Swing Kinematics Described in Division I Female Softball Players

Submitted by Cassie Reilly-Boccia1*, Travis Ficklin2*, Robin Lund3*

1*  Director of Research and Development at Athletes Warehouse in Pleasantville, NY

2* Assistant Professor of Movement and Exercise Science at the University of Northern Iowa

3* Associate Professor of Movement and Exercise Science at the University of Northern Iowa

Cassie Reilly-Boccia is a former member of the National Champion University of Alabama softball team and is the Director of Research and Development at Athletes Warehouse in Pleasantville, NY.  Travis Ficklin is an Assistant Professor of Movement and Exercise Science at the University of Northern Iowa.  Robin Lund is an Associate Professor of Movement and Exercise Science at the University of Northern Iowa.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to describe basic kinematic variables of the swing and the relationships that exist between these variables in Division I female softball players.  These variables included bat velocity (BV), bat quickness (BQ), and bat acceleration (BA).  Video data were collected for all swings during a 15-game softball tournament in which six NCAA Division I teams played.  High-speed video cameras recording at 300 Hz were located along the first and third base lines recording every pitch.  Data from 1,099 swings were analyzed for bat velocity (BV), bat quickness (BQ), and bat acceleration (BA).  BQ and BV were calculated by video analysis and digitization.  All swings were rank ordered by BA and assessed for relationships among BV, BQ, and BA.  Descriptive statistics (mean ± SD) were calculated for all swing kinematic variables.  Pearson product moment correlations were used to examine relationships among the swing kinematic variables.  Alpha was set at (p<0.05) for all tests.  Mean BV for all swings was 28.77 ± 4.94 m/s, mean BQ for all swings was 0.208 ± 0.042 s, and mean BA for all swings was 144.39 ± 38.44 m/s2.  When observing correlations of all swings, BV and BQ unexpectedly had an inverse relationship.  When grouping swings into homogenous strata based on BA, BQ, and BV proved to have a significant positive correlation.

Key words: softball, bat velocity, bat quickness, bat acceleration

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Temporal Description of the Stolen Base in High School Softball

Submitted by Robin Lund, Travis Ficklin and Cassie Reilly-Boccia

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to describe the temporal factors that determine the outcome of a stolen base attempt in high school softball. Two hundred and sixty-eight high school softball players were videotaped using a high-speed video camera to describe the typical steal time of a high school softball player. From the pool of subjects, 29 catchers, 81 pitchers and 2 middle infielders were studied to determine the average catcher pop time (time elapsed for the catcher to deliver the ball to the middle infielder at second base) under three different batter behavior conditions, pitch time and tag time (specific to location of the throw from the catcher). Repeated measures ANOVA indicated a fake bunt from the batter or a swing through by the batter significantly increased the catcher pop times when compared to the batter taking the pitch (p<0.05). A one-way ANOVA indicated that the catcher throws made to the low to inside region of second base resulted in significantly faster tag times (p<0.05). A chi-square analysis showed no effect of batter behavior on catcher accuracy. Coaches may use this evidence-based framework when deciding to attempt to steal second base to maximize run expectancy.

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