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The discriminant validity of standardised testing battery and its ability to differentiate anthropometric and physical characteristics between youth, academy and senior professional rugby league players.

Dobbin, Nicholas and Highton, Jamie and Moss, Samantha and Twist, Craig (2019) The discriminant validity of standardised testing battery and its ability to differentiate anthropometric and physical characteristics between youth, academy and senior professional rugby league players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. ISSN 1555-0273

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Abstract

Purpose: To assess a standardised testing battery’s ability to differentiate anthropometric and 2 physical qualities between youth, academy and senior rugby league players, and determine the 3 discriminant validity of the battery. 4 Methods: A total of 729 rugby league players from multiple clubs within England categorised 5 as youth (n = 235), academy (n = 362) and senior (n = 132) players completed a standardised 6 testing battery that included the assessment of anthropometric and physical characteristics 7 during preseason. Data was analysed using magnitude-based inferences and discriminant 8 analysis. 9 Results: Academy players were most likely taller and heavier than youth players (effect size 10 (ES) = 0.64 to 1.21), with possibly to most likely superior CMJ, medicine ball throw and prone 11 Yo-Yo IR1 performance (ES = 0.23 to 1.00). Senior players were likely to most likely taller 12 and heavier (ES = 0.32 to 1.84), with possibly to most likely superior 10 and 20 m sprint times, 13 CMJ, CoD, medicine ball throw and prone Yo-Yo IR1 compared to youth and academy (ES = 14 -0.60 to 2.06). The magnitude of difference appeared to be influenced by playing position. For 15 the most part, the battery possessed discriminant validity with an accuracy of 72.2%. 16 Conclusion: The standardised testing battery differentiates anthropometric and physical 17 qualities of youth, academy and senior players as a group and, in most instances, within 18 positional groups. Furthermore, the battery is able to discriminate between playing standards 19 with good accuracy and might be included in future assessments and rugby league talent 20 identification.

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