Concurrent Validity and Test-Retest Reliability of a Global Positioning System (GPS) and Timing Gates to Assess Sprint Performance Variables

Waldron M., Worsfold P., Twist C., Lamb K.

Objective: This study aimed to determine the concurrent validity and reliability of a 5 Hz global positioning system (GPS) for assessing sprinting speed, as well as the reliability of integrated GPS-accelerometer technology.

Methods: Participants performed two over-ground sprints while being assessed simultaneously using GPS and timing gates. The study evaluated:

The concurrent validity and reliability of GPS compared to timing gates for measuring sprinting speed or distance.
The reliability of proper accelerations recorded via GPS-accelerometer integration.

The GPS measurements systematically underestimated both distance and timing gate speed.
GPS measurements were reliable for all variables of distance and speed, with coefficients of variation (CV) ranging from 1.62% to 2.3%. Peak speed had a CV of 0.78%.
Timing gates showed higher reliability (CV: 1% to 1.54%) compared to equivalent GPS measurements.
Accelerometer measurements were the least reliable (CV: 4.69% to 5.16%), particularly for the frequency of proper accelerations.
While timing gates and GPS reliably assessed speed and distance, the validity of GPS measurements remained questionable.
The error found in accelerometer measurements suggests limitations in detecting changes in performance.
Conclusion: While timing gates and GPS were reliable for assessing speed and distance, the study highlights limitations in the validity of GPS measurements and the reliability of accelerometer data for detecting changes in performance.

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