How does the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL) stack up in terms of jump performance?
The following data are from countermovement jump, drop jump and hop jump tests conducted across the 2021 season using VALD’s ForceDecks Dual Force Plate System.
Jump Performance: AFL vs NRL
Countermovement jump performance was comparable across the two codes with only 2 W/kg splitting the medians of both cohorts. Similarly, there was only a 1 W/kg difference in the maximum observed results of 73 W/kg and 74 W/kg for the AFL and NRL respectively.
Regarding drop jump performance, the AFL athletes recorded a median of 2.59; nearly 0.8 greater than the median of the NRL cohort. The observed maximum result was also approximately 0.8 greater in the AFL cohort compared to the NRL athletes. However, it should be noted that the sample of drop jump tests was smaller than that of countermovement jumps.
Again, the sample of hop jump tests was limited in comparison to the number of countermovement jumps tests conducted during the 2021 season. However, the NRL cohort appeared to perform slightly better in regard to mean active stiffness, with a median of 49 kN/m compared to a median of 44 kN/m for the AFL athletes.