Teenage fast bowlers wanted for CSU research

1 JANUARY 2003

Researchers at CSU in Bathurst are seeking teenage cricket fast bowlers to help determine standards to minimise the risk of lower back injury.

Researchers at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst are seeking teenage cricket fast bowlers to help determine standards to minimise the risk of lower back injury.
 
Dr Suzi Edwards and Associate Professor Nick O’Dwyer, lecturers in exercise science at the CSU School of Human Movement Studies in Bathurst, and Honours student Mr Andrew Schaefer, are examining whether current Cricket Australia guidelines are successful in reducing the risk of lower back injury among young fast bowlers.
 
Dr Edwards said, “There has been growing concern about the increase in lower back injuries among both elite fast bowlers and juniors, as up to 50 per cent of youth fast bowlers have a lower back injury and approximately 24 per cent of 13-14 year-old bowlers have disc degeneration.
 
“As part of Andrew’s Honours thesis research, we are investigating the validity of Cricket Australia guidelines that restrict the number of deliveries that bowlers under the age of 19 are allowed to bowl in both matches and training sessions, and whether this reduces the risk of lower back injury.”
 
The researchers seek up to 20 male fast bowlers aged 14 to 19 years living in the NSW central west, although participants from elsewhere are welcome if they cover their own travel expenses. The research testing occurs in one three-hour session at the School’s Biomechanical Laboratory.
 
Parental consent is required for participants under the age of 18, with two ‘informed consent’ forms to be signed, one by a parent/guardian and one by the minor.
 
“We put special markers on the bowler’s skin to record the 3D motion of their bowling action using special high speed video cameras and electrodes to measure the muscle activity during 10 consecutive six-ball overs,” Dr Edwards said.
 
“This study will provide valuable information about a bowler’s action and whether their bowling technique increases the risk of lower back injury or can reduce time on the sideline due to injury. It will also assist Cricket Australia to evaluate the current bowling restrictions that hinder junior bowlers in building game-specific endurance.
 
“Each participant will receive a free 3D biomechanical assessment of their bowling action and a report detailing their actions. This is ordinarily only available to elite adult bowlers at institutes of sport.”
 
Potential participants can register their interest by phoning the CSU School of Human Movement Studies on 6338 4048.
 
The research is being undertaken in collaboration with Dr Edouard Rene Ferdinands at the University of Sydney, with testing concluded by the end of August and non-identifiable results publicly available in late 2013.

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