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Article Title

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TWO MOTION ANALYSIS SOFTWARE WHEN COMPARING SOFTBALL AND BASEBALL SWINGS

Abstract

T.G. Mason, L.J. Martinson, C.P. Katica

Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

Many athletic teams utilize motion analysis software as a means of visual aid in order to increase their performances in practices and games. Motion Analysis Software # 1 (MAS1) has been used for many years to analyze movement and is a very useful tool for giving quick kinematic feedback. Motion Analysis Software # 2 (MAS2), being new to the market, could be a cheap and quick way to help give athletes real time analysis of their baseball, softball, tennis and golf swings. PURPOSE: To assess any differences between two motion analysis softwares when comparing swings of both baseball and softball players. METHODS: 30 Division III baseball and softball players (20.45 ± 3.23 years) performed 3 swings off a hitting tee while MAS2 and a video camera recorded each swing. The variables assessed were: bat speed, hand speed, time to impact and vertical angle of the bat. The researchers used paired sample t-tests with an alpha level set at ≤ 0.05 to assess the differences between the two methods. RESULTS: The average time to impact was significantly different between MAS1 and MAS2 for baseball (MAS1 = 0.21 ± 0.04 s vs. MAS2 = 0.15 ± 0.03 s, p<0.05). Similarly, the average time to impact for softball was significantly different (MAS1 = 0.24 ± 0.02 s vs. MAS2 = 0.18 ± 0.05 s, p<0.05). The average bat vertical angle was also significantly different between MAS1 and MAS2 during baseball (MAS1 = -36.07 ± 9.21 vs. MAS2 = -14.91 ± 23.94, p<0.05). The averaged bat vertical angle for softball showed similar results (MAS1 = -33.2 ± 4.81 vs. MAS2 = -14.93 ± 10.75, p<0.05). The average speed of the bat upon impact was significantly different between MAS1 and MAS2 for baseball (MAS1 = 68.13 ± 12.79 kph vs. MAS2 = 124.78 ± 9.58 kph, p<0.05). The average speed of the bat upon impact for softball once again showed a significant difference (MAS1 = 57.35 ± 4.71 kph vs. MAS2 = 95.44 ± 7.74 kph, p<0.05). Lastly, the average hand speed upon impact was significantly different between MAS1 and MAS2 for baseball (MAS1 = 28.56 ± 5.17 kph vs. MAS2 = 45.91 ± 4.51 kph, p<0.05). The average hand speed upon impact for softball showed similar results (MAS1 = 23.80 ± 2.09 kph vs. MAS2 = 36.73 ± 4.57 kph, p<0.05). CONCLUSION: After looking at the results, it can be concluded that MAS2 is not comparable to MAS1. Further research is needed to assess the accuracy of MAS2 in regards to analyzing baseball and softball swings.

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