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Validity and Reliability of Optojump Photoelectric Cells for Estimating Vertical Jump Height

Glatthorn, Julia F1; Gouge, Sylvain2; Nussbaumer, Silvio1; Stauffacher, Simone1; Impellizzeri, Franco M1; Maffiuletti, Nicola A1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - pp 556-560
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181ccb18d
Technical Report

Glatthorn, JF, Gouge, S, Nussbaumer, S, Stauffacher, S, Impellizzeri, FM, and Maffiuletti, NA. Validity and reliability of Optojump photoelectric cells for estimating vertical jump height. J Strength Cond Res 25(2): 556-560, 2011-Vertical jump is one of the most prevalent acts performed in several sport activities. It is therefore important to ensure that the measurements of vertical jump height made as a part of research or athlete support work have adequate validity and reliability. The aim of this study was to evaluate concurrent validity and reliability of the Optojump photocell system (Microgate, Bolzano, Italy) with force plate measurements for estimating vertical jump height. Twenty subjects were asked to perform maximal squat jumps and countermovement jumps, and flight time-derived jump heights obtained by the force plate were compared with those provided by Optojump, to examine its concurrent (criterion-related) validity (study 1). Twenty other subjects completed the same jump series on 2 different occasions (separated by 1 week), and jump heights of session 1 were compared with session 2, to investigate test-retest reliability of the Optojump system (study 2). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for validity were very high (0.997-0.998), even if a systematic difference was consistently observed between force plate and Optojump (−1.06 cm; p < 0.001). Test-retest reliability of the Optojump system was excellent, with ICCs ranging from 0.982 to 0.989, low coefficients of variation (2.7%), and low random errors (±2.81 cm). The Optojump photocell system demonstrated strong concurrent validity and excellent test-retest reliability for the estimation of vertical jump height. We propose the following equation that allows force plate and Optojump results to be used interchangeably: force plate jump height (cm) = 1.02 × Optojump jump height + 0.29. In conclusion, the use of Optojump photoelectric cells is legitimate for field-based assessments of vertical jump height.

1Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland; and 2Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France

Address correspondence to Julia F. Glatthorn,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association