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SUMMARY: sex differences in throwing

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  • SUMMARY: sex differences in throwing

    Many thanks to all who have responded to the question on sex
    differences in throwing. Below is a summary of all informative
    responses, including those that have already been posted directly to
    the listserv.

    Brad Wright

    University of Chicago

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    For sex differences in throwing do a search for the following


    L E Halverson, M A Roberton, J R Thomas, K E French, K M Haywood,

    K Williams.

    You might also want to check out some of the literature on related

    topics such as rapid movement differences in males and females

    (e.g., Ives, JC et al. Res. Quart. Exerc. Sport, 64:274-283, 1993)

    Jeff Ives, Ph.D.

    Dept Exercise and Sport Sciences

    Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 14850

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    I have looked at a few females under 3D high-speed videography and
    compared them to a large database of collegiate pitchers (male) in
    overhand throwing of a fastball. The differences I saw seemed to be
    related to lack of technique due to lack of experience throwing
    overhand and not so much with the sex of the person throwing the ball.
    In addition, total body lack of strength and poor timing of body
    segments in the throwing progression contributed to the effect of
    "throwing like a girl". To be more specific, I found that females (or
    inexperienced throwers) not acustomed to throwing overhand tend to keep
    the elbow about about 40-60 degrees more flexed approaching release of
    the ball. This increased flexion near release gives an observer the
    impression that the inexperienced thrower is almost pushing the ball
    ("throwing like a girl"). This may be partly due to the insecurity of
    wanting to allow the elbow to approach max extension while moving at
    top speed near ball release as college male pitchers do (155-165 deg at
    release). The inexperienced thrower will tend to keep the ball and
    hand closer to the ear approaching release hence the elbow flexion.
    This increased flexion state severely decreases the body's ability to
    apply force to the ball therefore, ball velocity is dramatically
    reduced. Other gross differences between an experienced and
    inexperienced thrower are in the amount of shoulder external rotation
    during the cocking phase and the internal rotation velocity approching
    ball release. Timing issues involving first-stride leg placement,
    second-pelvic rotation, third-torso rotation, fourth-shoulder ext
    rotation, fifth-elb extension, and sixth-shoulder int rotation (in that
    order) are all screwed up in the inexperienced thrower.

    My opinion is that differences in throwing techniques between males and
    females are more related to lack of experience (as measured in # of
    balls thrown during childhood, teen years, adult hood) rather than to
    differences in anatomy and/or skeletal mechanics associated with
    different genders.

    Patrick Castagno


    __________________________________________________ __

    Patrick W. Castagno, MS

    Manager/Biomechanist - duPont Hospital for Children

    Gait Analysis Laboratory

    1600 Rockland Road

    Wilmington, DE 19899


    "The Victory lies in the struggle."

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    Interesting question.

    I can't help you with data, but would agree that the differences are

    mainly due to environmental reasons; such as experience, training, and


    I saw highlights this morning on ESPN of a female pitcher from the

    leauge. She definitely threw 'like a boy'.

    Take Care,


    Erik E. Swartz, M.A., A.T.,C

    Doctoral Student

    Applied Biomechanics

    Health Promotion and Human Performance

    2801 W. Bancroft

    University of Toledo

    Toledo, OH 43606

    (419) 530-2753

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    I did my biomechanics dissertation on gender differences in technique

    intercollegiate javelin throwers (1997) - if you are interested in

    type of throwing data, I could fax or e-mail to you. I investigated

    peak angular acceleration, and timing of the peak acceleration for the

    knee, pelvis, shoulder, and elbow joints. Let me know if you would
    like to

    see it.


    G. Monique Butcher PhD ATC

    Barry University

    11300 NE 2nd Ave.

    Miami Shores, FL 33161

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    And here are some responses to a similar question posted a few months
    ago by Gary Chimes:

    ************************************************** *********************

    Date sent: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 12:31:11 +0900

    To: Gary Chimes