KINETIC AND KINEMATIC TECHNIQUE FACTORS RELATED TO RELEASE VELOCITY IN FAST BOWLING IN MEN’S CRICKET
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of this investigation was to explore the technical aspects of fast bowling, specifically those technique factors that are related to release velocity. Release velocity of the ball is an important characteristic for any fast bowler as any increase in release velocity can increase the probability of dismissing an opposition batsman due to decreased reaction time and the apprehensive impact of greater velocity on the batsman. Five university standard fast bowlers (mean ± standard deviation: age=20±0.4 years, height=183.28±5.3 cm, mass=77.8±3.1 kg) were asked to bowl six successful deliveries at their competition intensity with successful trials recorded as those that hit a pre-determined area on the pitch. Automatic motion analysis (CODAmotion V6.78.2) was used to record the bowling action from back foot contact to ball release capturing kinematic data through recognition of active markers (200 Hz), and force data (1000 Hz) from a force plate (Kistler 5233A). Release velocity was determined through digitisation of video data recorded by a Sony camera (200 Hz). An intra-participant design was adopted based on recommendations of previous authors to improve reliability and control for extraneous variables. Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficients were computed to identify relationships between: centre of mass velocity pre-back foot contact; extension (post braking) and angle of, at release, the front knee; maximum forward shoulder rotation; maximum shoulder hip separation; peak braking and vertical forces and release velocity of the ball. Strong significant relationships were identified between peak braking, peak vertical force, centre of mass velocity, maximum hip shoulder separation, and release velocity for one participant (r=0.85-0.95, p<0.05). A strong significant relationship was also identified between forward shoulder rotation and release velocity for two participants (r=0.91, 0.94, p<0.05). It was concluded that maximising front foot forces would increase the tangential velocity of the ball. Logically, the results suggest that greater approach velocity is related to great release velocity, and that increases in hip shoulder separation and forward rotation would increase the acceleration path of the ball, and therefore release velocity. The results of this study provide further insight into the components of the bowling action that can be manipulated to influence release velocity, and provide information to coaches on which technical areas of the action should be attended to when attempting to maximise release velocity. However a key limitation of this investigation is the relatively low number of trials per bowler, which may explain the apparent lack of relationships that were predicted between variables and release velocity. Future research should therefore adopt this methodology but increase the number of required successful trials.
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