The Sparta Science system is often utilized to efficiently assess large groups of individuals to obtain objective data in minimal time. This includes but is not limited to pre-participation examinations, combines/events, research studies, and camps. Manual functional and/or orthopedic testing is often utilized in these settings but challenges with subjectivity and time required to perform these assessments are limiting. The Sparta system provides the means to gather objective movement data in a time-efficient manner, though there are always logistical hurdles when assessing large quantities of individuals.
In a large group setting, most efficiently assess individuals with limited time, staff, and equipment.
Assessment Strategy - While the time to complete each assessment ranges from 60-90 seconds, we have found in practice it is best to allow around 2 minutes for the Jump Scan or 7 minutes for the Jump, Plank, and Balance Scans to be performed together. These figures allow for comfortable transition time between tests and subjects. A list of key suggestions and best practices is below:
- Allow 2 minutes for the Jump Scan only, 7 minutes if performing all three scans.
- Utilize waves of smaller groups of individuals (15-minute increments for example) to limit waiting times.
- Allow individuals to observe others perform the assessment while they wait to familiarize themselves with the protocols.
- Ensure individuals perform a standardized warm-up prior to arriving or in an “on-deck” area prior to assessment.
- If utilizing the Balance Scan, perform this assessment last to eliminate the need to put shoes back on.
- With minimal instruction required the assessments can be run by an administrator familiarized with the assessment protocols. No subject matter expertise is needed.
Real-World Example - The Sparta systems were brought in to assess 340 individuals over a four day evaluation period including a variety of other assessments and tests set up in stations. The staff (2 administrators) were allotted 4 hours each day and utilized 4 Sparta systems, with each staff member running two systems. The staff utilized a trickle approach where athletes would visit their station in waves of 10-15 athletes spaced out by 15-20 minutes. Athletes would arrive at the Sparta station previously warmed up, and perform the assessments in order of Balance, Plank, and Jump. (Balance being performed first because the previous station had the athletes barefoot). As four athletes scanned the remaining athlete would watch the assessment which helped to familiarize them with the procedures and improved efficiency. Each scan took roughly 5-7 minutes to complete allowing the group to work through upwards of 10 athletes in 15 minutes.
Utilizing Sparta Science:
340 Athletes x 7 minutes per test (jump, balance, & plank) / 4 Sparta Systems, 2 Administrators = 9 hours 55 minutes total
2 Test Administrators
~ 10 Hours Total
Utilizing the protocol above the assessments took around a total of only 10 hours to complete while 16 hours were allotted (4 hours/day for 4 days) allowing for plenty of time for discussions and transitions between groups.
- Time efficiency: maintains the attention of individual and improves buy-in
- Objective data: technology is reliable and consistent regardless of who is administering
- No expertise needed: with minimal familiarization, any staff can administer assessments
- Assessment frequency: with a decrease in time needed more frequent assessment can take place
In comparison, manual subjective screening done in a similar manner will often take twice as long if not more (15-20 minutes per subject), requires expertise and training for those administering tests, needs to be performed in a 1:1 ratio which requires more experts to administer the tests (or more time), and is often still resulting in subjective data.
Utilizing Subjective Functional Testing:
340 Athletes x 15 minutes per test (subjective functional testing) / 2 Expert Test Administrators = 42 hours 30 minutes total
2 Expert Test Administrators
~ 42.5 Hours Total vs 10 Hours Total (above)
- At a combine event, 340 athletes were assessed over 4 days (4 hours/day) utilizing 4 systems and 2 administrators (see above, 76% decrease in time required using subjective functional testing comparison)
- At a military base, 350 soldiers were assessed in 45 minutes utilizing 15 systems (see full use case here)
- At a clinic, 120 employees were assessed over 2 days (4 hours/day) utilizing 2 systems