An improvement index to quantify the evolution of performance in field events

HAAKE, Steve, JAMES, David and FOSTER, Leon (2014). An improvement index to quantify the evolution of performance in field events. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33 (3), 255-267.

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The mean of the top 25 performances in 8 men’s and 5 women’s field events since the 1890s showed that performances increased dramatically after the Second World War II and subsequently plateaued during the late twentieth century. A performance improvement index, developed on the basis of work done, was set to 100% in 1948. The underlying rise found in all events was modelled using an exponential function with a superposition of steps and linear changes to account for the introduction of rule changes, drugs testing and the introduction of new technologies. The performance improvement index in throwing events increased to 140.9% compared with 125.8% in jumping events, and women’s performance improvement always exceeded that of men’s. Around half of all events were shown to have reached 99.9% of their predicted limit with a majority reaching it within the next 25 years. It was concluded that performance will only change in the future if an intervention takes place: this could be the emergence of a new technology, a rule change or a new athlete population

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 24 Jul 2014
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 255-267
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2015 16:39
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2021 10:19

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