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The Fearless Fast Bowling Project

Fearless fast bowling

The key focuses of our research in cricket is in the prevention of injury and the enhancement of performance. We achieve our research objectives through on-field as well as laboratory research.

Overall, cricket is considered a safe sport. However, the fast bowlers are prone to noncontact injury where injury rates correspond to that of contact sports. Three strategies are important in the holistic approach to injury prevention in fast bowlers namely modifying the extrinsic factors (such as bowling workload), the intrinsic technique-related factors (the components of the bowling action) and the intrinsic neuromuscular-related factors (such as balance, muscle strength). The identification and modification of risk factors are important in the prevention of injury. Therefore, the overarching aim of the Fearless Fast Bowling Project is to identify and modify injury risk factors in cricket fast bowlers.

The Fearless Fast Bowling project consists of two studies, the foundation project (study 1) and the branching project (study 2). The foundation project (study 1) will consist of the development of a longitudinal database housing fast bowlers in South Africa’s demographic and lifestyle factors, injury history and incidence, and bowling and training workload. The population of fast bowlers at high school, club, amateur and professional level will be invited to participate in the foundation project. Injury, bowling and training workload surveillance will be performed over a period of five years or longer (if the bowler give consent to participate and fit the inclusion criteria).

The branching projects (study 2) further investigate extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors to injury. A subgroup of fast bowlers participating in the foundation project will be invited to participate in the branching project. A functional assessment, including balance and movement control tests, as well as bowling technique analysis will be performed at the start of the cricket season, while injury incidence, bowling and training workload will be monitored throughout the season. Risk factors will be determined which will form the basis for future research in injury prevention programmes

If you would like to participate in this research study, please complete the demographic and lifestyle questionnaire by clicking on this link http://j.mp/2Nh4QGz or scan the QR code below. It will take you around 30minutes to complete the baseline questionnaire. Thereafter, bowling and training workload-monitoring questionnaire as well as injury monitoring questionnaire will be sent to you weekly via email. Both the workload and injury questionnaires are short and takes only a few minutes to complete.

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If you would like your team, school or club to make use of this injury surveillance system, please contact Benita Olivier (Benita.Olivier@wits.ac.za) for more information. The injury surveillance system can be used by all cricketers and not only fast bowlers.

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