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Maximizing the functional abilities of the individual is the primary objective of any therapeutic intervention. Functional outcome data are valuable to those involved in the care of the athlete because such data provides information that helps facilitate the clinical decision-making process and, therefore, helps insure a safe and efficient return to athletics. Functional outcome measures also provide useful data for assessing therapeutic intervention efficacy. The clinician/researcher must consider various factors when selecting an appropriate outcome measure, such as: the patient population, pathology, specific test parameters, psychometric properties, and practicality of the measure. The primary purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with guidelines for either assessing existing measures or developing new measures of functional outcomes for use in clinical practice and research.