This study compared three-dimensional release parameters and important features of the throwing technique for male javelin throwers of three different skill levels (elite, club, novice), recorded using three-dimensional cine or video. As expected, significant differences (p < .01) in throw distances and release speeds were found between all three groups. The only other release parameter for which a significant difference was found (between club and novice groups) was the yaw angle. The increase in release speed with increasing skill across the groups may be attributable in part to greater run-up speeds. Also important were significantly greater peak speeds of the throwing shoulder, elbow, and hand during the delivery stride for the elite group compared to the other groups. Significantly longer acceleration paths at the start of the delivery stride and a delay in elbow flexion until after final foot strike for the elite throwers were also important in generating greater release speeds.
Roger Bartlett and Calvin Morriss are with the Division of Sport Science at the Manchester Metropolitan University, Alsager, ST7 2HL, UK. Erich Müller and Stefan Lindinger are with the Institut für Sportwissenschaften der Universität Salzburg, Academiestrasse 26, A5020 Salzburg, Austria. Fritz Brunner is with the Institut für Sportwissenschaften der Universität Innsbruck, Fürstenweg 185, A6020 Innsbruck, Austria.