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How Cricketers Can Measure Their Bowling Speed

Updated on May 17, 2012

Platypus Speedball

Measuring your bowling speed

How fast can you bowl? It is an age old question that can be answered, by using a variety of methods. Some are easy to use and are freely available but, which method is the best?

There are four ways to measure the bowling speed of your fast bowlers:-

  • Specialist coaching centre
  • Police radar speed gun
  • Mathematical formula
  • Platypus Speedball cricket ball

So lets look at these in order.

Specialist coaching centre

As cricket becomes increasingly popular across the UK, there is the need for more specialist coaching centres. These include many of the professional County training facilities but, space and time is limited, at these venues. We now find many independent venues are opening, with state of the art facilities available to club players, at reasonable prices.

At these some of these centres, they have designated one batting lane to have speed sensors, built into the netting system. The speed is then recorded onto a computer program. The beauty of this program, is it much more than just a speed sensor and can be used to work out the trajectory of the cricket ball. They are very expensive to build and are quite pricey to hire but, they are invaluable if a player is using the session for coaching and technical analysis.

Police radar speed gun

Police radar speed guns are great to use but, you will need to know a friendly policeman to be able to get your hands on one. Your local police force have been known to hire these out for around £130 for a maximum period of 2 hours. However, you can buy radar guns for personal use. The prices vary on these from £100 to £850. The accuracy can be a little varied. We witnessed a cricket speed bowling session, where one lad failed to get a speed reading until he change the colour of his top.

The Pocket Radar system seems to be one of the best and most practical, speed radar on the market. This retails in the US for around $200.

Mathematical formula

I am not a mathematical genius but i read that it was possible to use a complicated formula, to work it out. I prefer to use this method, although it is only as accurate as the person operating the stopwatch.

On a standard 22 yard wicket, start the stopwatch when the bowler releases the ball. Stop the timer when the ball passes where the batsman would be stood. Now take 45 and divide by the time you have on your watch. If the ball was bowled in a time of 1 second the speed would be 45mph. If the time was .64 of a second the speed would be 70mph.

Platypus Speedball cricket ball

The latest piece of cricket technology is the Platypus Speedball cricket ball. This ball has a sensor built into to ball. It is accurate to 1mph as long as the ball is pitched to the desired length set into the ball.

First off you need to set the length, you expect or intend to bowl the ball. This is the distance from point of release to the ball pitching (bouncing). The ball is then ready to use. Mark the area, where the ball is expected to land with a cone, then you will easily see if it was successful. When the ball has been bowled, the in ball sensor will display a reading in kph. This ball is probably the most cost effective piece of kit available to cricketers in the UK and is priced at around £35.


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