Throwing performance is a vital aspect of many sports. In cricket, the performance levels of an overarm throw often decide the outcome of the game. The release velocity and accuracy are modified by the player in question to create a speed-accuracy trade-off during the execution of an overarm throw.
110 Cricket players from 6 different populations were selected as participants for this study.
(1) Elite Senior Males
(2) Elite U19 Junior Males
(3) Elite U17 Junior Males
(4) Elite Senior Females
(5) Elite U19 Junior Females
(6) Sub-Elite Senior Males
Participants (Ps) were assessed on maximum throwing velocity, and throwing accuracy at maximum velocity and 3 sub-max velocities.
The tests were conducted in an indoor sports hall with a synthetic surface and max velocity throws were undertaken from a distance of 20.14m from the target. Regulation 4-piece leather cricket balls weighing 156g were thrown into a net. For the max velocity throw test; a net with no specific target was set up. A cordless speed radar gun was positioned behind the net whilst Ps were instructed to throw as hard as possible. All the throws were overarm and Ps were allowed one stride before throwing to minimise extraneous variables such as approach speed and angle.
For the throwing accuracy test, a specially designed cricket target was assembled and throws were made from behind a line at a distance of 20.14m. The target consisted of one cricket stump in the ground surrounded by five markers in order to attribute scores to how close to the stump, the throw hit.
Elite senior males had highest peak and mean throwing velocities whilst groups of males had significantly higher velocity throws than females. A speed-accuracy trade-off existed as all groups had improved accuracy scores at velocities between 75% and 85% of max throwing velocity.
To conclude, sex, playing experience, and training volume may all contribute to throwing performance in cricket players. Further research should be aimed at the mechanisms behind the differences seen in throwing profiles whilst also looking at the training techniques and differences between the genders.