Training of Baseball Players…………………………………………………………..13
Baseball Pitching: Kinematics………………………………………………………….15
Hitting a Ball……………………………………………………………………………17
Collection of Data………………………………………………………………………..21
Method of Data Collection………………………………………………………………..23
Information From The Data……………………………………………………………..24
Superior running techniques are needed to winning most ball games. While this is partly true for most sports, baseball requires an athlete to be agile enough to make quick and accurate dashes when running through the bases. In order to achieve this high performance, recent scientific studies have shown that running in a curve enables these athletes to make continuous high-speed runs through the bases. According to Winston, the most appropriate runs should be made by running at a curve of 25 degrees from the home base. In light of this, research on the effectiveness of running at an angle in increasing speed on a baseball field is essential. Among other reasons, it will be able to identify if this suggestion is accurate while at the same time identifying the most optimal angle.
Keywords: Baseball, track and field, angle, curve
Will Using Different Running Angles Create Increased Base Running Speed on the Baseball Field?
While superior running techniques are good in athletics, this is not always the case in base running. According to Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida (2011), angular running, which is also referred to running in a curve, is essential in baseball in order to shorten the base running time. Many sports performed in fields require high-speed body movements. Most of these movements are usually in response to motions made by opponent players. Agility, as it is commonly called, is the sudden change of direction (COD) made by an athlete. It is usually a combination of speed and quickness. While the change of direction (COD) is normally dependent on the motion of opponents in most ball games such as basketball or soccer, this movement is normally pre-planned in baseball and softball (Young & Farrow, 2015). Speed is the main component for all professional sportsmen. Specifically, it is essential in baseball when playing both in the offense or the defense (Coleman & Amonette, 2014). Nonetheless, the main issue comes on deciding between the track and field ability to sprint and the base running speed, which is a form of agility speed. According to Winston (2012), an athlete minimizes his/her running time in baseball by 20% if he runs at an angle of 25 degrees. Interestingly, the concept of angular running raises an important concept that can help athletes to be more efficient when making runs. This proposal is the first step of a research that aims at evaluating the effectiveness of running at an angle in increasing base running speed in the baseball field. Among other reasons, it will be able to identify if this suggestion is accurate while at the same time identifying the most optimal angle.
In baseball, superior base running is essential as it influences scoring. If base running is poor, even if the team is good on defense it may still be unable to score effectively. Running in a baseball game normally consists of three elements, starting, sprint ability, and running through the bases. In running through the bases, the sportsman must be able to touch the bags as well as to sprint in a straight line. As a result, players must determine the most appropriate course when rounding the bases (Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida, 2010). The need of sportsmen to determine their course of direction in advance is what makes baseball have a predetermined change of direction (COD). A good baseball player must be able to suppress the outward trajectory and slow down appropriately when he/she nears the bases.
Interval acceleration and velocity is another essential aspect in baseball. The ability of an athlete to quickly run from one base to another increases the chances of the team scoring. The ability to sprint in a straight line is essential in maximizing the chances of a sportsman reaching the first base when he is at the home base (Coleman &, Amonette, 2014). Therefore, the agility of a player is a key characteristic for competent baseball players. Specifically, this research raises issues on the ability of an athlete to use different running angles as well as his ability to sprint over short distances.
Does running in angle increase the base running speed on the baseball field?
What is the extent of the ability to sprint in influencing an athlete’s overall performance?
According to Half and Triplett (2015), a baseball player increases his speed when he begins his run at 25 degrees from the home plate and he runs on the right towards the dugout from the base path. In their observation, a player is able to draw a clear dependence on his ability to run within the shortest time depending on the angle of motion that he uses. Similarly, Winston, (2012), espouses that an athlete minimizes his running time by 20% when he chooses to run at an angle of 25 degrees, which is the most suitable for baseball players. Further, he says that if in the athlete’s opinion he will make a triple, he/she should bulge out slightly when running between the third and the second bases. This direction enables the sportsman to have a straight-lined home run (Healey, 2016).
