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Is this radar gun slow or are we really that bad?
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Pustulio
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PostPosted: May 30, 2009    Post subject: Is this radar gun slow or are we really that bad? Reply with quote

My coach whipped out the radar gun the other day and I think it's gotta be slow, we had someone who had been clocked at 85 mph at a showcase and it said his fastball was 60 something and then it said my fastball was like 50 something. It also had a few other people only throwing 50 something and 60 something. So do we all have bad judgement of our own pitches or is that radar gun just slow. (by the way he wasn't that close to us with the gun either he was clear back in the bleachers, we were going off the mound).
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Highschoolpitcher9
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PostPosted: May 30, 2009    Post subject: Re: Is this radar gun slow or are we really that bad? Reply with quote

Pustulio wrote:
My coach whipped out the radar gun the other day and I think it's gotta be slow, we had someone who had been clocked at 85 mph at a showcase and it said his fastball was 60 something and then it said my fastball was like 50 something. It also had a few other people only throwing 50 something and 60 something. So do we all have bad judgement of our own pitches or is that radar gun just slow. (by the way he wasn't that close to us with the gun either he was clear back in the bleachers, we were going off the mound).


was he taking a reading at your hand, or as it crossed the plate? That can make a big difference.. someone correct me if i'm wrong but i think a reading is generally taken at the pitchers hand?
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laflippin
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PostPosted: May 30, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Typical FBs only drop about 8-9 mph in velocity from the release point to HP. That could not explain the difference--besides, as the poster above mentioned, almost all radar readings are taken near the release point.

Your coach was probably not using the gun correctly--for a radar reading to be accurate, the gun must be aimed at the ball with as little angle as possible: 0 degrees is best (that is, the gun should ideally be aligned with the direction of the pitch, either from the catcher's point of view and aimed at the pitcher, or directly behind the pitcher and aimed toward the catcher.

If the radar gun is aimed at a right angle to the pitch direction you will not get any reading at all.

I don't have my chart handy, but the readings drop off pretty fast as the angle to pitch direction increases from 0 degrees. There is a noticeable drop even at 5 degrees of angle, and the error gets very large above 10 degrees.

To make matters worse, angles to the left and right of the pitch trajectory are not the only problem--if readings are taken directly on line with the pitch, but from an elevated position in the stands, you will have the same type of angle error contribute to false "low" readings.

For a good gun, the actual distance from which the reading is taken (within reason) doesn't matter--it's all in the angle.
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Coach Baker
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PostPosted: May 30, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

All guns require a calibration from time to time. Mine use to bounce around a suitcase and regardless how careful I packed it, these things are delicate instruments.

Ask your coach if his came with a calibration instrument - some use a tuning fork. A tuning fork gives off a certain pitched vibration (or something like that) for setting the gun up properly.

Also, in additon to what's been said already, some guns have a certain "margin of error" to them depending on how far away the holder of the gun is and where the gun is aimed at. So, let's say your coach is sitting in his coaching chair and he's 80 feet away from the pitchers. If the gun is top shelf you can sit that far way and still get a reasonable reading. Mine allow me to sit in the bleachers - right next to a dugout, and I still get dependable accuracy. ( That's over 100 feet from the plate and even more from the pitcher and any other action that I want to read."

On the other hand, most of these guns are for one or two reasons - number 1# = having fun, number 2# =deliberate scouting and coaching.

#2:
The pro models require careful handling and are not suitable for the person unskilled in their intendend use. The settings can get confusing at time. Heck, I'm not the sharpest tack in the pack - but I've been doing this for a while and when I got a replacement for an older model that got damaged in a accident, it took me forever to figure the darn thing out. My new gun had settings on it that I didn't need - but the accuracy and dependability was its reputation.

So, in the final stretch - ask if the coach if his has to been calibrated recently, if he's at the correct distance when using the gun, and if he's selected a button or feature that's really giving the desired results.

My replacement had an averaging feature that I just get out of - setting wise, and it took my 15 year old nephew to figure it out and get me going again.

Best wishes with your baseball experience.

Coach B.
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Coach Baker
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PostPosted: May 30, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

two local high school players last year asked a cop who had a radar trap going if he could tell them how fast they could throw a baseball. All this happen near a park where the neighbors were complaining about speeders.

