Slo-pitch placement hitting movement analysis

  • Author / Creator
    Wu, Tong Ching Tom
  • Many sports biomechanics research studies follow a traditional task analysis concept that there is only one best possible movement pattern and thus focus on the examination of kinematics and kinetics of movement without considering the influence of constraints that are imposed on it. This study developed an interdisciplinary approach by utilizing the principles of ecological task analysis and movement coordination from areas of motor leaning and biomechanics to examine the skill of placement hitting in slo-pitch softball. The choice of evaluating this slo-pitch batting skill to assess movement patterns is pragmatic because of its popularity of the sport and uniqueness of the batting movement. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the influence of two task constraints (stride technique and designated field location) and an environmental constraint (pitched ball location) on the participants’ batting performances, kinematics, and movement patterns. A three-way ANOVA of 2 fields (same and opposite) x 2 locations of pitch (inside and outside) x 3 strides (open, parallel and closed) repeated measure study was conducted in this study. The results showed that participants were more successful in placing the ball to the same field instead of the opposite field. The pitched ball location and stride techniques did not have a consistent impact on the results across the different hitting conditions. To achieve these batting performance results, participants demonstrated different joint movements and different coordination patterns. Hence, this study supports the rationale of ecological task analysis but not traditional task analysis. Further, to understand the generalizability of the findings, a Euclidean distance analysis was conducted to evaluate the degree of dissimilarity between the individual and group mean results. The results indicated that participants generally showed a low degree of dissimilarity, so they were quite homogeneous as a group. Hence, the results from this study not only enable us to evaluate a human movement skill under the influence of different constraints but educators may apply the findings to other players. A similar interdisciplinary approach is warranted for future research studies in order to better understand the mechanics of human motion.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Gervais, Pierre (Physical Education and Recreation)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Chiu, Loren (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Baudin, Pierre (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Caldwell, Graham (Kinesiology)
    • Bouffard, Marcel (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Carey, Jason (Mechanical Engineering)