Background: CP-Football is a para-sport for athletes with Cerebral Palsy and related neurological conditions, governed by the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football
(IFCPF). In Paralympic Sports, impairments that impact on the sport should be identified to determine eligibility (IPC, 2015), and identifying which activities are essential to perform specific
football skills will help to promote and develop evidence based classification systems (Reina, 2014). The aim of this study is to examine the reliability of a battery test to assess the activity
limitation required to be eligible for CP Football (Football-7-a-side at the Paralympic Games) and to assist in the decision-making between the four current classes (FT5, FT6, FT7 and FT8: cut-points)
Methods: Depending on the test, a range of 53 to 129 CP Football players (CPFP) (26.3±7.1 yr; 175.6±7.1 cm; 70.1±9.0 kg; 11.4±7.1 yr playing) and 12-36 non-impaired football players
(NE) (19.4±3.3 yr; 178.0±5.9 cm; 72.6±7.8 kg; 9.8±5.2 yr playing) were evaluated. Both groups had similar performance status, measured by training hours per week and games per month. CPFP data
collection occurred at the 2013 CPISRA Intercontinental Cup; the NE control data was collected during training. Eighteen tests were performed and classified as: coordination (heel-toe placement, split
jump, running in place, side stepping, hexagon and skip 10m), sprint (40m and 40m with ball), range of movement (back step lunge), agility (mat, Illinois, Illinois with ball and turning and dribbling)
and power (standing broad jump, counter movement jump, 4 bounds for distance, triple hop, dynamometry). The teams were measured in two hour blocks, where 2-3 players were test in each station
simultaneously, performing each test twice, while rotating in the same direction, in order to randomize the data and to complete the station test at the end of the two hours. One way Anova, Cohen’s d
and within-session standard Error of Measurement (SEM) and Interclass Correlation (ICC) were calculated.
Results: For coordination, CODA and balance, all performed test showed significant differences (p < .001) with d values among 0.71-2.01, 1.48-2.42 and 0.09-4.05 respectively. For
power test, four of the five evaluated test presented significant differences with d values among 1.46-3.05. On the other hand, fifteen of the sixteen variables obtained on the sprint tests showed
significant differences with d values among 0.55-2.29.
Discussion: Regarding ICC, the high reliability founded indicates that the battery of test allows players´ ranking. Therefore, they can be applied as assessment tools for CP football
players, as well as the classification process of CP football. Furthermore, the low variability observed in the SEM values states that these tests are reliable between different measures, being
unexpected different results among different evaluations. The tests applied tests were able to identify the activity limitation of CP football players, therefore, has the potential to be used for
eligibility in this para-sport, and also, to decide among some of the current cut-points: FT5vFT8, FT6vFT8, FT7vFT8, and FT8vNE.