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Technical Report

Validity and Test-Retest Reliability of the TIVRE-Basket Test for the Determination of Aerobic Power in Elite Male Basketball Players

Vaquera, Alejandro1,2; Villa, Jose G.1; Morante, Juan C.1; Thomas, Gavin2; Renfree, Andrew J.2; Peters, Derek M.2,3

Author Information
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: February 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 584-587
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001078
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It is widely recognized that field-based tests for sports-relevant physical fitness need to be sport specific, engaging for participants, capable of use with multiple players simultaneously, and practical yet incorporate acceptable levels of both validity and reliability.

The TIVRE-Basket test has been proposed as a sport-specific, court-based, multiple player method of assessing maximal aerobic power in high-level basketball players (7,8). Although the nature of typical match play would suggest that the aerobic energy system is highly active throughout games, previously reported aerobic power values for basketball players have typically been estimated from nonbasketball-specific tests (6). As such, sport-specific aerobic power in basketball players has yet to be determined, and clearly, this supports the need for the development and testing of a test such as the TIVRE-Basket. Until sport-specific aerobic power can be more accurately determined, analysis of the relationship between basketball-specific V[Combining Dot Above]O2 and other clearly basketball-specific parameters such as vertical jump ability cannot be explored with any degree of certainty. The TIVRE-Basket test is currently being used by a number of coaches and teams in Europe, its procedures are publicly available, and its use is widely evident in online forums, for example, and

Despite such widespread popularity, there is no published research available to confirm its criterion validity or test-retest reliability. The aims of this technical report therefore were (a) to determine the ability of the distance covered on the TIVRE-Basket test to predict directly measured peak aerobic power (criterion validity) and (b) to examine the test-retest reliability of both predicted peak aerobic power and distance covered during the TIVRE-Basket test in elite male basketball players.


Experimental Approach to the Problem

This study consisted of 2 parts and sought to evaluate the criterion validity and test-retest reliability of the TIVRE-Basket test. Validity of the test was determined by comparison of distance covered during the test with directly measured V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak in 36 professional male basketball players. These data were then used to generate a regression equation describing the relationship between these variables. Test-retest reliability was assessed through determination of the agreement between both distance covered and predicted V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak in 20 professional male basketball players who completed the test on 2 occasions after an initial familiarization.


All participants in both parts of the study were professional male basketball players currently competing in either the ACB League (Aim 1) or the LEB Division (Aim 2). All procedures were conducted in accordance with approval of the Human Ethics Committee of Leon University and in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration. All participants completed a preparticipation general health screening questionnaire and provided written informed consent.


The TIVRE-Basket test is conducted on a full-sized basketball court. Participants are required to run around the cones set out at 8-m intervals on a basketball court (Figure 1) at a speed determined by an audio pacer programme run through a laptop computer. Participants are instructed to arrive at each cone in time with audible “beep.” If a participant is judged by an observer to have failed to reach the cone on or before the beep on 3 consecutive occasions, they are withdrawn from the test. The test starts at an initial running speed of 7.8 km·h−1, with speed increased by 0.6 km·h−1 between consecutive stages. A stage consists of 3 laps of the 96-m circuit followed by 30 seconds of active recovery. The next stage is then initiated by a beep, and the participants are required to complete the next circuits in the opposite direction. Total distance completed (in 8-m increments) is recorded for each participant at the end of the test.

Figure 1:
Structure of the TIVRE-Basket test.

Aim 1: Relationship Between TIVRE-Basket and Peak V[Combining Dot Above]O2

Thirty-six male professional basketball players (mean ± SD; age: 25.2 ± 4.7 years, weight: 94.1 ± 11.4 kg, height: 195.83 ± 9.6 cm) from the Spanish ACB League completed a graded treadmill exercise test and the TIVRE-Basket test within a maximum of 72 hours.

Testing for both studies presented in this report was conducted during the competitive period when participants trained for 10–14 hours (8–10 hours of technical-tactical sessions, plus 2–4 hours of physical training sessions) and played 1 or 2 competitive matches per week. Training load was reduced on the day preceding each test, which was performed between 12.00 and 2.00 PM. Participants were advised to follow their normal pretraining dietary and hydration practices.

The graded exercise test was performed on a motorized treadmill (PowerJog M30), set at a 1% gradient (4). Participants started running at an initial speed of 6 km·h−1, which was increased incrementally by 0.5 km·h−1 every 30 seconds until volitional exhaustion. During the test, breath-by-breath respiratory gas exchange parameters were analyzed using the Oxycon Alpha system (Jaeger, Wurzburg, Germany), and the measurement of expired gas volumes was performed using a Hans Rudolph pneumotachograph (Model 3800; Shawnee, KS, USA). V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak was taken as being the highest recorded V[Combining Dot Above]O2 in the final 2 minutes of exercise (5).

