Arm length and angular motion in sports

  • Thread starter PhysicsFan
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Last spring, I wrote on one of my blogs about an idea regarding the looping, underhand pitching motion in women's college softball. The idea is that tall, long-armed pitchers may derive greater velocity on their pitches than would shorter pitchers with shorter arms (overall body height and arm length are positively correlated).

http://collegesoftball.blogspot.com/2006/05/one-thing-that-cannot-have-escaped.html

What looks to be a similar phenomenon, in a different guise, has arisen in recent days. Namely, as part of the National Hockey League's recently concluded all-star game activities, skills competitions were held, and the winner of the hardest-shot contest was a 6-foot-9 player named Zdeno Chara, the tallest player in league history.

Below, I've put in some links to video coverage of the hardest-shot contest, a listing of results for the skills competions, and Chara's webpage with the Boston Bruins. I've run my arm length/angular motion ideas by some physicists and they haven't shot it down; however, the problem appears to be more complex than I would have imagined. I'm eager to see what readers on this board think!

Video

Results Listing
http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NHLPage&id=866 [Broken]

Zdeno Chara page
http://www.bostonbruins.com/team/playerinfo.asp?playerid=431 [Broken]
 
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