Biomechanical characteristics of handballing maximally in Australian football Academic Article uri icon


  • The handball pass is influential in Australian football, and achieving higher ball speeds in flight is an advantage in increasing distance and reducing the chance of interceptions. The purpose of this study was to provide descriptive kinematic data and identify key technical aspects of maximal handball performance. Three-dimensional full body kinematic data from 19 professional Australian football players performing handball pass for maximal speed were collected, and the hand speed at ball contact was used to determine performance. Sixty-four kinematic parameters initially obtained were reduced to 15, and then grouped into like components through a two-stage supervised principal components analysis procedure. These components were then entered into a multiple regression analysis, which indicated that greater hand speed was associated with greater shoulder angular velocity and separation angle between the shoulders and pelvis at ball contact, as well as an earlier time of maximum upper-trunk rotation velocity. These data suggested that in order to increase the speed of the handball pass in Australian football, strategies like increased shoulder angular velocity, increased separation angle at ball contact, and earlier achievement of upper-trunk rotation speed might be beneficial.

publication date

  • 2014