# Does the bowler's run-up actually contribute anything useful?

Bowlers run up before performing a little hop to get momentum going and bowl the ball. Does the run-up contribute anything to the speed/spin of the ball? Or could you get a similar speed/spin by just hopping to get your moment going, without running?

I know pitching in baseball is different from bowling in cricket, but wouldn't you be able to get a similar amount of force behind the ball without running up? Isn't energy lost by the hop that bowlers perform when they extend their legs and pivot with the ball?

Running up does add some speed to the ball.

Simple physics:

Bowling speed = 130 km/h
Running speed + 15 km/h

=> Total speed = 145 km/h

The spin is different as well. While standing a bowler just has a circular movement based on their arm length. Running up causes that movement to be elliptical.

Example:

This isn't all, though. There's also velocity, air resistance and other factors which are missing in this example calculation. But yes, running up does help.

• I imagine the run affects the strength of the throw as well, no? Like a javelin thrower, able to get more torque behind the throw?
– Joe
Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 17:01