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The Validity of a Global Navigation Satellite System for Quantifying Small-Area Team-Sport Movements

Delaney, Jace A.1; Wileman, Taylor M.2; Perry, Nicholas J.2; Thornton, Heidi R.3; Moresi, Mark P.2; Duthie, Grant M.2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: June 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 6 - p 1463–1466
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003157
Technical Report

Delaney, JA, Wileman, TM, Perry, NJ, Thornton, HR, Moresi, MP, and Duthie, GM. The validity of a global navigation satellite system for quantifying small-area team-sport movements. J Strength Cond Res 33(6): 1463–1466, 2019—The recent development of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) has improved the availability and signal strength of surrounding satellites compared with traditional global positioning systems, although their ability to quantify rapid changes in speed may still be limited. This study aimed to evaluate the validity of GNSS to quantify the mean speed (m·s−1) and acceleration (m·s−2) of movements typical to team sports. One participant completed 9 periods of 4 minutes of activity, separated by 2-minute rest periods, which involved walking, jogging, and running in a variety of directions and patterns, aimed to simulate a team-sport movement profile. Speed and acceleration were quantified from a 10-Hz GNSS unit and compared with a 10-camera, 3-dimensional motion capture system (VICON), from which the movement of both the participant's center of mass (COM) and the location of the GNSS unit (e.g., C7 vertebrae) were calculated. Practical estimates of speed were associated with small differences from both the criterion COM (effect size; ±90% confidence limits = 0.19–0.25; ± ∼0.21) and criterion C7 (0.14–0.22; ± ∼0.13). The corresponding estimates of acceleration derived from raw data were classified as small (0.16–0.22; ± ∼0.15) and small to moderate (0.25–0.35; ± ∼0.24) for the COM and C7, respectively. Software-exported acceleration values exhibited very large mean bias compared with both criterion measures (−3.81 to −3.77; ± ∼0.24). This study demonstrates that 10-Hz GNSS possess acceptable validity for assessing the average demands of movements typical of team-sports training and competition, although caution is recommended when using software-exported measures of acceleration.

1University of Oregon Athletics Department, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon;

2School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia; and

3La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Center, La Trobe University Bundoora Campus, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Address correspondence to Jace A. Delaney,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.