Does delivery length impact measures of whole-body biomechanical load during pace bowling?
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Human Kinetics Publishers Inc
School of Medical and Health Sciences
© 2020 Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.. All rights reserved. Purpose: To investigate whether changes in delivery length (ie, short, good, and full) lead to alterations in whole-body biomechanical loading as determined by ground reaction force during front-foot contact of the delivery stride for pace bowlers. Current load-monitoring practices of pace bowling in cricket assume equivocal biomechanical loading as only the total number of deliveries are monitored irrespective of delivery length. Methods: A total of 16 male pace bowlers completed a 2-over spell at maximum intensity while targeting different delivery lengths (short, 7–10 m; good, 4–7 m; and full, 0–4 m from the batter’s stumps). In-ground force plates were used to determine discrete (vertical and braking force, impulse, and loading rates) and continuous front-foot contact ground reaction force. Repeated-measures analysis of variance (P < .05), effects size, and statistical parametrical mapping were used to determine differences between delivery lengths. Results: There were no significant differences between short, good, and full delivery lengths for the discrete and continuous kinetic variables investigated (P = .19–1.00), with trivial to small effect sizes. Conclusion: There were minimal differences in front-foot contact biomechanics for deliveries of different lengths (ie, short, good, and full). These data reinforce current pace bowling load-monitoring practices (ie, counting the number of deliveries), as changes in delivery length do not affect the whole-body biomechanical loading experienced by pace bowlers. This is of practical importance as it retains simplicity in load-monitoring practice that is used widely across different competition levels and ages.