Education About Movement: Development of an Intermittent Shuttle Test to Determine Fitness and Fatigue in Badminton

Project Number
SUG 02/15 SB

Project Duration
July 2015 - September 2017

Status
In-Progress (Extended)

Abstract
Badminton is an intermittent indoor racket sport taught at all education levels in Singapore. At Primary level badminton can develop fundamental striking skills whilst at Secondary level and beyond it provides students an opportunity to apply the skills learnt at Primary level in Physical Education classes and as a Recreational Sport. Badminton is also considered a core sport in the Sports School and at international adult competitions such as the forthcoming South East Asian Games. Thus, badminton features prominently in the new Physical Education Syllabus (PES) 2014 as a sport which educates, ’in, through and about movement’. Another aspect of the new PES is the emphasis on ‘health’. Indeed the Ministry of Education website highlights opportunities for students to, ‘plan a fitness programme to match the type of fitness required to play a particular sport.’ This is an interesting concept as many school fitness tests are not sport specific. Recent changes to badminton scoring mean that the winner of a rally scores a point regardless of who served. Thus, while match duration is shortened game pace and intensity has increased meaning fatigue may play a bigger role in the performance of individuals. Fatigue manifests itself as poor positional play and mistimed or mishit shots, affecting the match outcome. However, the influence of fatigue on badminton performance is largely anecdotal. While the demands differ from game to game, it can be said that other than the technical proficiency, success in badminton is largely dependent on match-fitness. As such, it is crucial that teacher, instructors or coaches take effort to test and monitor the players’ fitness levels. At the school level, a common protocol to assess fitness in badminton players is the multi-stage shuttle test (‘beep’ test). While convenient, especially for large groups as minimal equipment is needed, the relevance of such a test has been questioned. What is lacking is a protocol designed specifically to reflect the intermittent and fast paced nature of badminton. A major limitation of existing protocols is the elimination of the need to return the shuttlecock; incorporating solely court movements, such as lunges and jumps, which underestimate the actual intensity and demands of a game. Therefore, the aim of the proposed study is two-fold. First, to design a badminton specific fitness test and secondly to examine the influence of fatigue on badminton performance. Apart from outcomes such as points won or loss or shuttle velocities there is a need to look deeper at underlying processes that affect performance levels. Thus, the proposed study will examine the visual processes of an individual during badminton service and the dynamic behaviour of the player and opponent for a better understanding of the influence of fatigue in a match. Successful design of a sport-specific test simulating badminton fatigue could be translated and incorporated into schools as a tool for planning and evaluating badminton programmes and to enhance the PE experience for students. Ultimately it will contribute to better quality training programmes for students as well as performance levels.

Funding Source
MOE

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