Three-dimensional (3-D) high speed photography was used to record the overarm throwing actions of five open-age, four 18-year-old, six 16-year- old, and six 14-year-old high-performance baseball catchers. The direct linear transformation method was used for 3-D space reconstruction from 2-D images of the catchers throwing from home plate to second base recorded using two phase-locked cameras operating at a nominal rate of 200 Hz. Selected physical capacity measures were also recorded and correlated with ball release speed. In general, anthropometric and strength measures significantly increased through the 14-year-old to open-age classifications, while a range of correlation coefficients from .50 to .84 was recorded between these physical capacities and ball speed at release. While many aspects of the kinematic data at release were similar, the key factors of release angle and release speed varied for the different age groups.
Shinji Sakurai is with the Research Center of Health, Physical Fitness, and Sports at Nagoya University, Nagoya, 464-01, Japan. Bruce Elliott and J. Robert Grove are with the Department of Human Movement at the University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia.