Kohli and Ganguly

What is the Yo-Yo Test?

If you are going to play a sport, you should have a minimum level of fitness to play it. With this in mind, many different tests have been developed by sports physiologists for gauging the fitness levels of players, with different variations & tests for different sports.

Who created it?

The Yo-Yo test is itself a variation of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (also called the ‘beep test’). Developed by Jens Bangsbo, a football physiologist from Denmark, it is primarily designed to check the aerobic capacity of the athletes.

What is it?

Two cones are placed at a distance of 20 meters from each other; the objective is to start from one cone, go to the other & come back (this being called one ‘shuttle’), within a set time. As you run more shuttles, the time gap between each shuttle is reduced, and if you fail to complete one shuttle in time, you are given one warning. Three warnings and you are out. This is what is the Yo-Yo Test.

How does the time gap get reduced?

It is based on set speed levels; it starts from speed level 5, where you have to complete one shuttle; with each speed level, you have to run a bit faster, completing one shuttle. At speed level 11, you have to now complete 2 shuttles; at level 12, 3; at level 13, 4 and from level 14 onwards, eight shuttles. This goes up till Level 23 (which no human has achieved. Till now).

When did this get introduced?

It had been a part of football and rugby training regimes since as far back as 2009. In 2012 itself, some cricket teams had started adopting it. But it truly came to India in 2016, when Anil Kumble took charge as the India coach and made it a standard part of checking fitness levels. Now, almost every team has its minimum yo-yo qualification criteria. For India it is 16:1 (run till you complete the first shuttle at speed level 16), while the highest is with New Zealand (20:1). It is not yet a mandatory test for the women’s cricket team.

Is it good or bad?

In these times when cricketers jump, run and generally do everything at elite levels, it is good. The problem, according to experts, is that cricket being a skill-based game, too much emphasis on the yo-yo test and its likes could lead to deserving players missing out on playing.

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