• A. Salo
  • P. Grimshaw
  • H. Mononen
  • J. Viitasalo


INTRODUCTION. An understanding of the different variation sources in experimental sport research is fundamental to technical analysis (Yeadon, 1994). Individual variable level variation in the event of sprint hurdles was presented by Salo el al. (1995). The aim of this study was to investigate the variation al the digitised co-ordinate level. METHODS Hurdle c1earances were videotaped with two genlocked cameras (50 Hz, at a 90 degree angle from the hurdle symmetrically on both sides of the lane). Two randomly selected trials (female and male) were digitised eight times by the same operator using APAS. The separate raw co-ordinates (u, v) of both camera views and the raw 30 co-ordinates (after OLT) 01 all digitised trials were transformed to Excel software. Standard deviation (SO) for the all 18 body landmarks were calculated separately for every single analysed field. The lowest SO of each condition and each co-ordinate direction (including diagonal combination) was selected as a base unit. All other SOs were standardised to these base units. RESULTS The mean SO of each landmark over all digitised fjelds in u-and v-directions ranged fram 2.3 to 8.7 (female) and from 2.6 to 7.1 (male) relative SO units. This variation resulted in SO of 0.017, 0.009, 0.016 and 0.025 m in X-, y-, z-and diagonal directions, respectively, for the female athlete as a maxirna mean of an individual landmark in the 30 re-construction. The respective SO values for the male trial were 0.017, 0.012, 0.018 and 0.027m. The maximum variation of an individual landmark in a single field of one view was 22.5 SO-units (female) and 30.0 SO-units (male). However, most of the landmarks had less than 4 SO-units variation in most of the analysed fields. DISCUSSION The lowest SO was selected for the base unit, as this presented the most accurate situation which an operator was able to reach in repeated digitising. Generally at an average level, the variation of raw 3D coordinates can be considered acceptable. However, there were c1early problematic situations, when landmarks gained up to 30 times more variation in a single field than the best situation. The influence of this huge variation on variables depends upon whether it appears at a critical moment. In this study, the largest variation occurred in an air phase around the highest point of the flight path. For the male athlete, the trailleg and the ipsilateral arm were obstructed by the trunk for the other camera view. This had only a slight eHect on the maximum height of the centre of mass (GM) (SO= 0.01 m). However, the distance of the GM peak to the hurdle varied significantly (SO= 0.11 m). Oue to lower trail leg path Ihe same problem did not occur for the female athlete (SO= 0.00 and 0.01 m, respectively). Based on this study, it is elear that large variation occurs in manual digitising at the co-ordinate level and this variation can have critica! and important effects for variable values. REFERENCES Salo, A., Grimshaw, P.N. & Viitasalo, J.T. (1995). The repeatabIlity of motion analysis and the reproducibility of athletes in sprint hurdles. In: XlIIISBS Symposium. Abstracts. Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Yeadon, M.A., & Ghallis, J.H. (1994). The future of pertormance-related sports biomechanics research. Journal 01 Sports Sciences, 12, 3-32.