Validity and Reliability
The Modified BASS Balance Test is a sparsely used balance test. Due to insufficient validation, the test is not recommended in scientific practice.
Ambegaonkar et al. describe the test to have “acceptable reliability of 0.75”  and a validity of 0.46 [1, 8]. However, since the authors did not go any deeper on this, and the original source from Johnson and Leach (1968) is not available in a computerized version, it remains unclear to which kind of reliability is meant, and if the scientific methods used were sufficient to detect appropriate levels of reliability. Furthermore, the authors were unable to show the differences in balance between dancers and active non-dancers .
Tsigili et al. examined the reliability of the Modified Bass Balance Test by comparing it to the current standard test using a stabilometer, with no significant correlation being observed . Also, the authors recorded very high performance values (mean = 91.45) close to the ceiling of 100 points. This could have impacted variability values. The test seems too easy to perform for their population of undergraduate students .
The Modified BASS Balance Test records both static and dynamic movement errors. The end score, on the other hand, combines both scores. It is unclear if static and/or dynamic deficiencies get “washed out” or if the score accurately depicts a person’s balance .
As the tape marker distances remain constant and are the same for all participants of the test, it creates an unfair advantage for taller individuals who are less challenged to jump from marker to marker. Therefore, leg length differences make this test difficult for comparison but are not accounted for.
Old tests get replaced by newer, more valid, and quite often, more reliable tests. This is what appears to have happened to the original Bass Balance Test. It got modified, but even this modified version is only seldom in use due to obvious disadvantages. One subject gets less taxed throughout the jumping course than another, and the test does not control for arm sway or upper-body balance control actions. Collectively, this reduces the test’s sensitivity and reliability. As a result, the Modified Bass Balance Test is not recommended in practice where valid and reliable balance results are desired. Check out our article on the “Multiple Single-Leg Hop-Stabilization Test” for a reliable variant of the Modified BASS Balance Test.