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30-metre Acceleration Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to consider the factors influencing the results.


The test aims to monitor the development of the athlete's ability to effectively and efficiently build up acceleration from a standing start or from starting blocks to maximum speed.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • Flat non-slip surface
  • Stopwatch
  • An assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to sprint as fast as possible over 30 metres.

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes.
  • The assistant marks out a 30-metre straight section with cones.
  • The athlete starts in their own time and sprints as fast as possible over the 30 metres.
  • The assistant starts the stopwatch on the athlete's 1st foot strike after starting and stopping the stopwatch as the athlete's torso crosses the finish line.
  • The test is conducted 3 times.
  • The assistant uses the fastest recorded time to assess the athlete's performance.


The following normative data is available for this test:

Gender Excellent Above Average Average Below Average Poor
Male <4.0 secs 4.0 - 4.2 secs 4.3 - 4.4 secs 4.5 - 4.6 secs >4.6 secs
Female <4.5 secs 4.5 - 4.6 secs 4.7 - 4.8 secs 4.9 - 5.0 secs >5.0 secs

Table adapted from Davis et al. (2000) [2]

For an evaluation of the athlete's performance, select the gender, enter the 30 metres acceleration test time and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Gender   Time secs     Assessment

Sprint time predictions

From the result of the 30 metres acceleration test, it is possible to predict potential times for the 60 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres. Enter the 30 metres acceleration test time and then select the "Calculate" button.

Time secs     60m time secs   100m time secs   200m time secs

Predictions are based on controls for 100/200m athletes (Dick 1987)[1]


Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's acceleration.

Target Group

This test is suitable for sprinters but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strictly the test is conducted and the individual's motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors influencing the results and, therefore, the test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful.

The test provides a guide to the athlete's potential future performance, and a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development.

There are published tables (Dick 1987)[1] to relate results to potential performance in a competition (60 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres), and the correlation is high with experienced athletes.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted indoors or outdoors


  • Assistant required to administer the test

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  1. DICK, F. (1987) Sprints and Relays. 5th ed. London, BAAB, p. 22
  2. DAVIS, B. et al. (2000) Physical Education and the Study of Sport. UK: London, Harcourt Publishers Ltd. p. 125 Table 4.6

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (1995) 30 metre Acceleration Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed