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Rene Ferdinands
07-14-1999, 06:45 PM
Hello, I am a biomechanist specialising in the biomechanics of cricket. At
the moment I am studying the role of footwork in batting. Of particular
importance to a good batsman is the ability to use his footwork in order to
optimise balance. The question of balance and footwork in cricket has not
been objectively dealt with in the past - current theories are mostly
subjective, and not based on sound biomechanical principles. I am not sure
whether this is the case in other ball sports.

So my problem is the following:

"How can one quantify balance? Obviously, the area of the base of support
and the position of the centre of gravity in relation to it is a
fundamental concept. But how can this be quantified? Also what about the
types of base of support and their stability in relation to perturbations
from various angles?
For example, if one adopts a stationary posture with splayed feet, what
kind of perturbation forces is he more able to withstand than if he stood
with the feet straight or even pigeon-toed? Or what if one foot is straight
and the other splayed? (This can be the case in batting postures.) In other
words, how does the postion of the feet in relation to the direction of a
perturbation force effect balance. For example, if one considers the type
of posture that is best to withstand a front-on tackle in rugby, then what
about the angles of the feet in relation to the direction of the impact
force - which way should they point? - e.g. perpendicular/parallel etc to
the line of impact force ? What kind of calculations can quantify this? Is
there current biomechanical research that can deal with this problem? "

If you believe you can help me in this area, then a detailed reply would be
most appreciated.

Thank you.

Rene Ferdinands
Department of Physics & Electronic Engineering
University of Waikato
Hamilton 2001
New Zealand
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