# FPS from Lift to Release Point

I’ve read that most pitchers are around 25 or so frames per second from the top of the leg lift to release point.

What kind of speed is this? Specifically, how many frames per second? Are pitchers really releasing the ball just one second or possibly fewer than that after the leg lift?

The most common frame rate is 30 FPS.

And yes, they are really releasing it in less than one second after peak leg lift.

When I see clips on TV and stuff it looks like it takes longer. Is that just me?

If someone is taking more than 25 frames, they are “bleeding” energy. Your eyes are just being deceived.

Here is a clip recorded at 30 FPS, but being played at 25 FPS.

Here it is played at 33 FPS.

Now, the reason I didn’t show it being played at 30 FPS is because GIF’s can’t be made to play at 30 FPS. GIF programs only let you decide the time between frames. For 25 FPS, it’s .04 seconds, and 33 FPS it’s .03 seconds. In order to get 30 FPS, the time between frames must be .033 seconds. But the GIF programs only allow up to the hundredths/second value and not thousandths/second.

House has studied the “event timeline” for a large number of pitchers. He calls the start of leg lift t = 0 and then gives average times to some other events in the pitching moption.

Thus, he suggests that the time from start of leg lift to footstrike is between 0.95 to 1.05 sec for most pitchers.

I think he has 1.25 sec as an average time to ball release on his timeline.

At 30 fps, that’s about 30 frames of video from beginning of leg lift to footstrike and 37 or 38 frames from beginning of leg lift to release.

Some caveats: The first interval is difficult to judge with great precision because the exact “beginning” of leg lift is often relatively subtle and hard to pinpoint. Another issue is the second interval, from footstrike to ball release. Both of these events can be pinpointed in high-speed video with good precision so the numbers should be pretty good. However, House’s numbers suggest about 0.25 sec between footstrike and ball release–this number seems too long by about 0.1 sec to me.

Ok, thanks. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to a game in a while, so I haven’t been able to see how long these guys take.