Haff and Triplett (2015) observed that a typical player completes an in-the-park lap in 22.2 seconds if he runs straight towards the bases and makes an angled sprint towards the next base till he finishes the run. However, if the sportsman runs at an arching curve of 25 degrees, he/she needs only 16.7 seconds to complete the entire lap. This observation collaborates Winston study that running in an arching curve reduces the athlete’s sprinting time by 20% (Winston, 2012).
In research done by Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida (2011), to find the effectiveness of an archival running in increasing base running speed, it was found that angled running is more effective than a straight-line sprint. Specifically, this method of running minimized on the time wasted when braking in order to make sharp turns to the next base, which occurs in straight-line running. In their running test, they used 25 male university baseball players, who had at least 7 years of experience playing baseball. Their mean age was 19.7 years; they had a height of about 1.73 meters, and weighed approximately 65.8 kilograms. 15 males who were participants in track and field games and had no experience in baseball were used to make a comparison. These players had an average age of 19.3 years, an average height of 1.73 meters, and weighed approximately 64.8 kilograms. The researchers then conducted the work in a straight line test and a base running test.
The straight running test was done over 54.8 m and 109.6 m distances. The time to reach each base was also measured in the home run test. The actual running distance and a 3-meter section were measured in the second base run test. The straight sprint time and the base running time were divided to get the base running efficiency. After a warm-up, the subjects started the straight sprint test, the transit times were 27.2 m, 54.8 m, 82.2 m, and 109.6 m. The time used by each sportsman was measured using a stopwatch (Seiko, Seksva005 make). The sportsmen were given a 15 minutes’ break after each run to recover from fatigue. This experiment showed an intra-class correlation that was larger than 0.86.
In the base running test, the subjects ran to the second base and back to home opineion. A timekeeper kept a record of the time that the sportsmen took to pass each base; the first, second, third, and home base. Further, a measurement of the distance between the first and the second base as well as the 3-meter base was recorded using the Speed Trap: Apollo measuring device, which has an infra-red sensor. In order to measure the distance between the first and the second base, the Pythagorean Theorem was used. The distance between this two points was the hypotenuse. This class had an intra-class correlation of 0.76 in the baseball players and 0.60 in the track and field athletes. The researchers also assumed that the decrease rate to straight sprint in base running time was due to the efficiency in base running. These results were obtained by dividing base running time by the straight sprint time. The sections between the 0-27.2 m, 27.2 -54.8 m, 82.2 -109.6 m were the four parts used in the analysis. The efficiency for each part was calculated by dividing the base running time by the section time.
The results showed that the track and field athletes had a higher value than baseball players in only the 109.6 m run (P<0.05, ES= 1.35). Baseball players were superior to the track and field athletes on the run to second as well as in both base running. (P<0.05, run to second: ES= 1.33, run to home: ES= 2.00). Baseball players had a shorter distance than track and field athletes in base running from first to second base as well as in total distance. However, they had a longer distance in the first to second base and in the total distance. In the 3 m section, baseball players showed significantly higher values and ES, which was (1.17). The baseball players had the following scores, 0.86 +- 0.08 seconds, while track and field athletes had 0.95 +- 0.08 seconds.
In running efficiency, baseball players were more superior to track and field athletes. The first section had the least difference, followed by the fourth while the second and third sections had the greatest variations. The straight sprint had a high correlation (r=0.87, 0.90) between the 109.66 run and the home run and also between the home run and the second base, which is the 54.8 m run. Further, the run to the second section showed a significantly high correlation with r m section for both baseball and track and field athletes. Notably, the run to second had a negative correlation with running distance (-0.42).
The research by Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida (2011), showed that track and field athletes are better than baseball players in sprint ability. The track and field athletes were faster in the 109.6 m sprint, however, the difference was insignificant in the 54.8 m sprint test. According to Bert, Rahmani, Dufour, Messonnier, & Jacour (2002), an athlete’s acceleration power is influenced by the vertical jump. Therefore, since baseball players have stronger legs than track and field athletes, they are able to start the run at a high speed, which results in the low differences between these two groups. Sprint athletes are able to maintain their own maximum speed, which results in the high significance in the 109.6 m section, due to low digression rate (Tsuchie, 2007).
