Assessment of secondary school students' game performance related to tactical contexts

David Gutiérrez, Jennifer Fisette, Luis Miguel García-López, Onofre Contreras
Journal of Human Kinetics 2014 September 29, 42: 223-34
Certain limitations remain unaddressed when utilizing the Teaching Games for Understanding approach, suggesting the need for more research on authentic assessment of skill development and tactical awareness in order to guide the design of developmentally appropriate curriculum materials. This study investigated physical education students' (n=19; age: 13.71 ± 0.4) game performance during an invasion game, specifically the relationship between their skill execution and decision-making ability. The purpose of the study was twofold: (a) to devise and implement a 'game context' approach to assess the game performance components and in doing so, (b) to provide information that could be used to design suitable learning progressions within tactical teaching approaches. Students' game performance was videotaped, and measures of skill execution and decision-making were developed from observational analyses. Decision-making was measured at two levels: a) decision making restricted to the selection of technical-tactical skills (i.e., passing, moving with the ball, getting free, marking, tackling, double teaming and interception; and b) decision-making in the adaptation to the tactical contexts of the game. Participants played a 5 vs. 5 modified eight-minute team handball game. Participants scored significantly higher in penetrating-the-defense context adaptation than in keeping-the-ball context adaptation. Participants showed a higher efficiency in decision-making than in execution in most of the technical-tactical skills; including on-the-ball over off-the-ball decision-making, and in attack compared to defensive execution. The findings also revealed significant relationships between decision-making and skill execution in shooting, tackling and passing.

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