European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 115, Issue 12, pp 2531–2542 | Cite as

The reliability, validity and sensitivity of a novel soccer-specific reactive repeated-sprint test (RRST)

  • Michele Di Mascio
  • Jack Ade
  • Paul S. Bradley
Original Article



The aim of this study was to determine the reliability, validity and sensitivity of a reactive repeated-sprint test (RRST).


Elite (n = 72) and sub-elite male (n = 87) and elite female soccer players (n = 12) completed the RRST at set times during a season. Total distance timed was 30 m and the RRST performance measure was the total time (s) across eight repetitions. Competitive match running performance was measured using GPS and high-intensity running quantified (≥19.8 km h−1).


Test–retest coefficient of variation in elite U16 and sub-elite U19 players was 0.71 and 0.84 %, respectively. Elite U18 players’ RRST performances were better (P < 0.01) than elite U16, sub-elite U16, U18, U19 and elite senior female players (58.25 ± 1.34 vs 59.97 ± 1.64, 61.42 ± 2.25, 61.66 ± 1.70, 61.02 ± 2.31 and 63.88 ± 1.46 s; ES 0.6–1.9). For elite U18 players, RRST performances for central defenders (59.84 ± 1.35 s) were lower (P < 0.05) than full backs (57.85 ± 0.77 s), but not attackers (58.17 ± 1.73 s) or central and wide midfielders (58.55 ± 1.08 and 58.58 ± 1.89 s; ES 0.7–1.4). Elite U16 players demonstrated lower (P < 0.01) RRST performances during the preparation period versus the start, middle and end of season periods (61.13 ± 1.53 vs 59.51 ± 1.39, 59.25 ± 1.42 and 59.20 ± 1.57 s; ES 1.0–1.1). Very large magnitude correlations (P < 0.01) were observed between RRST performance and high-intensity running in the most intense 5-min period of a match for both elite and sub-elite U18 players (r = −0.71 and −0.74), with the best time of the RRST also correlating with the arrowhead agility test for elite U16 and U18 players (r = 0.84 and 0.75).


The data demonstrate that the RRST is a reliable and valid test that distinguishes between performance across standard, position and seasonal period.


Football High-intensity Intense periods Fitness testing 



Analysis of variance


Bangsbo sprint test


Best time


Blood lactate concentration


Coefficient of variation


Effect size


Global positioning system


Heart rate


Heart rate maximum


Horizontal dilution of precision


Microelectromechanical system


Reactive repeated-sprint test


Repeated sprint ability


Smallest worthwhile change


Typical error of measurement

Yo–Yo IR1

Yo–Yo intermittent recovery test level 1

Yo–Yo IE2

Yo–Yo intermittent endurance test level 2



The University of Sunderland and Sunderland College for their help in funding Michele Di Mascio’s PhD.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Di Mascio
    • 1
  • Jack Ade
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul S. Bradley
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of SunderlandSunderlandUK
  2. 2.Medical DepartmentNewcastle United Football ClubNewcastle upon TyneUK
  3. 3.Carnegie School of SportLeeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK

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