On base running, the baseball players were superior to track and field athletes. A comparison of the digression rate of speed was smaller in baseball players than in the track and field athletes. This result indicated that baseball players run to the next base effectively and the track and field players cannot sprint between bases. Moreover, the running efficiency between bases was least in both the second and third section. This difference is mainly due to the sudden direction change in bases. In addition, when runners approach these sections, they have to regulate themselves in order to go around the bases. As a result, they are not able to gather enough acceleration.
There was a correlation in the 109.6 m and the home section with the 54.8 m and the second base section for the baseball players. These sections had a straight sprint time correlation (r=0.87 and 0.90). Research by Hatori (1978), showed that there was a significant and moderate correlation in the 50 m sprint time with each base running time (r= 0.63). Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida (2011), suggested that the ability of baseball players to run to the next base while maintaining their initial high speed was the reason for the high relationship between the base running time and the straight sprint time. Further, they inferred that the inability of track and field athletes to exert sprint ability in base running is the cause of the low relationship between sprint and base running time.
The measurement of the characteristics of the base running methods around the 3 m section of the base showed a high relationship for both groups. As a result, it was concluded that the runner’s skills are related to the base running speed notwithstanding his/her expertise as a baseball player. The baseball players were superior to the track and field players in the 3 m section (ES= 1.15). Therefore, they were able to run to the next bases while at their full speed due to their skillful base running techniques. On the contrary, track and field athletes could not exert their full speeds at the bases due to insufficient base running techniques (Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida, 2011).
According to Greg (2007), a baseball player must lean his body while approaching the base using the inside-outside edges of his feet. A player must also maintain his acceleration and stride length. The player must also kick the ground using the ball of the foot, and run through the foot while swinging his arms so that he may maintain speed and power. Therefore, the ability of baseball runners to sprint at full speed when they approached the bases was due to learning on the aforementioned skills.
Baseball players had a shorter distance when compared to the track and field athletes in the base running distance from the first to the second base. When compared with baseball players, track and field athletes had a shorter distance when running from home to first base because they made a straight-line-sprint. These results led to the conclusion that when the base running time is short, the running distance is long (Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida, 2011). According to Hatori (1978), running distance and base running time have a negative relationship among experienced players. Therefore, running the shortest distance, which is possible if a player makes a straight-line sprint between bases, leads to poor performance by skillful and experienced baseball players. Accordingly, running the full course in a curve reduces the total distance, since a player does not over run the bases. It also reduces the time needed to complete a full run.
Similarly, superior sprint ability does not always lead to good base running skills. In comparison, despite the track and field athletes having higher sprinting abilities than baseball players, they were unable to maintain maximum speeds when going through bases. On the other hand, baseball players ran through these points at maximum speed (Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida, 2011).
According to Fredick (2007), baseball players should form a curve when running on bends so that they are able to maintain their acceleration, as well as to be able to reduce the number of steps that they make when they approach these points. Truck and field athletes, on the other hand, use a straight-line strategy, which makes them to slow down as they near the bases. When a person is running towards the third base from the second base, he/she should make a lateral lean to the inside of the field, as well as on the inside and outside edges of his/her feet. Ideally, a baseball player should aim at maintaining his/her acceleration and stride in order to reduce the number of strides that he makes. The athlete should also ensure that he/ she swings his/ her arms in a motion similar to that of his/ her body to ensure that he has speed, power, and stability (Fredick, 2007).
According to Young and Farrow (2015), change of direction (COD) is an important aspect of baseball and other ball games. In baseball, the athlete makes a predetermined COD unlike in most ball games where the COD is usually a reaction to the movement of an opponent. Therefore, the ability to change direction quickly is influenced by the athlete’s body opineion when running. A forward lean is essential when running, a backward lean is needed to decelerate or stop, and a sideways lean produces the appropriate COD. For instance, a sportsman must lean to the right and plant the left of the body to push into the ground in that direction. Therefore, if an athlete is running in a straight line as demonstrated in 100 m sprint he/she will make fast adjustments of posture and opineions of his limbs. According to Sayers, rugby players have adopted to run low and to use high step frequency as compared to track sprinters to be able to have a rapid change of direction.
