How do cricket bowlers deliver the ball at generally same speed as baseball pitchers inspite of a run up? How much do the following factors play in: different balls (is the baseball more aerodynamic because of stitches?), different throwing height (baseball players throw from a elevated mound), different distance to where they measure ball speed from, (is wicket further than plate?) Which other factors play in?

1 Answer 1


The essential difference is that bowlers must by law keep their elbows straight. This means that a run-up is used to generate pace, rather than the stepping motion pitchers use, and pitchers can use their upper-body muscles to generate further pace.

I'm not a bio-mechanic expert, so can't explain the actual processes involved, sorry.

  • 2
    To add a little to the answer above, the act of straightening the arm allows for greater force to be imparted to the ball and therefore greater speed. In Cricket you are not allowed to do this and so the speed has to be generated by a combination of run up and arm rotation.
    – Ben Whyall
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 16:19

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