School of Medical and Health Sciences
Pace bowlers must often perform extended bowling spells with maximal ball release speed (BRS) while targeting different delivery lengths when playing a multi-day match. This study investigated the effect of an eight over spell upon pace bowling biomechanics and performance at different delivery lengths. Nine male bowlers (age = 18.8 ± 1.7 years) completed an eight over spell, while targeting different lengths (short: 7–10 m, good: 4–7 m, full: 0–4 m from the batter’s stumps, respectively) in a randomized order. Trunk, knee and shoulder kinematics and ground reaction forces at front foot contact (FFC), as well as run-up velocity and BRS were measured. Paired sample t-tests (p ≤ 0.01), Hedges’ g effect sizes, and statistical parametrical mapping were used to assess differences between mean variables from the first and last three overs. No significant differences (p = 0.05–0.98) were found in any discrete or continuous variables, with the magnitude of difference being trivial-to-medium (g = 0.00–0.73) across all variables. Results suggest pace bowlers sustain BRS through a single eight over spell while tolerating the repeatedly high whole-body biomechanical loads as suggested by maintaining the kinematics or technique at the assessed joints during FFC. Practically, the findings are advantageous for bowling performance and support current bowling load monitoring practices.
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