Given that speed is an essential aspect of sports, Young and Farrow (2015), conducted research to evaluate if speed training resulted in an increase in change of direction. The research showed that there was limited transfer from the COD speed training to the sprint training. They further said that due to the difference between these training patterns, athletes must use the most appropriate training method for their sport. Since baseball players, especially when running through bases, require skills of making random changes in direction they should train on COD.
Baseball players have strong and well-developed muscles that enable them to make sharp turns at high speeds. It is widely accepted that leg muscles are solely responsible for COD movements. For instance, leg muscles might produce high forces laterally to the ground, however, the ground reaction force will be ineffective in the propulsion of the athlete’s center of gravity if his/her body absorbs instead of transmitting these forces (Young & Farrow, 2015). Consequently, it is important for a sports person to develop all muscles besides leg muscles.
Greg (2007), pointed out that the ability of baseball players to lean inside the field using the inside edges of their feet as well as to kick the ground using the ball of the foot and to swing their arms as they ran was one of the factors that made them competitive. This illustration shows that baseball players have strong legs and core muscles. In a research done by Brian, David, and Megan (2010), it was found that athletes’ lower extremity strength is needed especially in the second and third phase. In their research, they investigated on the performance of players based on their five lower extremity muscles; biceps, femoris, rectus femoris, gluteus maximus, vastus medialis, and gastrocnemius. In their conclusion, the researchers poised that coaches should incorporate unilateral and bilateral extremity exercise for strength improvement and maintenance.
Training of Baseball Players
According to Dillalo (2009), baseball players must have a combination of anaerobic power, anaerobic capacity, and aerobic capacity. Further, these sports persons must use their muscles in a similar manner, in line with the principle of specificity, in order to make maximum gains. The principle of specificity simply means that when training in the gym, individuals must workout in a manner that the desired muscles get the maximum benefits. Pitchers need aerobic capacity so that they may recover between their intensive bouts of anaerobic power. Players also need anaerobic power in sprinting, running the bases, and swinging the bats. According to Rhea and colleagues (2008), endurance training and power training are not compatible. Therefore, these two tactics should not be trained concurrently. Rhea (2008) opines that endurance training decreases muscle strength, size, and power, which is detrimental to baseball players. Therefore, baseball players must create an appropriate balance between endurance training and power training while playing close attention to develop their desired muscles.
Burgomaster, Hughes, Heighenhauser, Bradwell, and Gilbala (2005) opine that aerobic capacity of baseball players increases through interval training rather than steady-state long aerobic training. In collaboration with the aforementioned study, Bulbulian, Chandler, and Amos (2001), showed that repeated sprints with minimal rest intervals resulted in increased VO2 max, which improves the aerobic capacity of the athlete.
An athlete can increase his/her power by either increasing his/her ability to exert force or by reducing the time he/she takes to exert the force (4 and 6). Dillalo (2009) argues that since the velocity of movement slows with weight increase, individuals should exercise at the correct range of the percentage repetition movement (RM) to have maximum power production. Due to the weight of the baseball (5 oz.) and that of the bat (32-36 oz.), the velocity at which the bat hits the ball is very important. McEvoy and Newton (1998), espouses that the use of resistance training is essential in improving a player’s velocity when hitting the ball. As an alternative, Rhea (2008) suggested that resistance bands attached to the barbell increase a player’s peak power and force.
According to DiLallo (2009), players should avoid heavy overhead lifts to decrease their chances of overhead injuries. In fact, most baseball players, especially professional pitchers, have some degree of shoulder instability, which is sensitive to risks of injuries brought by overhead lifts 5. To avoid instability when performing shoulder exercises, this form of training should concentrate on small muscles of the rotator cuff.
