• T. Duck


INTRODUCTION Historically, sport biomechanic laboratories have combined research based commercial software with inhouse programming to meet their requirements. Non-laboratory based independent researchers, teachers, coaches and students have had limited access to suitable and affordable computer based tools for general movement and sports skill analysis. Recent developments in multi-media computing, frame grabbing, and video technology have combined to make powerful desktop computer software feasible and the result has been a proliferation of research based and often hardware dependent computer tools which still leave a majority of teachers, students, coaches, and independent sport skill analysts with limited resources. On the other hand, it appears that computer software program, over time, tend to migrate to'wards a common-look, efficient, intuitive product such as found in word processing, spread sheet and data base management. A sharing of computer analysis approaches in s p a biomechanics will undoubtedly lead to improvements in available software which, in turn, will have a positive impact on research, teaching and learning. The object was to develop a general, portable; sport biomechanic computer analysis program. Fundamental requirements for the analysis program were initially developed. These included: a) window based intuitive, interactive environment, b) a teaching - learning focus, c) a full range of 'tools', from digitizing to processing and output, d) 'trail set up' information including collection point identification, segment parameter data, segment systems design and screen display models, c) calculation procedures, for example, absolute angles, relative angles, segment and system centers of gravity, velocities, accelerations, segment and system forces and moments, energy and momentum, and, d) model and graphics displays. Particular attention was focused on permitting flexible and productive analysis by fust time as well as experienced users. The program was developed and tested over many academic sessions with project and laboratory based classes. The program, in various stages of development, has been used by approximately 800 students over the past four years. In the current academic year the program forms the basis for both structured laboratoties and individual projects for classes totaling more than 300 students. At least 100 students complete their laboratory assignments or individual analyses on 'home' installations. CONCLUSIONS In the near future, sport biomechanic software will migrate towards a common 'look' and, minimally, stand-alone computer analysis programs will be available from CD or Internet sources.
Equipment / Instrumentation