Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Marcus Kilpatrick


Accelerometers, Activity, Exercise, METs, MVPA, Physical



It is believed that Flag Rugby may produce physical activity (PA) in middle school students that is more vigorous than other sports. PURPOSE: To examine the effects of different sports on physical activity in middle school students. METHODS: 101 (55 M; 46 F, ages 11-14, grades 6-8 ) middle schoolers were randomly selected to participate in three different sports on three separate days during their regular scheduled PE class. The participants engaged in flag football on day one, basketball on day two and flag rugby on day three of the research study. These days were not consecutive. All physiological-related variables were collected using the Stayhealthy RT3TM accelerometer (Monrovia, USA). Enjoyment and competence were measured using the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) (McAuley et. al., 1989; Ryan, 1982). The research design utilized a repeated measure analysis of variance (RMANOVA) followed by dependent t-tests. RESULTS: Flag football mean MET values were 4.93 + 1.35(SD). Basketball mean MET values were 5.51 + 2.02. Flag rugby mean MET values were 6.02 + 1.52. These results indicate a significant difference between flag football vs. basketball (p = 0.023) and flag rugby vs. flag football (p < 0.000), but no significant difference between basketball vs. flag rugby (p = 0.109). The results from the enjoyment and competence paired samples t-test found a significant difference between play of flag rugby (6.24 + 1.59, enjoyment; 6.00 + 1.46, competence) and flag football (5.38 + 1.69, enjoyment; 5.26 + 1.56) at (p < 0.000) for both scales. There was a significant difference between flag rugby and basketball (5.21 + 1.80 enjoyment; 5.21 + 1.68) at (p < 0.000) enjoyment and (p< 0.001) competence. However, there was no significant difference between basketball and flag football (p = 0.481) enjoyment and (p = 0.827) competence.

DISCUSSION: There is, in fact, a significant difference in physical activity intensities and durations between flag rugby and that of flag football and/or basketball (p < 0.001) F, 7.66. Results from this study suggest that there is not a significant difference in between flag rugby and basketball but there is a significant difference in enjoyment and competence between flag rugby and flag football.