Validity and reliability of GPS for measuring distance travelled in field-based team sports

  • Gray A
  • Jenkins D
  • Andrews M
 et al. 
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The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of movement intensity and path linearity on global positioning system (GPS) distance validity and reliability. One participant wore eight 1-Hz GPS receivers while walking, jogging, running, and sprinting over linear and non-linear 200-m courses. Five trials were performed at each intensity of movement on each 200-m course. One receiver was excluded from analysis due to errors during data collection. The results from seven GPS receivers showed the mean (+s) and percent bias of the GPS distance values on the 200-m linear course were 205.8+2.4 m (2.8%), 201.8+2.8 m (0.8%), 203.1+2.2 m (1.5%), and 205.2+4 m (2.5%) for the walk, jog, run, and sprint trial respectively.Walk and sprint distances were significantly different from jogging and running distances (P50.05). The GPS distance values on the 200-m non-linear course were 198.9+3.5 m (70.5%), 188.3+2 m (75.8%), 184.6+2.9 m (77.7%), and 180.4+5.7 m (79.8%) for the walk, jog, run, and sprint trial respectively; these were significantly lower than those for the corresponding values on the linear course (P50.05). Differences between all non- linear movement intensities were significant (P50.05). The overall coefficient of variation within and between receivers was 2.6% and 2.8% respectively. Path linearity and movement intensity appear to affect GPS distance accuracy via inherent positioning errors, update rate, and conditions of use; reliability decreases with movement intensity.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Accuracy
  • Displacement
  • Position

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  • Adrian J. Gray

  • David Jenkins

  • Mark H. Andrews

  • Dennis R. Taaffe

  • Megan L. Glover

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