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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2020 March;179(3):136-42

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.19.04048-8


language: English

Physical characteristics and fitness in elite collegiate baseball players in Japan: comparison of pitchers vs. fielders

Takuma MORISHIMA 1 , Mamoru ITO 1, 2, Yosuke TSUCHIYA 3, Hisashi UEDA 4, Eisuke OCHI 1, 5

1 Sports Research Center, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan; 2 Faculty of Law, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan; 3 Faculty of Modern Life, Teikyo Heisei University, Tokyo, Japan; 4 Faculty of Health and Medical Science, Teikyo Heisei University, Chiba, Japan; 5 Faculty of Bioscience and Applied Chemistry, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan

BACKGROUND: An effective training program for improving baseball performance requires clarity about the physical characteristics of the players and their fitness. This study investigated whether physical characteristics and fitness differed between baseball positions.
METHODS: The study included 44 male intercollegiate baseball players. Five aspects of physical characteristics and fitness were measured and compared between pitchers and fielders: body composition, active range of motion (AROM), muscle strength, jump performance, and maximal anaerobic capacity.
RESULTS: Body composition did not differ between the positions. The AROM for the dominant and non-dominant shoulder joints were greater in the pitchers than in the fielders, with a significant difference observed in the non-dominant shoulder (P<0.05). The fielders lifted significantly higher bench press and squat weights. No significant differences between the positions were observed in heights achieved for the squat jump, counter movement jump, rebound jump, and drop jump. However, rebound and drop jump indexes were significantly higher in the fielders (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to measure differences in physical fitness levels between baseball players of different positions. Specifically, muscle strength, stretch-shortening cycle, and anaerobic capacity were higher in the fielders, whereas shoulder AROM was higher in the pitchers.

KEY WORDS: Muscle strength; Range of motion, articular; Baseball

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