Discriminative validity of a novel, high-intensity, netball-specific circuit test in elite female netball players
Limited dedicated field-tests exist assessing sport-specific qualities in netball. This study aimed to determine the discriminative validity of a novel, high-intensity, netball-specific fitness test. Fourteen female netball players from the same team participated, consisting of seven players with international experience and seven players with national experience only. All players completed the Net-Test, which closely replicates movement patterns experienced during modern netball game-play. Performance times, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion were compared between international- and national-level players to assess discriminative validity. International-level players exhibited a significantly faster defensive shuffle time (p=0.001, effect size (ES)= -2.49, very large, very likely lower), superior total time (ES=-1.11, moderate, very likely lower), and quicker sidestep shuffle (ES=-0.89, moderate, likely lower) and dodge (ES=-0.88, moderate, possibly lower) times compared to national-level players. Differences in other performance times, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion were unclear or possibly to very likely similar. The discriminative sensitivity for specific outcome measures supports the use of the Net-Test to select players into team squads, monitor progress in players aiming to compete at elite playing level and identify players with requisite qualities likely to benefit from further training.
Keywords: Assessment; Team sport; Netball; Selection; Field-test; Court