Reactive Agility Performance in Handball; Development and Evaluation of a Sport-Specific Measurement Protocol


There is no current study that examined sport-specific tests of reactive-agility and change-of-direction-speed (CODS) to replicate real-sport environment in handball (team-handball). This investigation evaluated the reliability and validity of two novel tests designed to assess reactive-agility and CODS of handball players. Participants were female (25.14 ± 3.71 years of age; 1.77 ± 0.09 m and 74.1 ± 6.1 kg) and male handball players (26.9 ± 4.1 years of age; 1.90 ± 0.09 m and 93.90±4.6 kg). Variables included body height, body mass, body mass index, broad jump, 5-m sprint, CODS and reactive-agility tests. Results showed satisfactory reliability for reactive-agility-test and CODS-test (ICC of 0.85-0.93, and CV of 2.4-4.8%). The reactive-agility and CODS shared less than 20% of the common variance. The calculated index of perceptual and reactive capacity (P&RC; ratio between reactive-agility- and CODS-performance) is found to be valid measure in defining true-game reactive-agility performance in handball in both genders. Therefore, the handball athletes’ P&RC should be used in the evaluation of real-game reactive-agility performance. Future studies should explore other sport-specific reactive-agility tests and factors associated to such performance in sports involving agile maneuvers.

Key points

  • Reactive agility and change-of-direction-speed should be observed as independent qualities, even when tested over the same course and similar movement template
  • The reactive-agility-performance of the handball athletes involved in defensive duties is closer to their non-reactive-agility-score than in their peers who are not involved in defensive duties
  • The handball specific “true-game” reactive-agility-performance should be evaluated as the ratio between reactive-agility and corresponding CODS performance.
Key words: Change of direction speed, stop-and-go agility, reliability, ecological validity, team-handball

Autor / Fonte:Miodrag Spasic, Ante Krolo, Natasa Zenic, Anne Delextrat, Damir Sekulic Journal of Sports Science & Medicine 2015, 14 (3): 501-6