Impact of ball weight on medial elbow torque in youth baseball pitchers
HYPOTHESIS: Our hypothesis was that an increase in ball weight would result in an increase in medial elbow torque during the pitching motion.
METHODS: Youth pitchers were recruited for this study and instructed to throw 5 maximum-effort fastballs from ground level using baseballs of 4 different weights: 85 g (3 oz), 113 g (4 oz), 142 g (5 oz), and 170 g (6 oz). The validated Motus sensor was used to assess medial elbow torque, arm speed, arm slot, and shoulder rotation for each pitch. Pitch velocity was measured using a radar gun. Relationships between baseball weight and pitching kinetics and/or kinematics were evaluated using linear mixed-effects analysis. An exit survey was conducted detailing the pitcher's evaluation of the ball weights used.