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The validity, reliability, and agreement of global positioning system units-can we compare research and applied data?

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 15:18 authored by Ross BrosnanRoss Brosnan, Greig WatsonGreig Watson, Stuart, W, Twentyman, C, Kitic , CM, Matthew SchmidtMatthew Schmidt
Brosnan, RJ, Watson, G, Stuart, W, Twentyman, C, Kitic, CM, and Schmidt, M. The validity, reliability, and agreement of GPS units-Can we compare research and applied data? J Strength Cond Res 36(12): 3330-3338, 2022-This study's aim was to investigate the validity, within-brand interunit reliability, and between-brand agreement of movement indicators from 3 commonly used global positioning system (GPS) units used in applied and research settings. Forty-two units (GPSports EVO; 10 Hz, n = 13: GPSports HPU; 5 Hz, n = 14: and Catapult S5; 10 Hz, n = 15) were investigated across 3 experiments: a 40-m linear track with all units pushed on a trolley, a sport simulation circuit with all units pulled on a sled, and a similar circuit with 3 models of units placed in a modified GPS vest worn by an athlete between the scapulae. Distance, speed, and acceleration indices were obtained and analyzed with the level of significance set ( ρ < 0.05). The results demonstrated good to moderate (% mean difference; 0-6.5%) validity with criterion and good (coefficient of variation [CV] ± 90% confidence interval [CI]: 0-3.9%) interunit reliability for distance and speed in units. Ten hertz units demonstrated good to moderate (CV ± 90% CI: 0.21-5.58%) interunit reliability in all acceleration and deceleration measures, with 5 Hz units having good to poor (CV ± 90% CI: 4.54-12.78%) results. Agreement ranged from good to moderate (% mean difference; 0.01-7.8%) for distance, speed, and absolute acceleration/deceleration. Agreement ranged from good to poor (% mean difference; 2.21-32.74%) in average acceleration. The GPS units investigated can be compared within and between applied and research settings for distance and speed. However, caution is warranted in acceleration indices. This highlights the importance of testing other commonly used GPS models and brands.


Publication title

Journal of strength and conditioning research










School of Health Sciences


Human Kinetics Pub

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Champaign, IL

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© 2021 National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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