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Validity and Reliability of a Light-Based Electronic Target for Testing Response Time in Fencers

De Giorgio, Andrea1; Iuliano, Enzo1; Turner, Anthony2; Millevolte, Carlo1; Cular, Drazen3; Ardigò, Luca P.4; Padulo, Johnny1,3,5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 18, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003160
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De Giorgio, A, Iuliano, E, Turner, A, Millevolte, C, Cular, D, Ardigò, LP, and Padulo, J. Validity and reliability of a light-based electronic target for testing response time in fencers. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2019—Response time (RT) is a fencing fundamental sensorimotor skill. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to examine the efficacy of a light-based electronic target in fencers, designed to measure and train this entity. Ninety-five fencers (M = 53; F = 42) were tested in regard to their RT, using a light-based electronic target, for 3 different attack types: simple attack, the lunge, and an attack after a 1.5-m thrust. All subjects were divided into elite vs. novice fencers. Elite fencers had national and international rankings, and were again divided with regard to used weapon: épéeists (n = 32; M = 19; F = 13) and foilists (n = 30; M = 13; F = 17). Measurement was evaluated for validity/reliability, sensitivity/specificity, and correlation. Reliability was high for all attack types (intraclass correlation coefficient 0.94–0.96). Lower RTs were found in males for 2 attack types with good sensitivity (81–93%)/specificity (50–91%) for all attack types. Elite fencers responded faster than novice fencers for all attack types (p < 0.001), whereas elite males were faster than females for 2 attack types (p < 0.01). Lower RTs in females correlated with level for one attack type (r = 0.797, p < 0.05). In conclusion, the light-based electronic target system was found to be highly reliable and therefore could be used by fencing athletes as a further measure of performance.

1Department of Psychology, eCampus University, Novedrate, Italy;

2London Sport Institute, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom;

3Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia;

4Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, School of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Verona, Verona, Italy; and

5Sport Performance Lab, University of Split, Split, Croatia

Address correspondence to Dr. Luca P. Ardigò, luca.ardigo@univr.it.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.