So, the cop aimed the radar pickup unit on his door and the youngsters tossed some - in between "pull over mack"..

Perhaps you can find an officer with such a set up near you someday and ask if he could spot you some throws - just be sure you're arm is ready for it. A lot of cops are decent about guys and sports.

Coach B.
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jakejeckel
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PostPosted: May 30, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

thought that jugs reads ball outa hand speed and stalker reads ball to plate. thats why the jugs is usually 3-4mph faster than stalker
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Pustulio
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PostPosted: May 30, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, so it's very possible that I'm throwing 70 with my knuck around 60? Because before I thought about that it was a little discouraging to think "I'm 17 and throwing 57 MPH" which now that I think about it that just can't be right.
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laflippin
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PostPosted: May 31, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pustulio,

In your OP you said a guy who had been previously clocked at 85 mph was getting 60-something from your coach's readings.

There have been several ideas offered in this thread; however, besides an incorrect angle of measurement, consider also that your coach may have been trying to motivate you by fibbing about his radar readings.

Many people tend to fudge velocities to the high side, so I assume some might do the reverse as well, for their own particular purposes.

By the way, I was inspired to hunt down my user's manual and refresh my memory about the angle errors that apply to radar readings.

Let's say that your true velocity at release point is 75 mph. If the radar reading is taken straight in line with the direction of your pitch, it will read 75 mph. If the gun is 10 degrees off-line with the pitch, it will read 73.9 mph. If it is 30 degrees off-line the reading will be 65 mph. If the coach is standing at a 45 degree angle to the direction of the pitch, his reading of your 75 mph pitch will be 53 mph.

Do you happen to remember where your coach was positioned when he took radar readings of your pitches?
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CSamuel
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PostPosted: May 31, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are those "speed balls" accurate? You know the one's you throw and the little display gives you a reading of how fast your pitch is. Are they worth dropping 20 bucks for?

I picked one up off the shelf and even with the package it seemed kinda light compared to the Rawlings balls.
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Dino
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PostPosted: May 31, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a big fan of the high school "coach whipping out his radar gun" because all the pitchers start chuckin the ball as hard as they can for all the wrong reasons.

With that complaint out of the way, the feedback you get from one of those things is always suspect for the reasons stated. The accuracy of the gun is dependent on its user and its quality. You should expect to pay $800 at minimum for a good sports radar. Using something of a lower quality is just asking for confusing readings. I'm sure there are cheap models that on occasion get the correct reading but think about the reason your using it in the first place. Accuracy is an absolute must. The unit should have both a tuning fork and internal calibration methods. The tuning fork should come with a certificate of accuracy and should have a serial number on it. Cheaper models won't have this. The unit should be tested every sixty days by a certified technician. As has been previously noted by Coach Baker, these things get knocked around. They should be carried in a high quality shock resistant case.

So to answer your question Pustilio...I wouldn't put much stock in the readings you guys got. If you want to test the accuracy of coach's radar...this is what you do. Have someone take their car with a digital speedometer to a speed testing station and have the odometer certified. The technician will give you a certificate that shows what the true speed is at five mile intervals. Now you take that car out on the road and test the radar gun's accuracy at say 55, 60 and 65 mph. Now you will know if the gun is accurate or in error.

I have used traffic radar to time the speed of pitches but I find it difficult to get a consistent reading pitch after pitch because the traffic radar is designed to reflect microwaves off objects the size of vehicles at up to a mile away. Sports radars are designed a little differently with a short range.

I have access to traffic radar but I would rather my son concentrate on pitching, hitting his spots and getting outs. I know someone is throwing 85 mph or better when I can stand nearby and hear the strings on the ball buzzing. Know what I mean?
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Zita Carno
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PostPosted: May 31, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Expletive" the radar gun!
I will never understand why people rely so much on a piece of equipment that is known for its inaccuracy, when all you need is a very good hitter to tell you how fast you're throwing.
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jakejeckel
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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2009    Post subject: Reply with quote

i mean you say you only try to throw knuckleballs right? you might only be throwin in the 60s because you dont put any emphasis on the fastball. not like it would be suprising, dono why your even worried, since all you say you wana throw is a knuck then why do you care?
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