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Ross H. Sanders and Barry D. Wilson

This study investigated factors contributing to the maximum height achieved by divers after takeoff from the 3m springboard. Twelve elite male divers and 12 elite female divers competing in the 1986 Australian National Championships were filmed using high-speed cinematography. Kinematic and kinetic data for the takeoff phase were derived from the digitized film. Variables analyzed included center of gravity (CG) displacement and velocity, the acceleration of the CG relative to the springboard, and the components of mechanical energy contributing to height achieved by the diver’s CG. Body orientation was described in terms of the angles at the hip, knee, and ankle, and whole body angle of lean. Comparison of timing differences among dive groups and divers was aided by normalizing the data with respect to time. It was found that the height achieved was highly dependent on the rotational requirements of the dive, with males achieving greater heights than females. Divers who achieve good height compared to other divers performing the same dive are characterized by a large vertical velocity at touchdown from the hurdle and a minimization of hip flexion (forward dives) and knee flextion (reverse dives) at takeoff.

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Robert J. Neal and Barry D. Wilson

Three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics for a double pendulum model golf swing were determined for 6 subjects, who were filmed by two phase-locked Photosonics cameras. The film was digitally analyzed. Abdel-Aziz and Karara's (1971) algorithm was used to determine three-dimensional spatial coordinates for the segment endpoints. Linear kinematic and kinetic data showed similarities with previous studies. The orientation of the resultant joint force at the wrists was in the direction of motion of the club center of gravity for most of the downswing. Such an orientation of the force vector would tend to prevent wrist uncocking. Indeterminate peak angular velocities for rotations about the X axis were reported. However, these peaks were due to computational instabilities that occurred when the club was perpendicular to the YZ plane. Furthermore, the motion of the club during the downswing was found to be nonplanar. Wrist uncocking appeared to be associated with the resultant joint torque and not the resultant joint force at the wrists. Torques reported in this study were consistent with those reported by Vaughan (1981).

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Ross H. Sanders and Barry D. Wilson

This study investigated the in-flight rotation of elite 3m springboard divers by determining the angular momentum requirement about the transverse axis through the divers center of gravity (somersault axis) required to perform a forward 1 1/2 somersault with and without twist. Three elite male divers competing in the 1982 Commonwealth Games were filmed using high-speed cinematography while performing the forward 1 1/2 somersault in the pike position and the forward 1 1/2 somersault with one twist in a free position. The film was digitized to provide a kinematic description of each dive. An inclined axis technique appeared to be the predominant means of producing twist after takeoff from the board. The angular momentum about the somersault axis after takeoff was greater for the forward 1 1/2 somersault with twist than the forward 1 1/2 somersault without twist for all three divers. The difference in angular momentum between the two dives of each diver ranged from 6% to 19%. The most observable difference between the dives during the preflight phases was the degree of hip flexion at takeoff. There was more hip flexion at takeoff in 5132D than 103B for all three divers. This difference ranged from 9° to 18° (mean = 14°).

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Ross H. Sanders, Barry D. Wilson, and Robert K. Jensen

This study investigated whether force data could be derived accurately using segment inertia data determined by the elliptical zone method (Jensen, 1976), automatic digitizing from high-speed video using a Motion Analysis VP110 system, and for an activity that does not require flexion of the thorax. The criterion fonctions were the force-time records of the jumps recorded at 500 Hz by a Kistler 9281B force platform. A second-order Butterworth digital filter was used to smooth the derived data, with frequency cutoffs being selected on the basis of root mean square error of the smoothed function with respect to the criterion force function. In a second procedure, the criterion function was the directly measured force-time record after filtering with a second-order Butterworth digital filter at 5 Hz to remove the high frequency part of the force signal. The closeness of fit of the derived data to the low frequency part of the criterion force was then assessed. It was concluded that, using the techniques described, the low frequency components of the ground reaction forces of drop jumps could be derived accurately.

