Does a Player whose Ball Juggling Skill is the Best shows the Best Ability in a Soccer Game?: A Consideration of the Validity of Skill Tests from a New Viewpoint keeping Utility in Mind

Nobuyoshi Fumoto and Koji Kumagai

[Received July 24, 2013; Accepted January 9, 2014] 

While much research has been conducted on skill testing in soccer, little attention has been paid to skill test validity in teams composed of players with similar years of soccer experience. In addition, almost no research mentions practicality as an aspect of skill testing. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between skill test scores and abilities rated in match situations. Further, the practical use of skill testing was discussed. Subjects are fourteen players each of a university and an elementary school team (U12) excluding goalkeepers. The players of the respective teams have similar years of soccer experience. Skill test items evaluated were ball juggling, dribbling, trapping, and continuous kicking. Ability evaluations were performed by peer assessment (coach's assessment for U12) from various perspectives using the rank order method and a one-on-one dribble match using a 7m X 7m square court. Correlation coefficient matrix between skill test items indicated stronger relationships between the items for the U12 Team than for the University Team. Skill test items excluding continuous kicking showed a tendency toward correlation with objective ability evaluation indices; however, this correlation was less pronounced for defensive aspects. Correlation Coefficients between dribble test score and dribble ability, and between the score and winning score in the one-on-one dribble game was marginal. Furthermore, ball juggling showed almost no relation to ability evaluation indices. This indicates that the juggling test score obtained by this method was not an effective index of good players. On the other hand, it was confirmed that continuous kicking skill reflects defensive abilities.

Keywords: skill test, ball juggling, validity of test, evaluation of soccer ability

[Football Science Vol.11, 18-28, 2014]