Validity and Reliability of Global Positioning System Units (STATSports Viper) for Measuring Distance and Peak Speed in Sports

Beato M., Devereux G., Stiff A.

The aim of this study is to assess the validity and reliability of GPS units (STATSports Viper) for measuring distance and peak speed in sports.

Twenty participants were enrolled, with an average age of 21 years (range 18 to 24 years), body mass of 73 kg, and height of 1.78 m.


GPS Validity: Instantaneous speed values (peak speed) determined by GPS (10 Hz, Viper Units; STATSports, Newry, Ireland) were compared with those determined by a radar gun during a 20-m sprint, using the Stalker ATS Version software as the gold standard.
Distance Validity: Distance recorded by GPS was compared with known circuit distances in a 400-m running trial, a 128.5-m sports-specific circuit, and a 20-m linear running trial.

Distance Bias:
400-m trial: 1.99 ± 1.81%
128.5-m circuit: 2.7 ± 1.2%
20-m trial: 1.26 ± 1.04%
Peak Speed:
GPS: 26.3 ± 2.4 km/h
Criterion: 26.1 ± 2.6 km/h
Bias: 1.80 ± 1.93%

The GPS did not underestimate the criterion distance in any of the trials, including the 400-m trial, 128.5-m circuit, and 20-m trial, as well as peak speed.
Small errors (less than 5%) were found for peak speed and distances.
The study supported the validity and reliability of the GPS model used.

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