Fredick (2007) opines that skipping is the best exercise for increasing coordination, rhythm, and timing. Wall drills are another set of exercises that improve the strength of an athlete’s core muscles. Further, he notes that single leg outside edge hops are appropriate in enabling an athlete to develop leg strength, which is needed when starting a run. In order to make great rounding when running on the bases, he recommends athletes to perform large circle cone drills. In this training method, athletes are required to circle around the cones with their feet contacting in a straight line and then running side by side. The athlete should lean to the inside of the circle with the foot nearest to the circle feeling most of the outside edge pressure and the one furthest from the circle feeling most of the inside edge pressure. Additionally, the baseball player should maintain normal stride and running gait and use proper arm driving mechanism. The large circle cone drill is important in enabling the athlete to maintain their acceleration around the third base by using proper edges of foot contact, ensuring good lateral lean, ensuring proper running mechanism, and enhancing proper arm drive (Fredick, 2007).
Baseball Pitching: Kinematics
Proper pitching tactics are an appropriate skill in baseball. However, with the extent of training and repeated drills that good pitchers have to endure, most of them are prone to getting shoulder and elbow injuries. The ability to have a skillful pitcher is important since it determines how the opponents will hit the ball, and in turn, the likelihood of the team winning a match. During pitching, pitchers have been found to have external rotation angles that are as high as 170-190 degrees, which is the maximum external rotation. During pitching, the extreme movements caused by glen humeral rotation, the scapulothoracic motion, and thoracic extension have been linked to various shoulder injuries (Hatori, 1978). Therefore, it is essential to have a brief discussion on pitching since it is an essential part of baseball match, just like hitting and running.
According to Flesig, Andrews, Dillman, and Escamilla (1995), valgus torque applied by the forearm to the elbow can lead to medial elbow injury. There can also be muscle tears, avulsions, fractures, ligament spurs, ruptures, ulnar nerve damage, and medial collateral. McLeod and Andrews espouse that any force that shifts the humeral head to the glenoid fossa causes it to be re-seated off center, which puts the labrum at risk of injury. There can be labrum tearing if the anterior or posterior direction which causes the labrum to be trapped between the humeral head and the glenoid rim (Hatori, 2007). When playing baseball, it is almost impossible for a pitcher to maintain appropriate muscle movements due to the high number of movements that occur. The capsular laxity, muscle weakness or fatigue make maintaining a stable joint difficult (Flesig, Andrews, Dillman, & Escamilla, 1995).
Andre and Angelo (1988), opine that rotator cuff tears in throwers are caused by the midsupraspinators posterior of the midinfraspinatus area. The tears were due to tensile failure that occurred when the rotator cuff muscles tried to resist distractions, internal rotation at the shoulder, and horizontal adduction during arm deceleration. DiGiovine et al. (1992) illustrated that injuries in the posterior shoulder muscles were caused by deceleration as they resisted the glen humeral distraction and horizontal adduction.
Overall, maximal shoulder external rotation angle has been linked to most of the injuries in pitching (McEnvoy & Newton, 1998). Sabick et al. (2004), demonstrated that 33% of the variances in the valgus moment were a result of variations in the maximum shoulder external rotational angle. In a study conducted by Aguinaldo and Chambers (2009), it was found out that pitchers who started rotating their upper torso before the stride foot contacted the ground had greater elbow valgus moment when compared to those who had upper torso movement when their stride foot contacted the ground. In support of Aguinaldo and Chambers, Huang et al. (2010), demonstrated that youth pitchers who had a greater trunk lateral tilt had more elbow pain when compared to those who did not have such a tilt.
Hitting a Ball
The ability of a player to accurately and properly hit the ball is one of the major determinants of success in baseball. When hitting a ball, the players’ body has six distinct body opineions, the stance, stride, coiling, swing initiation, follow-through, and swing acceleration. Fortenbaugh (2002), showed that upper body had very small movement during the stance phase. In the study, it was observed that the average pitch speed was 25 m/s for a distance of 13 m. The lead foot-off occurred at an average of -621 ms, which showed that a baseball player moves his/her bat before the ball is released. A study using a pitching machine by Katsumata (2007), it was found that the time taken by lead foot-off as -800 ms. According to Welch and colleagues (1995), a batters stride length is 42% of his/her height and approximately 11 cm closed. In the batting tee studies, Tago et al. (2006) and Escamilla et al. (2009) found that a lead foot down occurred much closer to the ballistic coefficient (BC), with a range of -240 ms to -175 ms.
