Kinematics of a striking task: accuracy and speed–accuracy considerations Academic Article uri icon


  • Handballing in Australian football (AF) is the most efficient passing method, yet little research exists examining technical factors associated with accuracy. This study had three aims: (a) To explore the kinematic differences between accurate and inaccurate handballers, (b) to compare within-individual successful (hit target) and unsuccessful (missed target) handballs and (c) to assess handballing when both accuracy and speed of ball-travel were combined using a novel approach utilising canonical correlation analysis. Three-dimensional data were collected on 18 elite AF players who performed handballs towards a target. More accurate handballers exhibited a significantly straighter hand-path, slower elbow angular velocity and smaller elbow range of motion (ROM) compared to the inaccurate group. Successful handballs displayed significantly larger trunk ROM, maximum trunk rotation velocity and step-angle and smaller elbow ROM in comparison to the unsuccessful handballs. The canonical model explained 73% of variance shared between the variable sets, with a significant relationship found between hand-path, elbow ROM and maximum elbow angular velocity (predictors) and hand-speed and accuracy (dependant variables). Interestingly, not all parameters were the same across each of the analyses, with technical differences between inaccurate and accurate handballers different from those between successful and unsuccessful handballs in the within-individual analysis.

publication date

  • 2015