Variability of GPS Units for Measuring Distance in Team Sport Movements

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Jennings, Denise, Cormack, Stuart, Coutts, Aaron, Boyd, Luke and Aughey, Robert ORCID: 0000-0002-0285-8516 (2010) Variability of GPS Units for Measuring Distance in Team Sport Movements. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 5 (4). pp. 565-569. ISSN 1555-0265


Purpose: To examine the difference in distance measured by two global positioning system (GPS) units of the same model worn by the same player while performing movements common to team sports. Methods: Twenty elite Australian football players completed two trials of the straight line movement (10, 20, 40 m) at four speeds (walk, jog, stride, sprint), two trials of the changes of direction (COD) courses of two different frequencies (gradual and tight), and five trials of a team sport running simulation circuit. To assess inter-unit variability for total and high intensity running (HIR) distance measured in matches, data from eight field players were collected in three Australian Hockey League (AHL) matches during the 2009 season. Each subject wore two GPS devices (MinimaxX v2.5, Catapult, Australia) that collected position data at 5 Hz for each movement and match trial. The percentage difference ±90% confidence interval (CI) was used to determine differences between units. Results: Differences (±90% CI) between the units ranged from 9.9 ± 4.7% to 11.9 ± 19.5% for straight line running movements and from 9.5 ± 7.2% to 10.7 ± 7.9% in the COD courses. Similar results were exhibited in the team sport circuit (11.1 ± 4.2%). Total distance (10.3 ± 6.2%) and HIR distance (10.3 ± 15.6) measured during the match play displayed similar variability. Conclusion: It is recommended that players wear the same GPS unit for each exercise session to reduce measurement error. The level of between-unit measurement error should be considered when comparing results from players wearing different GPS units.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1123/ijspp.5.4.565
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > SEO Classification > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Keywords ResPubID20368, GPS, variability, precision
Citations in Scopus 124 - View on Scopus
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