The coiling phase is characterized by the body coiling in counter movements initiated in the stride phase (Szymanski et al., 2007). Therefore, a batter must employ both linear and rotational movements when hitting a ball. According to Katsumata (2007), the coiling phase terminates when the batter’s lead foot GRFz reaches 50% body weight (BW), which occurred at about -170 ms.
In the swing phase, the maximum GRF is produced as the trail and lead foot GRFx act as a brake to prevent forward linear movements of the BW and to also create a strong front side (Gola & Monteleone, 2001). Fortenbagh (2002) reported that the lead foot maximum GTFx was 126% BW and the GRFz was 39% BW, and the all occurred at -81 ms.
The swing initiation phase occurs at the point when the athlete’s body begins to move noticeably in swings. Escamilla et al. (2009) reported that this phase occurred when the batter’s hands started to move forward, which was about -130 ms, and there were only 6 to 9 degrees of separation at the point of the swing. According to Escamilla et al. (2009), the lead knee extended rapidly at 350 degrees per second at approximately -199 ms at a range of between 11 and 20 degrees. In the follow-through phase, the body movements continue to rotate forward as they had done in the swing phase, but in a decelerating manner to slow down the body. According to Phillips, Andrews and Fleisig (2000), the lead shoulder movements, which occur after BC may result in shoulder injuries. Specifically, the “batter’s shoulder,” which makes a hitter unable to make proper hits of the ball, is believed to be caused by excessive horizontal adduction of the lead shoulder after a contact.
While an athlete’s ability to run at high speeds has been attributed to result in high scores for the team, recent scientific studies have shown that the ability of a baseball player to maintain high speeds when running around bases is the most significant factor. While sprint running, from general look may appear to be short, the sharp turns at the end of each base makes this kind of running in appropriate. Players who adopt this form of running normally have to slow down when nearing the bases, or they even overrun the bases if they continue to run at high speed. In base running, players are advised to run in a curve, which ensures that they can run at high speed when they are running through the bases. In fact, proper running skills when approaching these points is attributed to a high overall speed by the player (Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida, 2011).
According to Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, and Uchida (2011), superior base running makes up for inferior batting power. Base running consists of starting, sprinting, and running through the bases. Therefore, a baseball player is expected to have a sprint ability, which enables him/her to make a quick dash from the home base to the second base, as well as base running ability needed to run through bases. Bert et al. (2002) reported that the height of a vertical jump with counter movement is an important index in a 30 m sprint. Given that baseball players have strong leg muscles, their quick start off speed in a sprint is expected to compensate for any slower speeds that they may have later in the race. In a study by Tsuchie (2007), it was found out that individuals who perform sprint training have an ability to maintain their own maximum sprint speeds due to low digression rates.
In research done by McEnvoy and Newton (1998), it was found that when running through the second and third base track and field athletes slow their accelerations at these points due to the sharp corners that they must negotiate. Hatori (1978) notes that straight sprint and base running has a similar correlation for baseball runners because they have mastered to run through these points while running at high speeds. According to Healey (2016), a baseball player must curve at 25 degrees right from the bat out towards the dugout in order to run at the shortest time. Healey’s argument supports for the use of curving in order to have maximum performance.
Winston (2012), opines that if a player runs at 25 degrees curve, he/ she spends 22.5 seconds to finish an in-the-park lap. On the contrary, if he/ she runs in a straight line, he /she spends 16.7 seconds. Since very little research has been done on the effects of running in a curve by baseball players, the research findings by Winston show the need to evaluate if indeed running in a curve can increase the base running speed of baseball players.
