Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 675 - 680

Research article
Inter-Rater Reliability and Validity of the Australian Football League’s Kicking and Handball Tests
Ashley J. Cripps1, , Luke S. Hopper2, Christopher Joyce1
Author Information
1 School of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Australia
2 WA Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley, WA, Australia

Ashley J. Cripps
✉ School of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Australia
Publish Date
Received: 17-04-2015
Accepted: 14-07-2015
Published (online): 11-08-2015
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Talent identification tests used at the Australian Football League’s National Draft Combine assess the capacities of athletes to compete at a professional level. Tests created for the National Draft Combine are also commonly used for talent identification and athlete development in development pathways. The skills tests created by the Australian Football League required players to either handball (striking the ball with the hand) or kick to a series of 6 randomly generated targets. Assessors subjectively rate each skill execution giving a 0-5 score for each disposal. This study aimed to investigate the inter-rater reliability and validity of the skills tests at an adolescent sub-elite level. Male Australian footballers were recruited from sub-elite adolescent teams (n = 121, age = 15.7 ± 0.3 years, height = 1.77 ± 0.07 m, mass = 69.17 ± 8.08 kg). The coaches (n = 7) of each team were also recruited. Inter-rater reliability was assessed using Inter-class correlations (ICC) and Limits of Agreement statistics. Both the kicking (ICC = 0.96, p < .01) and handball tests (ICC = 0.89, p < .01) demonstrated strong reliability and acceptable levels of absolute agreement. Content validity was determined by examining the test scores sensitivity to laterality and distance. Concurrent validity was assessed by comparing coaches’ perceptions of skill to actual test outcomes. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) examined the main effect of laterality, with scores on the dominant hand (p = .04) and foot (p < .01) significantly higher compared to the non-dominant side. Follow-up univariate analysis reported significant differences at every distance in the kicking test. A poor correlation was found between coaches’ perceptions of skill and testing outcomes. The results of this study demonstrate both skill tests demonstrate acceptable inter-rater reliable. Partial content validity was confirmed for the kicking test, however further research is required to confirm validity of the handball test.

Key words: Talent identification, skills test, coaches perceptions

           Key Points
  • The skill tests created by the AFL demonstrated acceptable levels of relative and absolute inter-rater reliability.
  • Both the AFL’s skills tests are able to differentiate between athletes dominant and non-dominant limbs. However, only the kicking test could consistently differentiated between score outcomes over a range of Australian Football specific disposal distances.
  • Both tests demonstrated poor concurrent validity, with no correlation found between coaches’ perceptions of technical skills and actual skill outcomes measured.
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