Grip strength measurement in competitive ten-pin bowlers

by Benedict Tan, Abdul Rashid Aziz, Teh Kong Chuan, Lee Hong Choo Sports Medicine & Fitness Division, of the Singapore Sports Council.

Published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 41: 68-72, 2001

Abstract

In an attempt to find a more specific grip strength test for bowlers, the conventional grip strength test was modified such that only the fingers used in holding the ball are tested. The objective of this study was to assess the test-retest reliability of this modified bowling grip strength test, to assess the agreement between the bowling and the conventional grip strength tests, and to examine the correlation between the modified test and bowling performance in competitive bowlers. This research was conducted in two parts, each with a different study sample. Study I was a cross-sectional study to assess the correlation between the bowling grip strength and the bowling score. Study II was a comparative study to obtain the test-retest reliability for both the bowling and conventional grip strength tests, and to assess the agreement between the two tests.

For study I, the subjects were 39 members (26 males and 13 females) of the Singapore National Ten-Pin Bowling Training Squad. Bowling grip strength was measured within one month prior to the selection trials for the national squad, the results of which were used as a measure of bowling performance. For study II, the subjects were 21 members (12 males and 9 females) of the Singapore National Ten-Pin Bowling Squad that was formed after the selection trials.

Bowling grip strength, conventional grip strength, and bowling score. The test-retest reliability of the bowling grip strength measurement (r = 0.91, p < 0.01) was comparable to that of the conventional five-finger grip (r = 0.93, p < 0.01). The single measure intraclass correlation coefficient between the bowling and conventional grip strength tests was 0.77; the 95% confidence interval was 0.51 and 0.90. However, the correlation coefficient between the bowling grip strength test and bowling score (r = 0.27) was not significant. The bowling grip strength test has a high test-retest reliability, and a moderate agreement with the conventional grip strength test. However, despite using only the bowling fingers, the test was unable to predict bowling performance in elite bowlers.

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