Vertical-jump tests are commonly used to evaluate lower-limb power of athletes and nonathletes. Several types of equipment are available for this purpose.
To compare the error of measurement of 2 jump-mat systems (Chronojump-Boscosystem and Globus Ergo Tester) with that of a motion-capture system as a criterion and to determine the modifying effect of foot length on jump height.
Thirty-one young adult men alternated 4 countermovement jumps with 4 squat jumps. Mean jump height and standard deviations representing technical error of measurement arising from each device and variability arising from the subjects themselves were estimated with a novel mixed model and evaluated via standardization and magnitude-based inference.
The jump-mat systems produced nearly identical measures of jump height (differences in means and in technical errors of measurement ≤1 mm). Countermovement and squat-jump height were both 13.6 cm higher with motion capture (90% confidence limits ±0.3 cm), but this very large difference was reduced to small unclear differences when adjusted to a foot length of zero. Variability in countermovement and squat-jump height arising from the subjects was small (1.1 and 1.5 cm, respectively, 90% confidence limits ±0.3 cm); technical error of motion capture was similar in magnitude (1.7 and 1.6 cm, ±0.3 and ±0.4 cm), and that of the jump mats was similar or smaller (1.2 and 0.3 cm, ±0.5 and ±0.9 cm).
The jump-mat systems provide trustworthy measurements for monitoring changes in jump height. Foot length can explain the substantially higher jump height observed with motion capture.