The use of inertial sensors in fast bowling analysis may offer a cheaper and portable alternative to current methodologies. However, no previous studies have assessed the validity and reliability of such methods. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the validity and reliability of collecting tibial accelerations and spinal kinematics using inertial sensors during in vivo fast bowling. Thirty-five elite male fast bowlers volunteered for this study. An accelerometer attached to the skin over the tibia was used to determine impacts and inertial sensors over the S1, L1 and T1 spinous processes used to derive the relative kinematics. These measurements were compared to optoelectronic and force plate data for validity analysis. Most acceleration and kinematics variables measured report significant correlations > 0.8 with the corresponding gold standard measurement, with intraclass correlation coefficients greater than 0.7. Low standard error of measurement and consequently small minimum detectable change (MDC) values were also observed. This study demonstrates that inertial sensors are as valid and reliable as current methods of fast bowling analysis and may provide some advantages over traditional methods. The novel metrics and methods described in this study may aid coaches and practitioners in the design and monitoring of fast bowling technique. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.] Graphical abstract illustrating the synopsis of the findings from this paper.
- Inertial sensors