The influence of upper body kinematic variables on ball release speed in women’s cricket
University of Wales
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The main aim of this study was to identify significant relationships between selected upper body kinematic variables and ball release speed for female bowlers. Four female undergraduate students (mean ± s: age = 20.5 ± 1.3 years, mass = 64.1 ± 7.8 kg, height = 1.71 ± 0.03 m) were filmed bowling twelve trials at maximal intensity, a CODAmotion analysis system was also used (200Hz) along with force plates (1000Hz) which attempted to record the ground reaction forces at back foot and front foot impact. Relationships between the selected kinematic variables and ball release speeds were investigated using Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficients (r). There were no significant relationships found between increased levels of flexion and extension at the elbow joint and ball release speed and ball release height as a percentage of standing height and ball release speed, implying that coaches could encourage the maintenance of a straight elbow and place less emphasis on maximising ball release height in an attempt to reduce injury risk. There was a significant relationship found between the vertical velocity of the non-bowling elbow and ball release speed (p = 0.045; 0.024) which is supported by previous literature, suggesting that the vertical velocity of the non-bowling elbow does have an influence on increasing ball release speed. A possible causal link has been found between the maximum height reached by the non-bowling arm as a percentage of standing height and the vertical velocity of the non-bowling elbow (p = 0.008), the vertical velocity of the non-bowling elbow and the vertical velocity of the bowling arm (p = 0.000) and the vertical velocity of the bowling arm and ball release speed (p = 0.05). In order to study this link further more trials need to be conducted on each participant. Essential to further research concerning women’s cricket is a standard classification system regarding ball release speed specifically for female bowlers in order to compare further studies effectively.
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