

Conclusions: The FBP has excellent intra and inter-rater reliability. The research supplies evidence to suggest that using a functional protocol with an objective fail criteria combining current “gold standard” balance tests, in conjunction with minimal equipment and a short testing duration may be a more appropriate method to test balance.

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