THREE DIMENSIONAL KINEMATICS OF THE BASEBALL PITCH

  • Ross E. Vaughn

Abstract

Although the art of pitching a baseball is a complex skill involving many physical, psychological, and emotional variables, the ability to throw the baseball with high velocity is important for success at this skill. Research suggests that arm motion is the most variable aspect of the overarm throwing pattern among subjects with different throwing abilities. However, several investigators (Atwater, 1979; Sanders, 1977; Tarbe11, 1971) have noted difficulty measuring certain aspects of the arm motion. According to Atwater (1982), kinematic analyses of the overarm throw have not been extensive because this skill is clearly three-dimensional, and appropriate cinematographic techniques have not been available until recently. The primary purpose of this study was to conduct a threedimensional kinematic analysis of the arm motion during high velocity overarm baseball pitching, in order to: (1) measure the rate of humeral rotation and flexion/extension at the elbow and wrist joints; (2) identify kinematic variables that are significantly related to throwing velocity; and (3) determine whether significant relationships exist between selected anthropometric measurements and throwing velocity.
Published
2008-04-13
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities