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?

1 Answer 1


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.


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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

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