Biomechanical Comparison between Elite Female and Male Baseball Pitchers

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The purpose of the current study was to identify the biomechanical features of elite female baseball pitching. Kinematics and kinetics of eleven elite female baseball pitchers were reported and compared with eleven elite male pitchers. Results suggested that females share many similarities with males in pitching kinematics, with a few significant differences. Specifically, at the instant of stride foot contact, a female pitcher had a shorter and more open stride and less separation between pelvis orientation and upper torso orientation. From foot contact to ball release, a female pitcher produced lower peak angular velocity for throwing elbow extension and stride knee extension. Ball velocity was lower for the female. Foot contact to ball release took more time for a female pitcher. Maximal proximal forces at the shoulder and elbow joints were less for a female pitcher.

Chu and Simpson are with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, and Fleisig and Andrews are with the American Sports Medicine Institute, Birmingham, AL.