The aim of this test is to measure an athlete’s acceleration, maximum running speed, and endurance. It is also a reliable indicator of agility, and quickness.  


  • The athlete will start in a 3 or 4 point stance with their thumb firmly on the start line.
  • The athlete will hold their position for 2-3 seconds; No rolling starts, no quick starts
  • The athlete may lean across the line but No Rocking Movements are allowed.
  • Timing will begin when the on the players first movement as the down-hand separates from the surface.
  • Timing will end when the finishing system is triggered at the end.
  • Timing will be done electronically, and there will be a hand timer as a backup
  • Two trials are allowed, and the best time is recorded to the nearest decimal place.
  • There will be an estimated 5-10 minute wait until the 2nd 40 yard dash attempt.



  • If the athlete does not hold the start position for 2-3 seconds or the athlete uses a rolling start
  • If the athlete starts with their foot or hands across the starting line
  • Upon the first disqualification, the athlete will receive a warning and will be permitted to redo the sprint. Any additional disqualifications will end the test.
  • If there is a timing error or equipment malfunction, the athlete will be permitted to redo the sprint.



  • Chris Johnson (2008 Tennessee Titans Running Back) has the fastest time since the use of electronic testing (4.24 seconds).
  • Dri Archer (2014 Kent State Running Back) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.26 seconds.