Female cricket pace bowling: kinematic and anthropometric relationships with ball release speed





Background: Despite an increase in the professionalism and participation of female cricket, the coaching of female pace bowling is still reliant on male-derived knowledge.

Objectives: To investigate the association between key male-derived kinematic and anthropometric parameters and ball release speed (BRS) in female pace bowlers.

Methods: Eleven female pace bowlers participated in this study. BRS, and four anthropometric and five kinematic parameters were determined. Stepwise linear regression and Pearson Product Moment correlations were used to identify anthropometric and kinematic parameters linked to BRS.

Results: The best predictor of BRS explaining 89% of the observed variance was the bowling shoulder angle at ball release. The best anthropometric predictor of BRS was height explaining 53% of the observed variance. Other parameters correlated with BRS included: run-up speed (r = 0.75, p = 0.013) and arm length (r = 0.61, p = 0.046). When height was controlled for, the front knee angle at front foot contact was also correlated to BRS (r = 0.68, p = 0.044). No relationship was found between trunk flexion and BRS.

Conclusion: Faster BRS were characterised by faster run-up speeds, straighter front knees, and delayed arm circumduction similar to male pace bowlers. The lack of relationship between trunk flexion and BRS may highlight female pace bowlers adopting a bowling technique where BRS is contributed to by trunk rotation as well as trunk flexion. This knowledge is likely to be useful in the talent identification and coaching of female pace bowlers.


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How to Cite

Lyons, C., Felton, P., & McCabe, C. (2023). Female cricket pace bowling: kinematic and anthropometric relationships with ball release speed. South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 35(1). https://doi.org/10.17159/2078-516X/2023/v35i1a15080



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