Baseball: Accuracy of qualitative analysis for assessment of skilled baseball pitching technique
Task Performance and Analysis
Baseball pitching must be performed with correct technique if injuries are to be avoided and performance maximized. High-speed video analysis is accepted as the most accurate and objective method for evaluation of baseball pitching mechanics. The aim of this research was to develop an equivalent qualitative analysis method for use with standard video equipment. A qualitative analysis protocol (QAP) was developed for 24 kinematic variables identified as important to pitching performance. Twenty male baseball pitchers were videotaped using 60 Hz camcorders, and their technique evaluated using the QAP, by two independent raters. Each pitcher was also assessed using a 6-camera 200 Hz Motion Analysis system (MAS). Four QAP variables (22%) showed significant similarity with MAS results. Inter-rater reliability showed agreement on 33% of QAP variables. It was concluded that a complete and accurate profile of an athlete's pitching mechanics cannot be made using the QAP in its current form, but it is possible such simple forms of biomechanical analysis could yield accurate results before 3-D methods become obligatory.