20m Dash (20m)

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1. Test objectives

Determination of action speed.

2. Description of the task



In the 20m sprint, the test subjects must cover a distance of 20 m in the shortest possible time. At the start of the test task, the test subject stands upright and in a walking position behind the starting line. A test leader gives the acoustic start signal. Another test leader stands at the height of the finish line and stops the time of the test person from the start signal to crossing the finish line with the upper body to an accuracy of 0.1 seconds. It is also possible to measure with light barriers, which are placed at the start and finish line. The test person should sprint at least to the height of the finish line and only then reduce speed. If the run-out distance is too short, a soft floor mat can be set up to secure the end of the run. The test persons have two valid attempts each.

3. Test materials

 3.1 Space requirement: a sports hall (handball field) or a 20 m track with 5 m run-out zone
 3.2 Time and personal requirements: 2-3 Test leader can test 10 subjects within 10 minutes
 3.3 Equipment and material: Light barriers or stopwatch, adhesive tape, 4 hutches (2 each for the start and finish line), soft floor mat


4. Test setup

The test is ideally performed on a handball court. In small halls, the station can also be set up across the diagonal hall area. A 20 m distance is measured and the start and finish line is marked with 4 cones. For better visualization, the start line can be taped again. In the finish area, enough space should be left for the run-out zone and the run-out should be secured with a soft floor mat if necessary. Approximately 2 m after the finish line, a marker is placed up to which the test person should sprint without braking in order to avoid a premature loss of speed.
In the case of a measurement with light barriers, the light barriers in the start and finish zones should be set up about 2 m apart. The start line must be set up sufficiently far away from the first light barrier (approx. 50 cm) so that it is not triggered by mistake.
When measuring with a stopwatch, the timekeeper must be at the height of the finish line.

5. Measuring recording

A test leader stops and records the time required by the test person for the 20m sprint. He is at the height of the finish line if he is measuring with a hand-held stopwatch. Otherwise he notes the time measured by the light barrier system. The time is measured in seconds, with an accuracy of 0.01 seconds.

Standard values
Numerous studies are available with information on mean values and standard deviations (cf. in summary Beck & Bös, 1995, p. 174 ff).
Current norm values for children and adolescents from 6 to 18 are published in the DMT Manual (Bös et al., 2009).

6. Test instruction

In this task, you have to run a distance of 20 m in the shortest possible time. You stand at the starting line and wait for my start signal ("On your marks! - Ready! - Go!"). At "Go!" I clap my hands above my head. When you hear the signal, you run as fast as you can. It is important that you run without slowing down until you reach the mark (2 m) behind the finish line and only then start slowing down. you have 2 attempts.

Optional if there is not much space: "After the marker, you slow down and run against the soft floor mat so that you are safely intercepted."


Command/ Start signal Simultaneous arm movement Action of the test person
„On your marks!“ The test leader extends the arms horizontally beside the body with the palms facing upward. Assume the upright start position behind the start line.
„Ready!“ The test leader brings the arms half together on the way over the head. Assume the upright start position behind the start line.
"Go!" (clapping of hands) The hands are clapped together vigorously above the head with the arms extended so that both the test subject and the timekeeper can hear the signal. Explosive sequence.


7. Special notes

The test task is performed with sports shoes.
Place an additional marker behind the finish line up to which the test person is to run at full speed so that he does not slow down beforehand.
There is a conversion factor for comparing the measured values between the measurement with light barrier and stopwatch.

Sources of error
Test person starts running before the start signal or triggers the light barrier too early.
Test person does not run at full speed to the finish line and slows down the run beforehand.

8. Sources

Beck, J., & Bös, K. (1995). Normwerte motorischer Leistungsfaehigkeit. Köln: Sport u. Buch Strauß.

Bös, K., Schlenker, L., Büsch, D., Lämmle, L., Müller, H., Oberger, J. & Tittlbach, S. (2009). Deutscher Motorik-Test 6-18. (DMT 6 - 18) (Schriften der Deutschen Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft, 186). Hamburg: Czwalina.


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