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The Physical Differences Between Faster and Slower Elite Male and Female Pace Bowlers
journal contributionposted on 2022-06-01, 00:00 authored by Ryan Letter, Dan DwyerDan Dwyer, Eric DrinkwaterEric Drinkwater, Simon FerosSimon Feros
Purpose: This study investigated the differences between selected physical attributes and ball release speed in slower and faster male and female elite pace bowlers. Methods: Twelve physical attributes and ball release speed were retrospectively analyzed from 63 male and 31 female elite pace bowlers over the course of 5 seasons. Pace bowlers were categorized as either fast (>122.9 km/h, males and >97.8 km/h, females) or slow (<122.9 km/h, males and <97.8 km/h, females) for each sex. Differences in physical attributes between slower and faster bowling groups were compared using Cohen d effect sizes. Results: Faster pace bowlers displayed differences in isometric midthigh-pull peak force (d = 0.25, males and d = 0.68, females) and relative peak force (d = 0.62, males and d = 0.77, females). Faster male pace bowlers displayed differences in relative (d = 0.61) and absolute (d = 0.39) countermovement jump heights. Faster female pace bowlers displayed differences in 1-repetition-maximum bench-pull strength (d = 0.45) and run-of-3 performance (relative average, d = 1.22; relative best, d = 1.12; average, d = 0.49; and best, d = 0.40). Conclusions: Anaerobic dominant physical attributes appear to be important in both male and female pace bowlers. The contribution of these physical attributes to ball release speed appears to differ slightly between males and females. Lower-body strength (males and females), lower-body power (males), relative anaerobic capacities (females), and upper-body strength (females) appear to distinguish between slower and faster elite pace bowlers.