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Peter L. Davidson, Suzanne J. Wilson, Barry D. Wilson, and David J. Chalmers

The energy return characteristics of an impacted surface are important for human impacts such as a child falling onto a play surface or an athlete landing on a gymnastic mat. The amount of energy dissipated or returned to the impacting body will contribute to the surface’s injury-minimizing or performance-enhancing potential. We describe a simple approach for selecting a rheological computer model to simulate a human–surface impact. The situation analyzed was of a head form impact onto gymnastic tumbling mats. The approach can be used to characterize other surfaces and impacts. The force-time-displacement characteristics of the mats were determined from laboratory drop tests. Various spring-damper models were evaluated for their ability to reproduce the experimental acceleration-time and force-displacement impact curves. An exponential spring and depth damper combination was found to best replicate the surface characteristics of the mats tested here, and to demonstrate their energy flow and exchange properties. Rheological modeling is less complex than finite element modeling but still accounted for the depth, velocity, and energy characteristics of the impacted surfaces. This approach will be useful for reproducing the characteristics of surfaces when the impacting body cannot be instrumented, and for predicting force and energy flow in nonrigid impacts.

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Peter L. Davidson, Suzanne J. Wilson, David J. Chalmers, Barry D. Wilson, David Eager, and Andrew S. McIntosh

The amount of energy dissipated away from or returned to a child falling onto a surface will influence fracture risk but is not considered in current standards for playground impact-attenuating surfaces. A two-mass rheological computer simulation was used to model energy flow within the wrist and surface during hand impact with playground surfaces, and the potential of this approach to provide insights into such impacts and predict injury risk examined. Acceleration data collected on-site from typical playground surfaces and previously obtained data from children performing an exercise involving freefalling with a fully extended arm provided input. The model identified differences in energy flow properties between playground surfaces and two potentially harmful surface characteristics: more energy was absorbed by (work done on) the wrist during both impact and rebound on rubber surfaces than on bark, and rubber surfaces started to rebound (return energy to the wrist) while the upper limb was still moving downward. Energy flow analysis thus provides information on playground surface characteristics and the impact process, and has the potential to identify fracture risks, inform the development of safer impact-attenuating surfaces, and contribute to development of new energy-based arm fracture injury criteria and tests for use in conjunction with current methods.

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Peter L. Davidson, Brendan Mahar, David J. Chalmers, and Barry D. Wilson

This study was to determine estimates of the stiffness and damping properties of the wrist and shoulder in children by examining wrist impacts on the outstretched hand in selected gymnastic activities. The influence of age, mass, and wrist and torso impact velocity on the stiffness and damping properties were also examined. Fourteen young gymnasts (ages 8 to 15 yrs) were videotaped while performing back-handspring trials or dive-rolls. Kinematic and ground reaction analysis provided input for computer simulation of the body as a rheological model with appropriate stiffness and damping. A significant positive linear relationship was obtained between wrist damping in dive rolls and age, mass, and wrist and torso impact velocity, while shoulder damping in the back-handsprings had a significant positive linear relationship with body mass. This new information on stiffness and damping at the shoulder and the wrist in children enables realistic mathematical modeling of children's physical responses to hand impact in falls. This is significant because modeling studies can now be used as an alternative to epidemiological studies to evaluate measures aimed at reducing injuries in gymnastics and other activities involving impact to the upper extremity.

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Jorg Teichmann, Edin K. Suwarganda, Claudia Lendewig, Barry D. Wilson, Wee Kian Yeo, Ramlan Abdul Aziz, and Dietmar Schmidtbleicher


The Unexpected-Disturbance Program (UDP) promotes exercises in response to so-called involuntary short- to midlatency disturbances.


This study investigated the effectiveness of the UDP in the last 6 wk of rehabilitation.


Pre–post study with 2-tailed paired t tests for limited a priori comparisons to examine differences.


National Sports Institute of Malaysia.


24 Malaysian national athletes.


7 sessions/wk of 90 min with 3 sessions allocated for 5 or 6 UDP exercises.

Main Outcomes:

Significant improvements for men and women were noted. Tests included 20-m sprint, 1-repetition-maximum single-leg press, standing long jump, single-leg sway, and a psychological questionnaire.


For men and women, respectively, average strength improvements of 22% (d = 0.96) and 29% (d = 1.05), sprint time of 3% (d = 1.06) and 4% (d = 0.58), and distance jumped of 4% (d = 0.59) and 6% (d = 0.47) were noted. In addition, athletes reported improved perceived confidence in their abilities. All athletes improved in each functional test except for long jump in 2 of the athletes. Mediolateral sway decreased in 18 of the 22 athletes for the injured limb.


The prevention training with UDP resulted in improved conditioning and seems to decrease mediolateral sway.