Speed Testing: 20m Sprint

speed Jul 04, 2023
20m Sprint

The 20m sprint test is similar to the 10m sprint test, but measures an individual's speed over a longer distance. Here is a step-by-step procedure for performing the 20m sprint test:

  1. Mark the start and finish lines: Find a flat, non-slip surface and mark the start and finish lines using cones or tape.
  2. Warm-up: Have the participant perform a proper warm-up that includes dynamic stretches, mobility exercises, and low-intensity movements to prepare their body for the sprint.
  3. Position the participant: Position the participant behind the start line with their feet shoulder-width apart and their toes touching the line.
  4. Give instructions: Give clear instructions to the participant, explaining the test procedure and emphasizing that they should sprint as fast as possible to the finish line.
  5. Start the timer: Start the timer as soon as the participant begins to move forward.
  6. Record the time: Record the time taken by the participant to cover the 20 meters. This can be done manually with a stopwatch or electronically with timing gates.
  7. Rest and repeat: Allow the participant to rest for a few minutes between each sprint, and repeat the test three to five times to obtain an average time.
  8. Cool-down: After completing the test, have the participant perform a proper cool-down that includes stretching and low-intensity movements to prevent injury and aid recovery.

The normal result of the 20m sprint test can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and fitness level. However, here are some general guidelines for interpreting the results of the test:

  • Elite male sprinters can complete the 20m sprint in around 2.7-3.1 seconds.
  • Elite female sprinters can complete the 20m sprint in around 3.0-3.4 seconds.
  • Well-trained male athletes can complete the 20m sprint in around 3.2-3.6 seconds.
  • Well-trained female athletes can complete the 20m sprint in around 3.5-3.9 seconds.
  • Average males can complete the 20m sprint in around 3.7-4.3 seconds.
  • Average females can complete the 20m sprint in around 4.1-4.7 seconds.

As for the sensitivity and specificity of the test, these terms are typically used in medical or diagnostic tests to assess the accuracy of the test in identifying a particular condition or disease. Since the 20m sprint test is not a diagnostic test, these terms do not apply to it. 



  1. Balsalobre-Fernández, C., Tejero-González, C. M., & del Campo-Vecino, J. (2015). The validity and reliability of a global positioning satellite system device to assess speed and repeated sprint ability (RSA) in athletes. Journal of sports sciences, 33(15), 1597-1603.
  2. Buchheit, M., Samozino, P., Glynn, J. A., Michael, B. S., Al Haddad, H., Mendez-Villanueva, A., & Morin, J. B. (2015). Mechanical determinants of acceleration and maximal sprinting speed in highly trained young soccer players. Journal of sports sciences, 33(14), 1487-1495.
  3. Haugen, T. A., Tønnessen, E., & Seiler, S. (2014). Speed and countermovement jump characteristics of elite female soccer players, 1995-2010. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 9(2), 340-349.
  4. Lockie, R. G., Murphy, A. J., Schultz, A. B., Knight, T. J., & Janse de Jonge, X. A. K. (2012). The effects of different speed training protocols on sprint acceleration kinematics and muscle strength and power in field sport athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(6), 1539-1550.

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