Keywords: reaction time, choice reaction time, psychophysiology in sport, Dynavision D2.
Abstract. Many sports place demands on response time. Theoretical approaches and experimental data in this area were analyzed in the article; different types of reaction (simple reaction time, choice reaction time) are presented in the article. Performance standards in testing reaction time via Dynavision D2 first published. This article is addressed to the coaches, sport scientists and practicing psychologists.
Аннотация. В статье представлены теоретические основы и эмпирические данные, касающиеся аспектов измерения времени реакции в различных видах спорта, таких как простая и сложная моторная реакция, а также реакция выбора. Впервые опубликованы нормативные показатели времени реакции, полученные на аппаратно-диагностическом комплексе Dynavision D2. Данная статья адресована тренерам, специалистам, работающим в области спорта, и практикующим психологам широкого профиля.
Introduction. A significant part of the tests that were overcome by the athlete during the training process and competitions, precedes the high requirements to the accuracy and speed of response to the conditions of the situation or the actions of other athlete, primarily rivals. Successful implementation of the reception in martial arts, timely start after a signal in cyclic sports, a properly chosen maneuver in races or an operatively executed pass in game sports are based on a correct understanding of the situation, a high concentration of the athlete and the speed of the motor response. Often coaches and athlete themselves fail to characterize the failure as follows: «not enough speed «or» the opponent was faster», often referring not so much to the speed of movement as the speed of response. In the light of the foregoing, the researcher and practitioner are faced with the question of effective training and correct diagnosis of the reaction time, not only reaction to a single signal, but also a more complex selection reaction combined with making the right decision in time deficit conditions.
From the end of the nineteenth century (remember the work of M. Steggerd «Physical characteristics of athletes») in sports science cyclically alternate acceptance and rejection of the idea of model characteristics, or parameters by which to evaluate the data of each individual athlete. Without taking part in this discussion, the main task of this work was defined as the presentation and analysis of some information about the time of a simple and complex reaction in various sports. The data presented below are partly collected by the authors themselves, partly found in the materials of other researchers. Trainers and sports psychologists, based on this work, will be able to correct the idea of the reaction time of the athletes undergoing testing and to identify areas for additional training that can increase the results in the competitions.
The role of diagnostics and training of reaction time is emphasized in a large number of works devoted to the aspects of psychological training of athletes of various sports [4, 6, 8, 14]. For example, in cyclical types of sports, rapid response to an acoustic signal triggering a start («simple motor reaction») [5, 8], in combat and game sports - quick response in conditions of two or more alternatives, including in the presence of deceptive actions by an opponent («choice reaction» / «complex motor reaction») [6, 7, 9, 15, 21, 22]. In shooting disciplines: when firing on moving objects - the speed of response to a visual signal (a simple visual-motor reaction); in practical shooting - the speed of response in conditions of two or more alternatives («reaction of choice» / «complex motor reaction») .
Diagnosis of a simple motor reaction and reaction of choice. Testing the time of motor reaction is a common attribute of most research in sports psychology, however, in many works the description of testing protocols is not always presented: for example, instructions given to an athlete before testing, duration of test tasks, and hardware-diagnostic equipment. In this regard, the problem arises of comparing one data with other ones obtained on a sample of sportsmen-representatives of similar sports, or sportsmen of a higher level of training. This problem is especially topical for practicing sports psychologists, who have to rely primarily on comparing individual indicators.
In the table below, we systematized the data of the motor reaction time indices in gaming, cyclic, applied sports and martial arts, presented by various authors for the period from 1980 to the present (with the availability of data indicating the qualification and sample size). The table is supplemented by the results of our research, obtained on a sample of athletes (N=187), engaged in various sports. To diagnose the reaction time of athletes in our study, we used the hardware diagnostic complex «Thought Technology» (Fig. 1).
Figure 1 - An athlete in a process of testing
Table 1 - The parameters of motor reaction time in different kinds of sport (beginning)
Kinds of sport
Simple motor reaction
Choice reaction time
Arms: 218.27±21.87 ms 
Arms: *270.59±26.41 ms;
N=18 (m=10; f=8), age: 15-16 years old;
qualification: 1-2 senior category
Arms: «Successful» = 215.9 ±7.5 ms;
«Unsuccessful» = 232.1 ±7.1 ms;
N=45 (f=21; m=24); average age =16.2±0.8 years old: w=15.5±0.9, m=16.1 ±0.7) .
260.57±23.23 ms 
Arms: *247.12±20.20 ms;
N=11 (m=11); qualification: MS
Arms: 214.86±15.23 ms;
N=18, age: 12-15 years old . Low level: 271-280 ms;
N=19 (m=19), qualiication CMS in boxing and above .
N=28 (m=28), qualiication: students involved in the section of Thai boxing 
Arms: *274.44±30.19 ms;
N=10 (f=10), qualification: MS, MSIC
The athletes task is to react to the appearance of a visual stimulus in a relevant way: when testing a simple visual-motor reaction, the athlete needed to press the joystick button or the pedal; when testing the response of choice (from two alternatives) - react with the right or left hand / foot when the stimulus appears on the right or left side, respectively. The testing time was 3 minutes, the stimuli appeared on the screen chaotically, with irregular frequency. For the analysis of the data, program complexes were used: SPSS 17.0 (Mann-Whitney criterion, Spearman correlation coefficient), Dynavision D2 software, Reaction Time «Thought Technology».
