This Is What A ‘Chuck’ Looks Like

In an earlier post on Saeed Ajmal’s funny arm, Russ (again, of Knotted Paths fame) argued with CRIC-SIS about arm no-balls. This is Russ:

Any bowler that points their elbow down the pitch is going to straighten their arm considerably because of the rotational force on the elbow from the fore-arm at delivery. If you brace the elbow, it won’t bend, and the wrist will be able to do the necessary work. But it proves precisely nothing.

A throw, incidentally, does not gain power from the straightening (try throwing with only an elbow bend – it is called a girly throw for a reason). It gains power from the rotation of the elbow, and the whip of the hand. We ought to no-ball bowlers whose elbows point down the pitch.

I don’t know if this video is proof, since it’s from baseball, but man, I’d really not like to face him at the crease:

UPDATE: I saw this via James Fallows, who wrote about the ‘kinetic chain’ — i.e., the force of a good throw — some years ago. This is what he says a ‘girl’s throw’/’poor male athlete’s throw’ involves:

1) Body directed straight-on toward the target as the throw begins, rather than turned 90 degrees (or more) away;

2) Elbow lower than shoulder as your arm comes forward;

3) Wrist inside elbow (closer to your head) as you release the ball and/or palm facing up, giving a pushing rather than hurling motion. Now you know.

Other than (2), don’t fast bowlers violate these rules? They run straight-on (most do, anyway; no one knows just what Malinga does), and they release the ball palm facing up. Right?

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3 thoughts on “This Is What A ‘Chuck’ Looks Like

  1. Jonathan says:

    How they run in isn’t relevant. How many fast bowlers bowl front on?

    I also wouldn’t want to be releasing the ball while the palm is still up. Then again, there’s a reason I stuck to spin.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Wait, Jonathan — I don’t understand. Don’t Stuart Broad, Glen McGrath and Munaf Patel all bowl front-on? Or do I not know what front-on is?

  2. Russ says:

    DB, great footage of one of my favourite baseball players. Would love to see the same slow motion footage of Steyn who has the nicest modern action, for mind. You can see quite clearly in this picture that his elbow faces backwards through delivery. I can’t find a nice shot on release of someone like Marshall who was very front-on, but for reference, Aaron Bird.

    In physical terms, throwing has a horizontal centrifugal force (perpendicular to the forearm), and bowling a vertical one. For spinners, to respond to Shridhar’s comment (which apologies I hadn’t got to before), a straightening elbow allows more spin because it absorbs the opposing force to the fingers tangental force on the ball on release (the arm propelling it towards the batsmen). I suspect that a brace would provide the same benefit, without the bending arm.

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