Linear Sprint Testing Methods in Gaelic Games: A Systematic Review

Eddie McGuinness, Mark Lyons, Kris Beattie, Aoife Lane, Clement Higginbotham, Robin Healy


Background: The most common method used to monitor acceleration and maximum sprinting speed performance is via a linear sprint test. When conducting linear sprint monitoring it is important to ensure the relevant methodologies are all considered and standardised to ensure valid and reliable results. Objectives: The aims of this review are 1) to systematically search the Gaelic games literature and identify studies that have assessed linear sprint performance, 2) to report the methodological variables employed in each study, and 3) to report normative values for linear sprint performance. Methods: This systematic review searched for literature in five databases. Key details (i.e., playing standard, timing technology, split times over various distances), were extracted. A methodological reporting rating tool was created to grade each study. Results: Twenty-two studies; one in camogie, twelve in hurling and ten in men’s Gaelic football were included. No study monitoring ladies Gaelic football was identified. Sprint times over 10 m ranged from 1.71 ± 0.08 to 2.11 ± 0.77 s between hurlers and men’s Gaelic footballers. The mean rating for methodological reporting was 42%. All included studies failed to report some key methodological variables. Conclusions: This review highlights the importance of utilising and reporting the methods used to conduct accurate sprint performance monitoring across time and allow comparison between studies. The methodological rating tool can be used by practitioners as a ‘checklist’ to ensure sprint monitoring is conducted in a valid and reliable manner. Future research should seek to examine linear sprint performance in ladies Gaelic football.


Gaelic football, Hurling, Camogie, Speed, Monitoring, Sprint Performance

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