Monday, 17 Jun 2024

Shuttle Cross Pick-Up: Enhancing Hand-Eye Coordination and Agility for Ice Hockey Players

The Shuttle Cross Pick-Up test is a crucial evaluation of hand-eye coordination and the ability to quickly change direction, specifically designed for ice hockey players. This off-ice test effectively mimics the skills required on the ice. It is a fundamental component of the SPARQ rating system for hockey, which assesses players’ overall athletic abilities.


The primary purpose of this test is to measure an individual’s hand-eye coordination and agility, both essential for success in ice hockey.

Equipment Required

To conduct this test, you will need the following equipment:

  • Stopwatch or timing gates
  • Measuring tape
  • 2 marker cones
  • 3 octagonal rings (SPARQ Agility Web)
  • 2 SPARQ Quick React Balls (tennis balls can be used as alternatives)
  • Flat non-slip surface


Before initiating the test, it is necessary to explain the procedures to the participant. Additionally, it is important to screen for any potential health risks and obtain informed consent. Basic details such as age, height, body weight, gender, and test conditions must be recorded. The testing area should be marked and prepared accordingly. Remember to conduct a suitable warm-up as well. For a comprehensive understanding of pre-test procedures, further details can be found here.

Course Set-Up

To set up the course, arrange the cones and rings in a cross pattern according to the provided diagram. Measure the distances precisely to ensure accuracy. Place a ball in rings C and E.

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  1. The athlete assumes a two-point athletic stance at the starting line (A) and holds this position for 2 seconds.
  2. If using hand-timing, the athlete starts from a 2-point athletic stance, and timing begins with their first movement. If an electronic start/finish beam is employed, the athlete should start from a line marked 50 cm (20 inches) behind the timing beam to prevent premature breaking of the beam due to arm swing.
  3. Upon the command “go,” the athlete sprints forward to the center cone (B), runs left around it to ring (C), and picks up the ball.
  4. The athlete then sprints back across the center cone (B) to the opposite ring (D) and places the ball inside.
  5. Next, the athlete sprints back to the center, moves around the cone to ring (E) for the second ball pickup, and finally sprints back through the start/finish line (A) while holding the second ball.


Two attempts are allowed for this test. Record the fastest completion time in seconds, adhering to the protocol’s specifications. If a ball is dropped during the trial, it results in disqualification. The trial times are also disqualified and not recorded if the athlete uses a rolling start, fails to hold the initial position for 2 seconds, starts in a 3-point or 4-point stance, or begins with a foot across the start line. Additionally, the trial is nullified if the athlete deviates from the prescribed left and right turns or fails to place one of the balls in the ring and carry the second ball across the finish line.

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Target Population

The Shuttle Cross Pick-Up test is specifically designed for ice hockey players.


  • The total running distance in this test is 50 meters, involving three stop/starts and both right and left turns.
  • This test is a key component of the SPARQ rating system for hockey, assessing players’ athletic abilities and performance levels.

The Test in Action

This test is an integral part of the SPARQ rating system for hockey, providing valuable insights into players’ capabilities and potential.

Similar Tests

  • On-ice beep test for ice hockey players

Related Pages

  • About ice-hockey SPARQ rating
  • Other agility tests
  • SPARQ fitness rating system
  • Other sport-specific fitness tests


Q: How does the Shuttle Cross Pick-Up test benefit ice hockey players?
A: This test targets crucial skills required for success in ice hockey, including hand-eye coordination and agility. By evaluating these abilities, players can identify areas for improvement and enhance their overall performance on the ice.

Q: Can tennis balls be used as alternatives to SPARQ Quick React Balls?
A: Yes, tennis balls can be used as a substitute for SPARQ Quick React Balls in this test. However, it is recommended to use the specified equipment for accurate and consistent results.

Q: What is the significance of the SPARQ rating system for hockey?
A: The SPARQ rating system for hockey provides a comprehensive assessment of players’ athletic abilities, helping coaches and scouts evaluate potential and identify talent. It serves as a valuable tool for player development and team selection.


The Shuttle Cross Pick-Up test is a crucial assessment for ice hockey players, focusing on hand-eye coordination and agility. It replicates on-ice abilities and forms an integral part of the SPARQ rating system for hockey. By conducting this test, players can gauge their skills, set performance goals, and improve their overall athletic capabilities. To learn more about this test and other related evaluations, visit our website for comprehensive information and resources. Start your journey towards enhanced performance on the ice today!

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Call to Action: To explore further and unlock your full potential as an ice hockey player, visit our website for more valuable insights, resources, and guidance.