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This study examined the mechanics of translation and rotation during the conventional and handspring soccer throw-ins. Thirteen male collegiate soccer players were filmed at 100 fps while performing a conventional soccer throw-in for distance. Additionally, two male collegiate and two male youth league soccer players were filmed at 200 fps while performing a handspring throw-in. Analysis of the conventional throw-in revealed that rapid trunk flexion, and shoulder and elbow extension just prior to release appear to make important contributions to the performance variables (initial ball velocity, angle of release, range, angular momentum). Results of the handspring throw-in analysis suggest that the angular momentum generated during the preparatory and ball support phases was transferred to the arms, forearms, and ball during the latter stages of the movement. Although generalization to a larger population is limited, the results of this study suggest that the handspring throw-in technique has the potential to generate greater release velocities and longer throws, thereby enhancing scoring opportunities during throw-in situations.
Stephen P. Messier is with the Department of Health and Sport Science, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109. At the time of this writing, Mary Ann Brody was a graduate student with the Department. Direct all correspondence to the first author.