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Beep test, 3km time trial dumped from Draft Combine

Cat banned, Joe talks, bye bye beep Monday Footy Feed with Matt Thompson, Nathan Schmook and Alex Malcolm

THE BEEP test and 3km time trial have been scrapped from this year's NAB AFL Draft Combine as part of a range of changes to the annual trials at Etihad Stadium.

Having been key events of the national Combine over many years, the endurance tests have been changed to closer align with trends in the AFL industry.

The beep test (also known as the shuttle run) will be replaced by the Yo-Yo run, with the AFL and combine sub-committee believing the beep test is not the most accurate measure to predict fitness levels for team sports. 

The Yo-Yo test has similarities to the gruelling beep test in that players will need to run between cones that are 20m apart at timed intervals. Participants have a 10-second recovery period between the 20m sprints where they are required to jog to another cone and then back to the starting point before the next shuttle begins.

A prospect's score in the Yo-Yo test can be presented in total distance run, the level achieved or his maximum rate of oxygen consumption. The Yo-Yo is shown to be a reliable indicator of high-intensity aerobic capacity in athletes. 

It is rare for AFL clubs to do beep tests for their players once in the system, but juniors will still complete the test at local level at the start-of-season testing days around the country.

In recent years the 3km time trial has been the final event of the Combine, however this year it has been cut to a 2km run. This is in line with the majority of AFL clubs who prefer the shorter distance in their own fitness programs. 

In another change, the clean hands test and the 30m repeat sprints test have been removed.

The AFL felt with the increased load on draft hopefuls in that period of the season, including the introduction of the NAB All Stars game in Grand Final week, that the repeat sprints test placed the fitness of some players in jeopardy. Historically it has caused the most amount of soft-tissue injuries of the tests.

The clean hands test has been a part of the skills component of the Combine for several years after the test was developed by former Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd.

More time as been allocated to club interviews and medical screenings at this year's Combine, which will run from Tuesday, October 3 – Friday, October 6.

Hawthorn speedster Billy Hartung holds the all-time Combine record in the beep test, when he reached level 16.6 in 2013.
Gold Coast's Josh Schoenfeld's elite endurance was on show in 2015 when he ran the 3km time trial in 9:15 minutes, breaking the previous record (held by Sydney's Jack Hiscox, 9:17).