We will also present generalized data on the response times of the selection reaction obtained in our study on a sample of athletes of various sports (N = 187). Thus, the presented data can serve as approximate norms for interpreting the results of testing athletes in terms of simple motor reaction and selection reaction (from two alternatives). It should be noted that the response time of the left and right arms and legs is positively correlated with each other (p<0.001).
Diagnosis of complex motor reaction. As it was noted earlier, in most types of sports, the athlete's task is not limited to responding to one or two stimuli: anticipating the actions of rivals involves a highly developed ability to quickly process visual information and initiate the corresponding movement. To diagnose the complex motor reaction of athletes, the Dynavision D2 hardware complex was used, which is currently actively used in leading training centers for high-level athletes [3, 19, 22].
The reaction time indicators for sportsmen of various sports were obtained and systematized during the passage of the test protocol «Standard». Let's list its characteristics: the lamps of the device panel work in one (red) color; the athlete is tested at his own pace: a new stimulus is presented after a successful reaction to the previous one; the lamps one by one light up in a chaotic order over the entire area of the instrument panel; operating time is limited to 60 seconds; work is carried out with both hands; no interference during operation; the athlete performs the task 2 times (the first - for the purpose of warm-up).
Table 2 - The parameters of motor reaction time in various sports (continuation)
Kind of sport
Simple motor reaction
Choice reaction time
Cyclic and applied sports
(hereinafter, the results of diagnostics of a simple sensorimotor reaction are presented, since the selection reaction in these species sports is practically not tested
Legs: 1 week of training reactions to the starting signal = 292.65 ms;
5 weeks = 211.35 ms;
N=10, adults; members of the Canadian national team on the short track 
Arms: 154.02±0.02 ms; I (sportsmen with highly expressed sprinter abilities);
162,0±0,02 ms; II (with mixed abilities with a predominant predisposition to sprint work);
188.03±0.02 ms; III (athletes with mixed abilities with a relatively uniform level of their development);
215.02±0.02 ms; IV (mixed abilities with a predominant predisposition to stayer work);
243.03±0.03 ms; V (with pronounced stayer abilities) .
Men = 212.78±21.44 ms;
women = 203.85±15.60 ms .
Legs: *Men: MP discharge - 292.5±50.93 ms;
CMS and more - 261,36±5,93 ms.
Women: MP discharge - 278.11 ±37.96 ms;
CMS and more - 271.02±24.83 ms.
N=53 (m=30; f=23)
Arms: 180-205 ms; N=13 
Arms: Men = 214.00± 12.70 ms; women =212.78±14.37 ms 
Mountaineering and climbing
Arms: reaction to the light signal: 269.09 ms (data 1971) and 257.4 ms (data 1972);
response to an acoustic signal: 176.7 ms (data 1971) and 167.1 ms (data 1972);
National team for mountaineering 
Complex coordination sports
Jumping into the water
Arms: Men = 215.69±23.97 ms; women = 224.70±25.30 ms .
Arms: Women = 229.63±25.33 ms .
Jumping on the trampoline
Arms: Men = 206.14±17.80 ms; women = 219.60±21.03 ms 
Table 3 - Generalized data on the choice reaction times
The choice reaction (under the conditions of two alternatives), ms
Table 4 - Test norms for the standard protocol
Kind of sport
Simple motor reaction, sec
Complex coordination sports
Table 5 - Test norms for the standard protocol: updated data on sports and age of athletes
Kind of sport
Average reaction time, sec
This protocol allows to diagnose and develop motor coordination in equal measure both in the nearest and peripheral areas of the visual field. As a result of the analysis of the test data of athletes (N=271), engaged in various sports, we were allocated orienting norms (Table 3, 4). Due to the fact that the sample of the study consisted of subjects of different age groups, we compared the response time of athletes of the same age or sport. Statistically significant differences between teenager-athletes were obtained: sambo and basketball (p<0.05); sambo and swimming (p<0.01). Among athletes of youthful age, differences were obtained by comparing groups: football and rock climbing (p<0.01); taekwondo and rock climbing (p<0.01). There were no statistically significant differences among the groups of adult athletes, which can be explained by the special characteristics of sports activity: football, judo, sambo and kickboxing, suggest high variability of the athlete's actions (including the implementation of activity in time-limited conditions); which, undoubtedly, has an impact on the formation of such a professionally important quality as the reaction time.
Conclusion. So, by summarizing in the tables the indicators of a simple reaction, selection reactions, and incl. complex motor reaction, we return to the problem of response in sports and special training. Practically the most important question in this area is the following: what is the measure of the effectiveness of additional narrowly directed trainings?
In the foreign literature there are discussions about the effectiveness of the transfer, or «transfer» in relation to this or that sport-specific activity. At the moment, the answer can only be conditional. To accurately determine the appropriateness of special actions, a correct experiment with a control group is required, while elite athletes, unfortunately, may not always be involved in a large-scale study.
The carried out theoretical and empirical work should be considered as a kind of reserve for the further collection and specification of data, as well as indicative information for a coach, psychologist or sports doctor, as well as those athletes who are interested in studying the reaction speed and increasing its rates for new victories.
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