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Athletic Ability Assessment: A Movement Assessment Protocol for Athletes.

Authors: McKeown I, Taylor-McKeown K, Woods C, Ball N

Movement ability is an often-overlooked component of sports science and sports medicine research and needs to be considered alongside the appraisal of physical fitness and performance characteristics. To achieve this, a standardized assessment tool is required. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new method for assessing movement ability and present results for intra- and inter-rater reliability.  National level female football players (n=17) were assessed using a novel movement assessment tool, the Athletic Ability Assessment (AAA). Athletes were assessed according to the scoring criteria by the primary researcher in real-time and via video on two separate occasions to estimate intra-tester reliability. Inter-tester reliability was estimated using the difference between five other testers’ video-based scores.    The authors found that the intra-tester minimal detectable change (MDC) for the composite AAA score was 2.9 points (90% confidence limits; 2.3 – 4.2 points) (2.5%; 2.0 – 3.6%) with an intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.97 (0.92 – 0.99). Inter-tester MDC for the composite AAA score was 2.8 points (2.5 – 3.3 points) (2.4%; 2.1 – 2.8%) with an ICC 0.96 (0.94 – 0.98) Individual exercise scores for the intra- and inter-tester show a similar range MDC of between 0.4 – 1.1 points and kappa statistic level of agreement between 0.32 -0.77.  Therefore, the results of the reliability analysis suggest high levels of agreement between scorers for total scores and provide reference values for minimal detectable changes using the AAA. The aim of the authors of  the AAA is to provide a reliable movement assessment protocol that addresses specific sporting populations. The reliability of AAA scoring established in this study is the first step in supporting the utilization of the AAA in future research.

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