Correlations between physiological parameters and performance in elite ten-pin bowlers

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

Published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports 3: 176-185, 2000

Summary

This study investigated if age, height, mass, aerobic power, grip strength, leg strength, and flexibility correlated with bowling performance in 42 elite Singapore bowlers. The only significant result was a correlation (r = 0.63) between performance and aerobic power index in the female subjects. These investigators concluded that there might be a threshold level of aerobic fitness required for success, beyond which further increases in aerobic power have a limited contribution towards improving performance.

Abstract

The increasing acceptance of ten-pin bowling as a sport, as well as the keen competition amongst bowlers, necessitates the identification of performance indicators to aid training. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine if age, height, weight, aerobic power index, bowling grip strength, 10-RM leg press performance, and the sit-and-reach distance correlated with bowling performance in 42 elite bowlers (26 males and 16 females). At the same time, the physiological profiles of bowlers classified as heavy ball strokers, heavy ball crankers, and light ball spinners were compared.

The results showed that for the male bowlers, none of the parameters correlated with performance, while for the female bowlers, the only parameter that correlated with performance was the aerobic power index. Bowlers using the three different releases had similar anthropometric and physiological profiles. The implications from this study are that bowlers of diverse age and build can be equally competitive in the sport; that aerobic capacity (as reflected by the aerobic power index) may, to a certain extent, contribute to bowling performance; and that strength and flexibility measures do not seem to be useful performance indicators amongst elite bowlers.

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