Cricket Bowling technology

Well here we are 2012 and the technology we started on in 2009 has been built and is now being tested with our pals at the AIS. Its of intrest to the international community. 
Last week trials of our illegal arm action sensor began at the AIS. Its work funded by the ICC and the MCC and is undertaken in partnership with praxis Sport Science, the AIS and Cricket Australia. Its been picked up by a few news sources 

“Detection of throwing in cricket using wearable sensors” has just been accepted for publication in the "Sports Technology" the leading journal in this area; that it will be published in the Special Issue on Australian Sports Technolog, it will be presented at the Australian Sports Technology Network conference, attended by the federal sports minister and is entered into the National IT invention test Dept. of Innovation competition.

Here’s the media release…




Dubai, 28 August 2012


ICC invests in the future for illegal bowling action technology

The ICC has entered the second phase of an agreement with a consortium of high profile Australian cricket, sports science and sports engineering institutions to develop a wearable technology to assess the legality of bowling actions in match and training conditions.

ICC is now working with experts to produce a process capable of measuring bowlers’ actions in a match environment. Known as inertial sensors, they employ similar technology to that used in iPads, mobile phones and car crash impact detection systems.

It is planned the technology will be light, cost effective and wearable on the bowler’s arm and will not to hinder performance while still allowing information about the throw like features of an illegal action to be assessed in near real time in both match and training environments.

Bowlers who have been reported by umpires with a suspicious illegal bowling action are currently required to attend an ICC approved biomechanics laboratory to assess the amount of elbow extension in their bowling action.

The research team comprises sport scientists and engineers from Griffith University’s Centre for Wireless Monitoring and Applications in Brisbane (Engineers Dr. Daniel James and Dr. Andrew Wixted), the Australian Institute of Sport’s Biomechanics department in Canberra (Cricket Biomechanist Mr. Wayne Spratford) and Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

The project is being managed on behalf of the ICC by Praxis Sport Science Pty Ltd, an Australian-based sports science consultancy company headed up by Dr Marc Portus. Dr. Portus was involved with the original research behind the 15 degree tolerance threshold for illegal actions when he worked as a Biomechanist for the Australian Institute of Sport and Cricket Australia.

The second phase of the three-phase project will conclude in late 2013 and is concerned with the technology’s measurement methods and precision against current laboratory protocols. In 2014 Phase 3 will focus on making the technology more comfortable for players as well as maximising wireless data transmission and battery life.

ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson, said: “The ICC is keen to see this technology implemented in elite cricket and believe it will be a significant stride forward in detecting illegal bowling actions in match conditions.

“We would also like to see the technology used in training environments as a tool to help bowlers correct their flawed bowling action.

“We are encouraged by the progress made so far by the Australian research team and also acknowledge the MCC, who have made a significant financial contribution to the project.

Press release, Griffith university by Janet Langan (2009)
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) will fund Griffith University and Australia’s elite sporting bodies to develop a wearable, real-time electronic sensor to record and monitor the bowling action during delivery. 

The device will be mounted on a bowler's arm to assess the legality of the bowling action instantly by measuring the degree of elbow extension between the time the bowling arm reaches a horizontal level and the release of the ball. 

Current ICC regulations stipulate a 15-degree tolerance threshold for elbow extension in the bowling action. This is accepted as the point at which any elbow extension begins to become noticeable to the human eye. 

Sports and electronics engineers at Griffith's Centre for Wireless Monitoring and applications will work with Cricket Australia's Sport Science Sport Medicine Unit and the Australian Institute of Sport's Biomechanics department to perfect the tiny electronic device. 

Cricket Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport have researched bowling actions for the past 20 years, with much of their recent work used by the ICC to develop procedures to assess doubtful bowling actions. 

Griffith University project leader Dr Daniel James said the device was designed as a development tool for up-and-coming bowlers. 

It will help coaches assess arm action early on in training as a means of injury prevention, performance improvement and as a corrective aid for suspect actions. It may also be helpful in competition he said. 

He said current best practice relies on frame-by-frame video analysis or in-laboratory motion analysis and this new technology would be another tool available to coaches. 

There are only a few specialist sports laboratories in the world able to accurately monitor the bowling action. As well as being prohibitively expensive for athletes from remote areas and early-career athletes, this requires the athlete to go into the lab and bowl in an unnatural setting he said. 

This can have a psychological effect on performance and critics say it doesn’t necessarily reflect what is happening on the field. 

He said the team would take advantage of advances in microelectronics to develop light-weight devices with comparable precision to laboratory based systems. 

Working with the Queensland Academy of Sport and the AIS we have had a lot of success developing similar devices to assess the serve of a tennis player and the stroke of an Olympic swimmer he said. 

It's now a matter of tailoring the technology and developing software to obtain the sort of information the ICC requires. 

The technology will utilise a combination of accelerometers, rate gyroscopes and other wireless inertial sensors. It will be able to record minute position changes in linear and radial directions with technologies such as magnetometers and GPS to ensure a high level of accuracy. 

ICC’s General Manager – Cricket David Richardson said this research was crucial in the battle to uphold the regulations around illegal bowling actions. 

One of the difficulties of testing bowlers’ actions in laboratory conditions is that it cannot always replicate match conditions successfully said Mr Richardson. 

In other words, whether on purpose or unintentionally, the bowler might bowl differently in the lab than when he is out in the middle in the heat of a match when fatigue and greater effort are a factor he said. 

That is why a device that a bowler can wear during a match is something we are very excited to be developing.