Balance Beam Test

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  • purpose: To assess active balance, through the ability to maintain balance while walking along an elevated beam.
  • equipment required: gymnastics balance beam, stopwatch
  • procedure: The aim of this test is to walk the entire length of a standard balance beam steadily, without falling off, and within a six second time span. The participant will start at one end, step up onto the beam, walk the length to the other end. The test is repeated three times.
  • Scoring: Participants are to be given three trials to complete the beam walk. The table below lists scores based on subjective observations of the beam walker. For more accuracy, use a team of three or more judges to observe a given individual perform. The score for each trial is the average of all the judge's scores. The overall score for the individual is the average of the three trial scores
5 Walks the balance beam flawlessly. Does not need to check balance, does not pause. Completes the walk within six seconds.
4 Walks the beam, but is somewhat unsteady. Completes the walk within six seconds.
3 Walks the beam, but is somewhat unsteady. May pause one or more times. Takes more than six seconds to complete the walk.
2 Walks the beam, but is very unsteady, almost falling off, may pause one or more times, and/or takes more than six seconds.
1 Falls off the beam before completing the walk.
0 Falls off the beam immediately.
  • Reliability: Three judges are used to improve reliability of assessors (Inter-rater reliability), and three trials per individual are allowed to improve reliability over time (Test-retest reliability).
  • Comments: this test can be used as a screening test for female gymnasts, as walking the beam is a basic skill for gymnastics