The Sports Test that we require for athletes at the Steadman Clinic is comprised of four separate exercises with a 20 point scoring system. The Sports Test is meant to test the athlete’s ability to demonstrate excellent muscle endurance strength in the lower extremity; the ability to effectively push off as well as have a controlled landing (we describe as “absorption”) onto the involved lower extremity in a lateral and a rotational direction; and the ability to flex and extend into a lunge position without pain, fatigue, or compensation.
The four exercises within the Sports Test are single knee bends, side-to-side lateral movement, diagonal side to side movement, and forward box lunges. The single knee bends are performed with cord resistance for three minutes at a pace of one second down and one second up without any pelvic obliquity or “corkscrewing” (medial rotation / adduction) of the lower extremity. One point is given for every thirty seconds for a total of six points. The lateral side-to-side movements are performed with a cord attached to the waist on the involved side. The athlete pushes off the involved side against the resistance of the cord then will return onto the involved leg with good “absorption” described as landing at approximately thirty degrees knee flexion and flexing down to seventy degrees in a controlled manner. The athlete performs this movement for one hundred seconds without any of the above compensations. One point is given for each twenty seconds performed correctly and without pain for a total of 5 points. The third exercise is similar to the second; however, it is performed at a forty-five degree angle forward and forty-five degree angle backward from the frontal plane. It is also performed for one-hundred seconds and scored the same as the previous test. The final exercise is a forward box lunge onto a box set at the height of the patient’s knee. It tests the ability of the hip to flex and extend without pain. It is performed for two minutes with cord resistance and scored one point for each thirty seconds performed without pain or compensation for a total of four points.
A score of seventeen or higher on the Sports Test is considered a passing score; however expectations for different levels of athletes are considered (Professionals are expected a perfect score of 20/20). The sport test is used as a pre-surgery exam as well as a return to training test. We recommend passing the sport test before allowing the player a full return to training with full gear.