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South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Relationship among Fitness, Morphological Characteristics, Skills and Performance in Men’s Fast-pitch Softball

M Wentzel, AL Travill

Abstract


Men’s fast-pitch softball does not have a specific battery of tests and relies on the tests and norms of baseball. The specific morphological and fitness demands of the sport are, therefore, not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to establish whether morphological and fitness characteristics are related to skill and performance measures in men’s fast-pitch softball players. The sample was purposively selected and consisted of 15 provincial and 15 club male players. Anthropometric, fitness and skills test were conducted. Match statistics were obtained from the provincial softball federation for the provincial players and from the club for its members. Data were analysed and interpreted both collectively as a group and separately as teams for the purpose of comparison. The results identified a number of strong significant relationships between the different variables tested. Stature and percentage body fat were found to interact significantly with the two key performance areas, batting and base running. The findings convincingly suggest that coaches should include fitness, morphological and skills tests in their coaching and fitness programmes, team selection and talent identification processes.

Keywords: Fast-pitch Softball, Fitness, Anthropometry, Skills, Performance, Correlations


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