The use of skill tests to predict status in junior Australian football
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
This study examined whether skill tests were predictive of status in junior Australian football. Players were recruited from the 2013 under 18 (U18) West Australian Football League competition and classified into two groups: elite (state U18 squad representative; n = 25; 17.9 ± 0.5 years) and subelite (nonstate U18 squad representative; n = 25; 17.3 ± 0.6 years). Both groups completed the Australian football kicking (AFK) and Australian football handballing (AFHB) tests, assessing kicking accuracy/ball speed and handballing accuracy on dominant and nondominant sides. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) modelled the main effect of “status”, whilst logistic regression models were built for the predictive analysis using the same test parameters. Between-group differences were noted across all parameters, with the combination of kicking accuracy and ball speed on the dominant and nondominant sides being the best predictor of status for the AFK test (wi = 0.25, AUC = 89.4%) and the combination of accuracy on the dominant and nondominant sides being the best predictor of status for the AFHB test (wi = 0.80, AUC = 88.4%). The AFK and AFHB tests are predictive of status, suggesting that their use is warranted as a means of talent identification in junior Australian football.