In cricket, a player is deemed to have an illegal bowling action if their elbow extension exceeds 15 degrees during the bowl. This may result in the player being banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), a heavy penalty for any cricket player. Once a player is banned, they must then undergo technique retraining, and be retested with a motion capture system until their elbow extension is proved to be below the allowable 15 degree threshold.
University of Western Australia (UWA), the world leader in cricket research, currently uses an indoor Vicon MX3+ system for this testing. However, they wished to move to a more realistic on field testing environment and required a motion capture system that would deliver high-quality data in the bright Australian sunshine.
UWA was selected by Vicon as part of a group, to provide real-world testing for the new Vicon S Edition outdoor capable motion capture cameras. UWA then utilized the Vicon test system outdoors to look at cricketers bowling actions.
Jacqueline Alderson, Assistant Professor at UWA explains, "With Vicon's outdoor capable motion capture cameras, we weren't constricted to lab conditions. The ability to capture outdoors is invaluable for our own cricket testing center and is another step toward improving ecological validity."
Kane Middleton, a PhD candidate at UWA provided additional insight into the quality of the data captured with the Vicon S Edition outdoor system. "The cameras performed remarkably well even in high lighting conditions. A few cables into the cameras from the main box and we were ready to go!"
The Vicon S Edition outdoor system provided new avenues for research opportunity and greater data quality. Middleton added, "Data quality was great with very few broken trajectories.
"Vicon has given Sports Biomechanists the ability to perform high quality, ecologically valid research. Being able to collect 3D data in the field is priceless as it does away with the constraints of laboratory data collection."
In fact, the test went so well, UWA became the first customer to purchase the new S Edition outdoor system from Vicon. Their 12 T40S cameras will be their new gold standard for cricket research, and will provide greater data and information to the coaches.
As one of the world's leading sports research facilities, Alderson and Middleton plan to use their new system for a variety of sports research. Alderson explains, "We will be able to utilize the system for all our other sports research as well, including Australian Rules Football, Soccer and other athletics. It will enable soccer players to play on real grass with real goalposts and athletes can be tested by equipment in real-life sports environments."
Alex Muir, Asia Pacific Manager at Vicon said, "We've had a long-standing partnership with UWA and to bring their research outside is something we've always dreamt about!
"The capabilities of the T-Series S Edition cameras mean that we don't need to add anything else to make them work outside. They're optimized for outdoor use so, most importantly, there's no loss in performance. UWA needs accurate data – this testing can cost some players their careers - there's no room for error."