Statistical Analyses

The relationship between TIVRE-Basket distance covered (in meters) and V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak was investigated using Pearson's correlation, and a linear regression equation was then produced using the entry method with TIVRE-Basket distance covered (in meters), age, height, weight, and a constant used to predict V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak.

Aim 2: Test-Retest Reliability

Reliability of the TIVRE-Basket test was determined through assessment of the agreement between the distance covered and the V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak from the previously developed prediction equation results generated in consecutive performances of the test. After an initial familiarization trial, 20 male basketball players who competed in the Spanish LEB division and who had not been included in the development of the prediction equation performed the test on 2 occasions separated by no more than 18 days (mean ± SD; age: 26.7 ± 4.2 years, height: 1.94 ± 0.92 cm, weight: 94.0 ± 9.1 kg).

Statistical Analyses

Differences in performance and predicted variables generated between repeated performances of the test were assessed using a t-test for repeated measures using Graphpad Prism 6 software. Reliability of variables was determined using the Spreadsheet for Calculating Reliability (3). Trial-to-trial reproducibility was determined through calculation of the mean difference with 90% confidence limits. Also calculated was the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), and an ICC of greater than 0.90 was considered to be high, of between 0.80 and 0.89 was considered moderate, and below 0.80 was considered questionable (9). The degree of measurement error was expressed as the standardized typical error of the estimate. Log-transformed data were also used to generate a CV for each parameter. Individual data points and mean bias between trials are presented by Bland-Altman plots.


Aim 1

Mean distance recorded during the TIVRE-Basket test was 4001.8 ± 176.4 m and mean V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak was 54.7 ± 2.8 ml·kg−1·min−1. The correlation between the 2 parameters was r = 0.824 (p ≤ 0.001), and because of their relatively normal distribution, linear regression analysis was deemed appropriate. Entry method linear regression analysis identified TIVRE-Basket distance (in meters) as the only unique predictor of V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak in a single variable plus constant model, generating the following prediction equation: V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak = 2.595 + (0.13 × TIVRE-Basket distance [in meters]).

Performance on the TIVRE-Basket test accounted for 67.8% of the variance in V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak (t = 8.466, p ≤ 0.001, 95% confidence interval: 0.01–0.016, SEE: 1.61).

Aim 2

There was no significant difference in the total distance covered in the 2 consecutive trials (trial 1: 4138.8 ± 677.3 m, trial 2: 4188.0 ± 648.8 m) (t = 0.5798, p = 0.5688). The mean difference between the trials was 49.2 ± 399.5 m (Figure 2), and an ICC of 0.85 suggested a moderate level of reliability. Standardized typical error of measurement was 0.88%, also representing a moderate degree of trial-to-trial error, whereas the CV was 6.3%.

Figure 2:
Bland-Altman plot of the differences in total distance covered (in meters) between test 1 and test 2.

There was no significant difference in predicted V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak between the 2 tests (test 1: 56.4 ± 8.8 ml·kg−1·min−1, test 2: 57.0 ± 8.4 ml·kg−1·min−1) (t = 0.5704, p = 0.5751). Mean difference between trials was 0.60 ± 4.90 ml·kg−1·min−1 (Figure 3), and an ICC of 0.85 for predicted V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak also suggests a moderate level of reliability. Standardized typical error of measurement was 0.88%, again representing a moderate degree of trial-to-trial error, whereas the CV was 6.9%.

Figure 3:
Bland-Altman plot of the differences in predicted V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak (ml·kg−1·min−1) between test 1 and test 2.


The validity and test-retest reliability statistics determined for the TIVRE-Basket test in this study were found to be better than statistical findings presented for more commonly used field tests of aerobic power in basketball athletes, for example, the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test correlating with treadmill determined V[Combining Dot Above]O2 peak r = 0.77 with 59% shared variance (1) and another recently proposed test in soccer players, for example, peak velocity in the Carminatti's test was only moderately correlated (r = 0.52) with treadmill determined V[Combining Dot Above]O2 max (2).

It is therefore concluded that the TIVRE-Basket test represents a better more valid and reliable sport-specific court-based individual and multiplayer test of aerobic power for use with elite-level male basketball players than is currently available. Future research is required to investigate if the TIVRE-Basket is valid and reliable in assessing aerobic power in other basketball populations such as females, across different age groups, at different levels of competition and in different forms of the game, for example, wheelchair basketball.

Practical Applications

The TIVRE-Basket is a valid and reliable test for the assessment of aerobic fitness parameters in professional male basketball players. Performance of the test can be performed on a standard basketball court and allows testing of multiple players simultaneously.


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field testing; team sports; sport-specific; peak V[Combining Dot Above]O2; fitness

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