The United States Sports Academy, in cooperation with Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, presented the Arab world with its own international physical fitness test battery based on normative data collected from Arab youth ages 9 to 19 years. One of the few fitness tests developed outside the Western world, the test is believed to be the only one based on analysis of empirical data collected among Arab youth. It is designed to measure speed, strength, suppleness, and stamina, the basic components of any physical activity. Since its introduction to 199 physical education teachers by the president of the United States Sports Academy, Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, more than 20,000 boys and girls have been tested with the comprehensive battery.
The test battery includes the following:
This test battery has been adopted by more than 21 nations throughout the years.
1. 50-METER DASH
Procedure: A standing start is used; the hands cannot be touching the ground. On the signal “Come to your mark,” the testing participant stands with both feet behind the starting line, with one foot slightly advanced. When the participant is ready and motionless, the starter gives normal verbal instructions, “Set,” and after a brief pause, “Go.” The timer starts the clock when the participant moves. The participant sprints for 50 m, past the finish line, avoiding any tendency to slow down before crossing the finish line. Time in seconds and tenths of seconds is recorded.
2. FLEXED-ARM HANG
Procedure: The participant climbs a ladder near the bar until the chin is at bar level. The participant grasps the bar, keeping the hands shoulder width apart. The backs of the hands must be toward the face, with the thumbs under the bar. The chin should be level with the bar. On the command “Ready, go,” the participant removes the feet from the ladder. Simultaneously, an assistant removes the ladder and prevents any forward swinging of the legs. The stopwatch is started when the participant’s feet leave the ladder and is stopped when the chin falls below the level of the bar or when keeping the chin level with the bar requires tilting the head backward. Time in seconds is recorded.
3. SHUTTLE RUN
Equipment: Stopwatch, 2 wooden blocks (10 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm) per participant, flat course marked with 2 lines 10 m apart
Procedure: On the signal “Ready,” the participant places both feet behind the starting line with one foot slightly advanced. On the signal “Go,” the participant sprints to the opposite line, picks up a block of wood, runs back and places it on or beyond the starting line. Without pause, the participant runs to retrieve the second block and carries it back across the finish line. The participant correctly completes 2 trials, and the better of the 2 times is recorded. A trial is void if a block is dropped or thrown. Time in seconds and tenths of seconds is recorded.
4. BACK THROW
Equipment: 8-lb shot, tape measure
Procedure: The participant stands with his back to the throwing area, with an 8-lb shot cradled in both hands between the knees. The participant bends forward and downward and then throws the shot backward over the head, in a 2-handed throwing action. Measurement is made from the point of impact of the shot with the ground, to the inside edge of the foul line. The participant completes 2 trials, and the greater distance is recorded. Distance is recorded in meters and centimeters.
5. DISTANCE RUN
Equipment: Stopwatch, 200-m oval
Procedure: The distance run is 600 m for boys and girls 13 years old and under; 1,000 m for boys 14 to 19; and 800 m for girls 14 to 19. On the signal, “Ready,” the participants stand behind the starting line. When all participants are ready, they are given the command “Go” and are encouraged to run the distance in the fastest possible time. Walking is permitted.
Up to 30 runners may be tested at one time with accuracy and efficiency. Each runner will complete the required distance. For better control at the finish line, a chute may be made by tying ropes between high-jump standards. The timekeeper stands at the finish line. He has the only watch and calls out a time as each runner crosses the finish line. The fitness testing team records each runner’s time in minutes and seconds.
Dr. Thomas J. Rosandich, president and chief executive officer, United States Sports Academy.
The author gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the Bahrain Supreme Council for Youth and Sports is the preparation of the test battery and testing manual, from which the illustrations in this article were taken.
All correspondence concerning this article should be directed to the author at One Academy Dr., Daphne, AL 36526.