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What Tests are Used to Assess the Physical Qualities of Male, Adolescent Rugby League Players A Systematic Review of Testing Protocols and Reported Data Across Adolescent Age Groups.pdf (1.33 MB)

What Tests are Used to Assess the Physical Qualities of Male, Adolescent Rugby League Players? A Systematic Review of Testing Protocols and Reported Data Across Adolescent Age Groups

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Background: Understanding the physical qualities of male, adolescent rugby league players across age groups is essential for practitioners to manage long-term player development. However, there are many testing options available to assess these qualities, and differences in tests and testing protocols can profoundly influence the data obtained. Objectives: The aims of this systematic review were to: (1) identify the most frequently used tests to assess key physical qualities in male, adolescent rugby league players (12–19 years of age); (2) examine the testing protocols adopted in studies using these tests; and (3) synthesise the available data from studies using the most frequently used tests according to age group. Methods: A systematic search of five databases was conducted. For inclusion, studies were required to: (1) be original research that contained original data published in a peer-reviewed journal; (2) report data specifically for male, adolescent rugby league players; (3) report the age for the recruited participants to be between 12 and 19 years; (4) report data for any anthropometric quality and one other physical quality and identify the test(s) used to assess these qualities; and (5) be published in English with full-text availability. Weighted means and standard deviations were calculated for each physical quality for each age group arranged in 1-year intervals (i.e., 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 years) across studies. Results: 37 studies were included in this systematic review. The most frequently used tests to assess anthropometric qualities were body mass, standing height, and sum of four skinfold sites. The most frequently used tests to assess other physical qualities were the 10-m sprint (linear speed), 505 Agility Test (change-of-direction speed), Multistage Fitness Test (aerobic capacity), bench press and back squat one-repetition maximum tests (muscular strength), and medicine ball throw (muscular power). Weighted means calculated across studies generally demonstrated improvements in player qualities across subsequent age groups, except for skinfold thickness and aerobic capacity. However, weighted means could not be calculated for the countermovement jump. Conclusion: Our review identifies the most frequently used tests, but highlights variability in the testing protocols adopted. If these tests are used in future practice, we provide recommended protocols in accordance with industry standards for most tests. Finally, we provide age-specific references for frequently used tests that were implemented with consistent protocols. Clinical Trial Registration: This study was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Review and Meta-analysis guidelines and was registered with PROSPERO (ID: CRD42021267795).

History

Volume

9

Issue

1

Start Page

1

End Page

49

Number of Pages

49

eISSN

2198-9761

ISSN

2199-1170

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publisher License

CC BY

Additional Rights

CC-BY

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • Yes

Acceptance Date

2023-11-10

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Medium

Electronic

Journal

Sports Medicine - Open

Article Number

106