The Assessment Protocols - Home

The Sparta Scans consist of three assessments: Jump, Balance and Plank. Both the Balance and Planks scans are performed twice on each side and the Jump between 4-6 times. Not including warm-up the assessment takes about 5-7 to complete.

Download the Scanning Instruction PDF here.

The Balance Scan

  1. Take shoes off.
  2. Select Balance Scan.
  3. Step on the force plate with both feet, stand still, and close your eyes.
  4. When you hear the chime, balance on your RIGHT foot (picking up the left) for 20 seconds until you hear the next audible tone.
  5. DO NOT grab the wall for support or open your eyes. It is OK to touch your left foot down to regain balance and proceed.
  6. Step off the plate with both feet to reset.
  7. Step back on the force plate with both feet, stand still, and close your eyes.
  8. When you hear the chime, balance on your LEFT foot (picking up the right) for 20 seconds until you hear the next audible tone.
  9. Repeat for 2 total times on both sides.
  10. If you get an error message, step back on and stand still to redo the trial.

Notes on the Balance Scan Protocol:

Cueing/Instructing the User - Cueing or instructing the user should be kept simple and focus on the task: "balance as stable as you can on one leg." Simple cueing to ensure that they (1) do not lift their foot until the chime is heard and (2) are aware they are able to utilize their opposite foot to avoid falling down can be utilized.

Right and Left - If the user accidentally begins the trial on the incorrect leg, it is recommended to simply have the user step off the plate to invalidate the trial, then begin again using the correct side.  There is no way for Admin users to easily switch labels of Right and Left if the test protocol is not followed. 

Error Messages - As discussed previously, different error messages will display if the software detects potential reliability issues. The most common error for the balance test is a result of leaving the plate mid-trial. In order for reliable data to be collected the individual needs to remain in contact with the plate the entire time, not falling off or hopping to regain balance. If an individual continues to get this error, remind them that they are able to utilize their opposite foot to avoid falling down.

Canceling a Test - When performing the Balance Scan, 2 trials need to be performed on each side to ensure accurate and valid data collection.  If a test is canceled prior to this, no data results will be visible to the user.

 

The Jump Scan

  1. Complete Sparta Warm up (learn more here)
  2. Select Jump Scan.
  3. Step on the force plate with your arms up and stand still.
  4. When you hear the chime and the screen says “Jump”, jump as high as you can.
  5. Repeat for 4-6 total times. 
  6. If you get an error message, step back on and stand still to redo the trial.

Notes on the Jump Scan Protocol:

 Stand Still Period - Prior to all assessments, there is a 2 seconds stand-still period. This "quiet" period is best practice and is utilized to ensure an accurate baseline measurement of body weight and for standardization from trial to trial.

Auto-Taring - Anytime the force plate is unloaded (between trials and tests) the Sparta system automatically tares (zeros) the force plate to continue to only ensure clean, reliable data is captured. Along with the stand-still thresholds, this helps to ensure the hardware is functioning properly as well.

Cueing/Instructing the User - Cueing or instructing the user should be kept simple and focus on the task: "jump as high as you can." By instructing the user on how to jump we risk influencing their movement strategy.  Simple cueing of where to have the arms at the start may be required for individuals to find where their most comfortable starting position is and can be utilized.

Landing - Once the user leaves the ground from the jump the data collection has stopped.  Users are not required to land directly back on the force plate but should be instructed to land safely. Jump height is commonly calculated using flight-time: how long the individual is in the air.  It is more accurate/reliable to calculate jump height based on force production so Sparta utilizes this method instead.

Error Messages - As discussed previously, different error messages will display if the software detects potential reliability issues. Initially, it is recommended to simply instruct the user to jump again without any specific cueing. If errors continue, the simplest way to address this is by cueing the starting arm position. 

Skip Remaining Trials - When performing the Jump Scan, once 3 trials are performed Admins are able to click "Skip Remaining Trials."  This can be utilized to adjust the number of trials for each user when testing large groups. As mentioned, it is best practice to perform at least 4 trials.

 

The Plank Scan

  1. Select Plank Scan.
  2. Step on the force plate with both feet and stand still.
  3. When you see the prompt, step off the force plate.
  4. Get set up in a pushup position with both hands on the plate, and remain still. Hands and feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  5. When you hear the chime, balance on your RIGHT hand (picking up the left) for 20 seconds until you hear the next audible tone.
  6. Drop to your knees and remove both hands from the plate to reset. 
  7. Again, get set up in a pushup position with both hands on the plate, and remain still for the next trial.
  8. When you hear the chime, balance on your LEFT hand (picking up the right) for 20 seconds until you hear the next audible tone.
  9. Repeat for 2 total times on both sides.
  10. If you get an error message, get set up in a pushup position with both hands on the plate to redo the trial.

Notes on the Plank Scan Protocol:

Cueing/Instructing the User - Cueing or instructing the user should be kept simple and focus on the task: "stay as stable as you can on one arm." Simple cueing to ensure that they do not lift their hand until the chime is heard can be utilized.

Right and Left - If the user accidentally begins the a trial on the incorrect hand, it is recommended to simply have the user completely unload the plate to invalidate the trial, then begin again using the correct side. There is no way for Admin users to easily switch labels of Right and Left if the test protocol is not followed.  

Error Messages - As discussed previously, different error messages will display if the software detects potential reliability issues. The most common error for the plank test are a result of leaving the plate mid-trial. In order for reliable data to be collected the individual needs to remain in contact with the plate the entire time.

Canceling a Test - When performing the Plank Scan, 2 trials need to be performed on each side to ensure accurate and valid data collection. If a test is canceled prior to this, no data results will be visible to the user.