New Product Review

National Coach, Gordon lord, and Lilleshall Sport Scientist, Nigel Stockill, review the performance of SPEEDCHEK, used on ECB. National Squad' Courses during Easter 1998.

SUMMARY

SPEEDCHEK is a new development that accurately and reliably measures the speed of a cricket ball by using dopplar radar. The machine performed impressively in a variety of trials. These tested its suitability as a coaching aid to assess ball speed and its relationship with throwing and bowling techniques. It was extremely popular with users and can be used as a motivator in coaching sessions. SPEEDCHEK is very easy to use, simple to set up, portable and reasonably priced. It is recommended to cricket coaches of all age groups and abilities and should be considered as a valuable addition to the coach's standard equipment.

TESTING

Tests were carried out over a 6-week period from March to May 1998 on behalf of the English Cricket Board at Lilleshall Sports Injury and Human Performance Centre and Manchester Metropolitan University. The unit was placed behind the wicket and speeds recorded as the ball approached. A consistently accurate reading was displayed. The unit may also be placed adjacent by the bowler's crease facing the wicket. Throwing speeds were measured by placing the unit approximately 10 feet in front of the thrower. Where incoming speeds to the wicket keeper were recorded, the unit was placed close to the wicket.

APPUCATIONS

* Recording bowling speed

Visually displaying the effect of changes in technique, grip, body position and run up speed. Encouraging bowlers to bowl within their capabilities, maintaining line and length rather than striving for extra pace with loss of accuracy.

* Recording throwing speed

Visually displaying the effect of changes in throwing technique on speed. Demonstrating the effect on speed of throws to the wicket keeper on the frill and on the first bounce.

Demonstrating effect on speed of throwing flat and bowling in.

SET-UP AND USE

The unit is light (1.6lbs), compact 16.6cm x 17.8cm x 5.8cm (6.5" x 7" x 2.3") and easy to carry around. It is powered by 6 AA batteries and therefore not restricted by the availability of an electricity power point. Battery life is approximately 12 hours. An automatic shut down conserves battery life if the unit is not used for 5 minutes. To operate the unit the On/Off button is pressed, miles per hour or kilometres per hour is selected and the unit placed appropriately. No further set up is required. Speeds up to 150 mph or l99kph are recorded and prominently displayed on the LED display. Speeds are displayed for approximately 3 seconds before the screen is reset in preparation for the next ball. The recall button allows the last recorded speed to be displayed.

 

BENEFITS TO COACHES, CLUBS AND SCHOOLS

Coaching.

A variety of performance improving applications some of which are listed above.

Motivational.

SPEEDCHEK is very popular with users and can be used to encourage improved performance.

Promotional.

Attracting interest and 'attendance at events and exhibitions.

Arranging fastest bowler, fastest throw challenges.

Income generation.

For use at sports days, exhibitions and open days on "3 throws/balls for £1 " basis, with a prize to the fastest.