Illinois Agility Test Procedure and Normative Data
By Carlos Reyes PT, DPT, SCS, MS, CSCS
Field tests are widely used to determine performance characteristics of athletes in many different sports. The Illinois Agility Test was designed to test motor ability such as running and dodging agility in athletes. Distinct characteristics of the Illinois Agility Test includes a prone start position followed by a quick transition to standing and running through multidirectional obstacles. The Illinois Agility Test has been used in a variety of sports to measure multidirectional agility.1
The ability to repeat sprint and change of direction in response to a stimulus is key to performance for field or court sports.3 The Illinois Agility Test is a timed test involving straight sprinting and multiple direction changes around obstacles which closely resembles movement patterns of team sports such as soccer, rugby, handball, and American football. The change of direction Illinois Agility Test was reported to have high reliability and validity for team sports.2
The Illinois Agility Test has established normative values that can be used to compare athlete to athlete or track performance improvements within an athlete. Qualitative observations may be recorded for additional evaluation however the purpose of the test is to measure the time it takes to complete. The Illinois Agility Test can be used as an assessment tool during return to play decisions to determine if athlete is able to complete without symptoms or difficulty. The resultant completion time can then be compared to normative values as reference data for clinicians and other fitness professionals who work with this population.2
Illinois Agility Test Procedure:
The length of the course is 10m and the width is 5m where four cones are used to mark the start, finish, and the two turning points. Four more cones are placed down the center an equal distance apart (spaced 3.3m apart).
- The athlete lies on their stomach with their chin touching the starting line; with a light sensor or verbal command to initiate the test
- After signal or “Go” command, athlete will move from the prone position to sprint to the first cone 10m forward
- Athletes were then instructed to touch line with foot and sprint back to the first center cone
- The athlete will then weave up and back through the center cones without touching the cones
- Following the last center cone, athlete will then sprint forward 10m and return as quickly as possible through the finish line
- The time completed is recorded in seconds and each athlete is required to touch the line with their foot as they transition between the change of direction
- Repeat test is athlete failed to run the course as instructed, failed to reach the end lines with foot, or moved any cones
Illinois Agility Test Normative Data
Illinois Agility Test Normative values for 14 to 16-years-old students
Normative data for the Illinois Agility Test for 16 to 19 year olds
18-40 Year Old Service Members 18.26 ± 1.04 seconds (Range 16.28-22.17) (Raya 2013)
Male sports sciences students (n=105) 16.30 ± 0.77 (Hachana 2013)
What is the reliability of the Illinois Agility Test?
Male team sports (n=89) test-retest (different day) ICC = 0.96 (0.85-0.98)1
Military service men (n=97) test retest ICC = 0.68 (0.55–0.78), interrater ICC =0.99 (0.98–0.99)6
Semi-professional rugby players (n=66) within day ICC = 0.867
What is the Minimal Detectable Change (MDC) of the Ilinois Agility Test?
The MDC of the Illinois Agility Test in service members is 1.8 seconds (Raya 2013), in male team sports (Hachana 2013)
What is the Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) of the Illinois Agility Test?
The SEM of the Illinois Agility Test is 0.65 seconds in service members (Raya 2013), 0.52 seconds in male team sports (Hachana 2013)
1. Hachana, Younes, et al. “Test-Retest Reliability, Criterion-Related Validity, and Minimal Detectable Change of the Illinois Agility Test in Male Team Sport Athletes.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 27, no. 10, 2013, pp. 2752–2759., https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e3182890ac3.
2. Raya, Michele A., et al. “Comparison of Three Agility Tests with Male Servicemembers: Edgren Side Step Test, T-Test, and Illinois Agility Test.” Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, vol. 50, no. 7, 2013, pp. 951–960., https://doi.org/10.1682/jrrd.2012.05.0096.
3. Roozen, M. (2004). Illinois agility test. NSCA’s Performance Training Journal 3(5), 5-6.
4. Select, Kinetic. “Assessing Agility Using the T Test, 5-10-5 Shuttle, and Illinois Test.” NSCA, National Strength and Conditioning, May 2017, http://www.nsca.org/.
5. Zlatev, Boyan, and Vihren Batchev. “Investigation on the Agility Skill at 14-to 16-Year-Old Students by Illinois Agility Test.” 2019, https://doi.org/10.37393/icass2019/82.
6. Raya MA, Gailey RS, Gaunaurd IA, Jayne DM, Campbell SM, Gagne E, Manrique PG, Muller DG, Tucker C. Comparison of three agility tests with male servicemembers: Edgren Side Step Test, T-Test, and Illinois Agility Test. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(7):951-60. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2012.05.0096. PMID: 24301432.
7. Gabbett T. J., “Influence of physiological characteristics on selection in a semi-professional first grade rugby league team: a case study.,” J. Sports Sci., vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 399–405, 2002. 10.1080/026404102317366654
About the Author
Carlos Reyes PT, DPT, SCS, MS, CSCS
Carlos is a sport clinical specialist in physical therapy who works with many individuals of varying age and skill level in sports and general fitness. Carlos also has a graduate degree in Exercise Science and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Currently, he is faculty at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences and Evidence in Motion and owns his own practice -- Reyes Performance Institute.
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