Water Polo Performance Classification Based on the Functional Test for Agility Performance: A Long-Term Training Tool

The Open Sports Sciences Journal 16 December 2021 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1875399X02114010132



Water polo is an open-skilled team sport in which agility is important.


This study aimed to propose a water polo player classification based on the Functional Test for Agility Performance.


A total of 78 male water polo players of different competition levels (7.7% regional, 52.5% national and 39.7% international), years of training (6.7 ± 4.5; 2-25 years), weekly training frequency (6.1 ± 2.1; 2-12) and age (18.1 ± 4.3; 12-36) were evaluated in the Functional Test for Agility Performance. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis was used in five levels to classify water polo player performance.


The players were classified based on the Functional Test for Agility Performance as excellent (≤ 3.22 s), very good (3.23-4.48 s); good (4.49-4.76 s); under development (4.77-5.11 s) and learning (≥ 5.12 s). Age, years of training, and weekly training frequency showed a decreasing trend from Gr1 to Gr4. Athletes at the international level ranked primarily in the best performing groups (Gr1 and Gr2, n = 30), the ones at the national level in the intermediate groups (Gr2, Gr3 and Gr4; n = 41), with a higher concentration in Gr2, and those at regional level mainly in Gr4 (n = 4).


This classification proposal is expected to be useful as a tool to evaluate the training of athletes of different competition levels as well as to follow up on water polo athletes in long-term training.

Keywords: Water polo, Agility, Assessment, Performance, Sport, Talent, Team sport, Long-term training.
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