Estimating throwing speed in handball using a wearable device

Sebastian D. Skejø, Jesper Bencke, Merete Møller, Henrik Sørensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

15 Downloads (Pure)


Throwing speed is likely a key determinant of shoulder-specific load. However, it is difficult to estimate the speed of throws in handball in field-based settings with many players due to limitations in current technology. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a novel method to estimate throwing speed in handball using a low-cost accelerometer-based device. Nineteen experienced handball players each performed 25 throws of varying types while we measured the acceleration of the wrist using the accelerometer and the throwing speed using 3D motion capture. Using cross-validation, we developed four prediction models using combinations of the logarithm of the peak total acceleration, sex and throwing type as the predictor and the throwing speed as the outcome. We found that all models were well-calibrated (mean calibration of all models: 0.0 m/s, calibration slope of all models: 1.00) and precise (R2 = 0.71–0.86, mean absolute error = 1.30–1.82 m/s). We conclude that the developed method provides practitioners and researchers with a feasible and cheap method to estimate throwing speed in handball from segments of wrist acceleration signals containing only a single throw.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4925
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Accelerometer
  • Inertial measurement unit
  • Shoulder load
  • Throwing load
  • Throwing velocity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating throwing speed in handball using a wearable device'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this