McLellan, CP, Lovell, DI, and Gass, GC. The role of rate of force development on vertical jump performance. J Strength Cond Res 25(2): 379-385, 2011-The purpose of this study was to examine a) the relationship between rate of force development (RFD) and vertical jump (VJ) performance during a counter movement jump (CMJ), and b) the reliability of RFD recorded during the CMJ and squat jump (SJ) forms of the VJ. Twenty-three physically active men aged 23 ± 3.9 years participated in the study. Subjects completed 3 unloaded CMJ and 3 unloaded SJ in random order on a force plate. The RFD was measured during CMJ and SJ movements with vertical jump displacement (VJD) measured simultaneously during the CMJ only. Subjects incorporated arm swing to their CMJ technique to reach up as high as possible, and VJD was measured. All SJ were executed with both hands on the hips throughout the full range of movement. Peak rate of force development (PRFD), peak force (PF), and time to peak force (TPF) were significantly correlated to VJD during the CMJ (r = 0.68, r = 0.51, and r = −0.48, respectively). The RFD and TPF during the CMJ and SJ were associated with low test-retest reliability (coefficient of variation [CV]: 11.8-7.9%). Peak and average power, PF, and VJD produced high test-retest reliability (CV: 2.8-5.1%) during both the CMJ and SJ movements. Our results indicate that PRFD, a measure of explosive strength, and PF, a measure of maximal strength, are the primary contributors to VJD during the CMJ in physically active men. However, caution must be used when interpreting data using PRFD because of its low retest reliability.