Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Biomedical Engineering - Musculoskeletal Biomechanics

Committee Director

Stacie Ringleb

Committee Member

Hunter Bennett

Committee Member

Sebastian Bawab


This study examines several different kinetic variables in relation to pitch velocity and elbow varus torque in collegiate baseball pitchers using force plates, an inertial measurement unit, and a radar unit. The purpose of this study is to investigate the kinetic variables being measured and their relationship to pitch velocity and loads being placed on the medial elbow. Twelve collegiate baseball pitchers participated in this study, which was approved by the IRB. Impulse of the drive leg in the anterior-posterior direction, stride leg peak force in the anterior-posterior (AP) direction, elbow varus torque, and pitch velocity were all measured. Two video cameras were used to record the pitching mechanics of each participant with their consent. Two force plates (2000Hz, Bertec FP-4060, Bertec Inc., OH, USA) were used to measure drive leg and stride leg ground reaction forces. An inertial measurement unit (motusBASEBALL Complete Package, Motus Global Inc., Massapequa, NY) was used to measure elbow torque. A radar unit (Rapsodo Pitching 2.0, Rapsodo Pte Ltd., Brentwood, MO) was used to measure pitch velocity. Pearson product-moment correlations were performed for each research question; the correlation coefficient (r) and p-values were reported for each. The strength of association was considered small for values of the correlation coefficient between 0.1 to 0.3, medium for values between 0.3 to 0.5, and large for values between 0.5 to 1.0. The a priori alpha level was set to 0.05. Impulse of the drive leg in the AP direction was significantly related to increased pitch velocity with an association of medium strength (p-value < 0.001, r =0.366) and inversely related to elbow varus torque with a small association of strength (p-value=0.001, r = 0.299). Stride leg peak force in the AP direction was significantly related to increased pitch velocity (p-value=0.013, r = 0.222). Increasing the impulse on the drive leg in the AP direction may lead to greater pitch velocity and a decrease in elbow varus torque. Additionally, increasing stride leg peak ground reaction forces in the AP direction may lead to greater pitch velocity.


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