Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Cricketers Adopt Guided Missile Maths

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Sports scientists have developed an algorithm that borrows from submarine and guided missile technology to reduce injury and improve the performance of fast bowlers playing cricket.

The technology is being used by the Australian Test team as it prepares for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour. It is replacing manual reports of cricketers’ workloads, which only record how many balls a bowler delivers and not the intensity of the effort.

The scientists from the Australian Catholic University have recommended in the British Journal of Sports Medicine ( that coaches should instead use missile-guiding microtechnology implanted in newly developed wearable devices that would run the algorithms. “These smart algorithms rely on the interaction of the accelero­meters, magneto­meters and gyroscopes housed within the wearable unit – the same technology used to navigate submarines, guided missiles and spacecraft,” says Dr Tim Gabbett.

Co-author Dean McNamara explains that when the algorithm detects a delivery, a measure of bowling intensity could be attached to that individual delivery via the accelerometer and gyroscope technology. “Tagging individual balls with an intensity measure provides both immediate analysis such as identifying effort balls, or potentially a drop...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.