The Technology Behind Combine Testing | 2018 NBA Draft Combine

The NBA Draft Combine is the perfect place to prove yourself to scouts and NBA decision-makers as a young draft prospect. For most it’s all about the results. The faster the time, the higher the jump, the more dominant on the court generally place higher on the NBA Draft order. The need for accurate data is an essential part of the event. The difference between a few thousands of a second can be what causes a player not to be included in the NBA Draft. The Fusion Sport SMARTSPEED system was utilised as the timing system for the Shuttle Run, Three Quarter Sprint and Lane agility drills


A players maximum speed can be a key advantage when it comes to draft selection. For a larger player like a centre or a guard, maximum speed is an uncommon trait to have. For a small to medium player like a point guard speed is absolutely essential. The ¾ Court Sprint involves a player sprinting for a 75ft distance. The drill is setup in a straight line with SMARTSPEED timing gates placed 15ft apart from start to finish line (see diagram below). In a game scenario this drill can relate to how fast a player makes it down the court off of a fast break. See the video below of Kostas Antetokounmpo completing the drill at this years NBA combine.


Both offensively and defensively it is important that players have the ability to change direction, react quickly and control their body position. The Lane Agility drill allows talent scouts, coaches and the fans to see a player sprint, slide, shuffle and back pedal, whilst maintaining a squared body position. The drill is setup in rectangular shape (see diagram below). The player starts by moving off the start/finish line in a sprint for 19 feet, they then cut to the right and shuffle for 16 feet, they then run backwards for 19 feet, they then cut to the left and shuffle for 16 feet. This process is reversed from this point until they reach the start/finish line (see diagram below). The SMARTSPEED gates are placed on each of the cut points to record split times. In a game scenario, these lateral movements resemble the defensive positions a player would use to track their opponent. See the video below of Kenrich Williams completing the Lane Agility Drill in this year’s NBA combine. Notice the setup of the SMARTSPEED gates and the split times at each cut point.


Both offensively and defensively it is important that players have the ability to change direction, react quickly and control their body position. The Reactive Shuttle Run tests a players change of direction, speed from a static position, body control and reaction time. The drill is setup using the 16 feet of the key, with three SMARTSPEED gates placed 8 feet apart (see diagram below). The drill starts with the player in a straddling position in the middle of the key. The timing system will initiate the drill with a red light from either one of the gates to the left or right of the player. The player then runs 8 yards in the direction indicated by the red light, then 16 yards back to the opposite line, and finally running back through the middle line triggering the end of the drill. In a game scenario this drill can relate to how fast a player cuts and the time it takes to react from offence to defence. Below is an example of Kostas Antetokounmpo completing a Reactive Shuttle Run drill at this years NBA Combine.

SMARTSPEED  is the Official Timing System of the CFL combine, and is the the trusted technology utilized at NFL Regional Combines, the NBA Draft Combine, AFL Combine and other athlete evaluation events globally.

Find out more here.

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