Older adults threw tennis balls for force and accuracy to examine their adaptability to different task demands. Twenty-one (13 women, 8 men) participants were videotaped as they performed five force and five accuracy throws. The developmental level of each throw was determined; resultant ball velocities also were examined. Roberton’s (1977, 1978) movement components were used in the former analysis. The typical pattern of gender differences occurred for both movement component and velocity measures. Men performed at higher levels than women. Only minor force versus accuracy differences were found in the movement patterns used by either men or women; none of these differences were significant. Clear task differences occurred for ball velocities. Men’s forceful throws were faster than those for accuracy; women’s throws did not differ for the two tasks. The generally lower developmental level of women’s throws accounted for gender differences in velocity. Insufficient task differences may explain the lack of clear contrast in movement patterns.
Kathleen Williams, Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science, Univ. of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412. Kathleen Haywood, Dept. of Physical Education, Univ. of Missouri–St Louis, St. Louis, MO 63121-4499. Ann VanSant, Allied Health Professions, Division of Physical Therapy, Temple Univ., Philadelphia, PA 19122.