The validity, objectivity, and reliability of a soccer-specific behaviour measurement tool

Nathan M. Cobb, Viswanath Unnithan, Allistair P. McRobert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: The purpose of the study was to assess the validity, objectivity, and reliability of a Soccer-Specific Behaviour Measurement Tool (S-SBMT) in relation to the soccer philosophy of a Category One Premier League soccer academy. 

Methods: A 30 minute, 8 vs. 8 small-sided game (SSG), played by the U12 squad of the participating academy was used for analyses. Validity was ensured through formulating the S-SBMT definitions with experienced soccer coaches from the same soccer academy. Percentage agreement with a reference value of ±1, 95% Confidence Intervals, median sign and Yule’s Q were used to assess objectivity and reliability. 

Results: High levels of objectivity were found for the number of passes (98.8% agreement), runs with the ball (97.5% agreement), and goal attempts (100. Reduced objectivity was apparent for forward zonal transitions (75.3, along with tackles (70.4, interceptions, (63, and loose balls (48.1. Reliability was tested after 1- and 4-weeks, with levels of percentage agreement found to be above the 85% acceptable threshold for most behaviours (passing = 95.1 runs with the ball = 92.6 goal attempts = 100 tackles = 100. 

Conclusions: The study demonstrated acceptable objectivity and reliability for S-SBMT behaviours and these findings demonstrate the potential utility of the S-SBMT in monitoring technical actions in a Category One Premier League soccer academy, and a methodological process for other academies to follow in ensuring the quality of performance data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2018


  • Soccer
  • analysis
  • validity
  • objectivity
  • reliability


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