Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2014 ) 13 , 128 - 136

Research article
Acceleration Kinematics in Cricketers: Implications for Performance in the Field
Robert G. Lockie , Samuel J. Callaghan, Matthew D. Jeffriess
Author Information
Exercise and Sport Science, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia

Robert G. Lockie
✉ School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, PO Box 127, Ourimbah, NSW, 2258, Australia
Email: robert.lockie@newcastle.edu.au
Publish Date
Received: 23-09-2013
Accepted: 08-10-2013
Published (online): 20-01-2014
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ABSTRACT

Cricket fielding often involves maximal acceleration to retrieve the ball. There has been no analysis of acceleration specific to cricketers, or for players who field primarily in the infield (closer to the pitch) or outfield (closer to the boundary). This study analyzed the first two steps of a 10-m sprint in experienced cricketers. Eighteen males (age = 24.06 ± 4.87 years; height = 1.81 ± 0.06 m; mass = 79.67 ± 10.37 kg) were defined as primarily infielders (n = 10) or outfielders (n = 8). Timing lights recorded 0-5 and 0-10 m time. Motion capture measured first and second step kinematics, including: step length; step frequency; contact time; shoulder motion; lead and rear arm elbow angle; drive leg hip and knee extension, and ankle plantar flexion; swing leg hip and knee flexion, and ankle dorsi flexion. A one-way analysis of variance (p < 0.05) determined between-group differences. Data was pooled for a Pearson’s correlation analysis (p < 0.05) to analyze kinematic relationships. There were no differences in sprint times, and few variables differentiated infielders and outfielders. Left shoulder range of motion related to second step length (r = 0.471). First step hip flexion correlated with both step lengths (r = 0.570-0.598), and frequencies (r = -0.504--0.606). First step knee flexion related to both step lengths (r = 0.528-0.682), and first step frequency (r = -0.669). First step ankle plantar flexion correlated with second step length (r = -0.692) and frequency (r = 0.726). Greater joint motion ranges related to longer steps. Cricketers display similar sprint kinematics regardless of fielding position, likely because players may field in the infield or outfield depending on match situation. Due to relationships with shoulder and leg motion, and the importance and trainability of step length, cricketers should target this variable to enhance acceleration.

Key words: Biomechanics, cricket, fielding, step length, sprinting, swing leg flexion


           Key Points
  • Regardless of whether cricketers field predominantly in the infield or outfield, they will produce relatively similar sprint acceleration kinematics. This is likely due to the fact that cricketers will often field in both areas of the cricket ground, depending on the requirements of the match.
  • Due to the complexity of sprint acceleration, there were relatively few significant correlations between technique variables. However, step length had positive relationships with shoulder range of motion, swing leg hip and knee flexion, and drive leg ankle plantar flexion.
  • As previous research has established the importance of step length to acceleration, as well as the trainability of this kinematic variable, training specifically to improve step length could lead to enhanced sprint acceleration in cricketers.
 
 
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