The ability to make quick runs is essential in the defense and in the offense in a baseball match. Agility, especially when running through bases is an important characteristic that baseball players develop through regular practice. This proposal is part of a project that aims at evaluating if a change in the running angles when approaching bases can reduce the time a player needs to make complete runs around bases. In order to have a clear assessment of this measure, the project will be conducted using two set of distinct players. There will be track and field athletes whose running times from each base will be compared with the running time of baseball players. It is worth noting that the track and field players are good in sprints while the baseball players are good in base running. In this study, the straight sprint of 54.8 m from the home to the second base as well as the 109.6 m, which is from home and back to home will be measured. In the home run test, the time to reach each base will be measured. In the second base run test, the actual running distance and the 3 m section around the first base will be measured.
The project will use 30 male baseball players who have at least five years of experience or more. In addition, these players will be expected to be regular players. The average height will be 1.74 +or- 0.05 m., mean age 20 +-0.6 years, body weight 67 + or – 5.5 kg. There will also be 30 active track and field athletes who have at least five years’ experience. The average height will be 1.70 +or- 0.08 m., mean age 21 +-0.8 years, body weight 66.8 + or – 5.5 kg. Since this project aims at determining if a change in running angles increases the base running speed, there will be no need for pitching or hitting the baseball. Instead, the athletes will start running upon hearing the signal of a starter’s gun. All athletes will also undertake a 20-minute warm-up to ensure that their bodies are at the optimal running condition.
Collection of Data
Straight Sprint Test
Each athlete will run independently. The time taken by the subjects to reach each base will be measured using a stopwatch (Casio, Digital watch). Time for each straight sprint, 27.2 m, 54.8 m, 82.2 m, and 109.6 m, will be measured and recorded by timekeepers who will be standing next to the respective bases. Each athlete will be given 15 minutes to relax after each run to recover from fatigue. Each class of runners will have two such runs, and an average of the runs will be used in analyzing the overall runs.
Base Running Test/Angular Running/ Running in a Curve
The athletes will run from the home to the first base, second base, third base, and back to home base. The actual running distance between each base will be measured using a tape. Similarly, the time needed to reach each base will be measured. A time measuring device, Casio Stop Watch, will be used to measure the time taken to complete the 3 m section around the first base. It is important to note that the 3 m section is crucial in determining the runners’ efficiency since track and field athletes always slow down when they reach this point because they are unable to make sharp turns at high speed. On the contrary, baseball players have skills to run through this section at a high speed.
The 3 Meter Section
Source: Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida, (2011).
The running distance from first base to second base will be calculated using the two distances that connect the hypotenuses of each base in (Pythagorean Theorem). The athletes will repeat this run after having a 15-minute break.
Calculation of the Running Distance
Source: Miyaguchi, Demura, Nagai, & Uchida, (2011).
The base running efficiency for running to home opineion will be obtained by dividing the base running time needed to run home with the 109.6 m run time. The base running time for each section, 0 m~ 27.2 m, 27.2 m~ 54.8 m, 54.8 m~ 82.2 m and 82.2 m~ 109.6 m in the 109.6 m run will be calculated by dividing the base running time for each section by the time needed to complete the section.
Method of Data Collection
The primary method of collecting the time that the athletes’ will use in running will be a stopwatch. There will be a time checker at every base who will indicate the time that an athlete has used to reach the base. The distance of each section will be measured using a tape measure. The relationship between the base running time, the straight sprint time, and the 3 m section running distance will be measured using a Pearson’s correlation coefficient.
Information From the Data
The research will find the average speed that a baseball player takes to run the whole track when running at an angle or when in straight to the base. The time taken to run between different bases will also be recorded, 0 m~ 27.2 m, 27.2 m~ 54.8 m, 54.8 m~ 82.2 m and 82.2 m~ 109.6 m. The baseball players will be required to make sprints on the four sections of the baseball field. A comparison of the time taken to complete each of the four sections, 0 m~ 27.2 m, 27.2 m~ 54.8 m, 54.8 m~ 82.2 m and 82.2 m~ 109.6 m will be compared with the time spent when running in a curve. A similar study will be done for track and field athletes. The results of the track and field athletes will then be compared with those of baseball players. These results will indicate whether running at a curve results in increased running speeds for both baseball players and field athletes. It will also show whether running in straight sprints towards the bases from the home, first base, second base, and third base has better results than running in a curve.
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