back to article Throwing arms let humans rise above poo-flinging apes to play cricket

The unique human ability to hurl objects such as cricket balls fast and accurately is what lifted us above our early rivals for world dominance, according to new research. "There were essentially two questions we asked – one of them was why are humans so uniquely good at throwing, while all other creatures including our …

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  1. Jediben

    In memory of Eadon

    Who says monkeys can't throw? Look at BALLMER and his chair!

    MICROSOFT EPIC FAIL!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In memory of Eadon

      What's happened to him? I've not seen any of his rants for a few days. Did I miss something?

      1. Grikath

        Re: In memory of Eadon

        yes you did, actually. Eadon was zapped by Vulture Central for his umpteeth effort at poo-flinging.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Pint

          Re: In memory of Eadon

          I missed that as well. What did he do this time?

          For a while I looked on him as a bit of comic relief to enliven the daily grind but TBH he was getting a bit predictable.

          Beer 'cos I'm just about to pour one

          1. VinceH Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: In memory of Eadon

            "I missed that as well. What did he do this time?"

            Maybe nothing. For all we know, his parents might have taken him to Butlins for the week.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: In memory of Eadon

            It happened here <http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2013/06/23/windows_server_2003_reasons_to_upgrade_analysis/>. Drewc nuked him.

    3. CCCP
      Thumb Up

      Re: In memory of Eadon

      Huh. Seems my wish of a "hide Eadon button" from a few days ago was granted. Permanently. So there is a deity after all. Or at least an editor or two.

  2. Gazareth

    Cricket vs Baseball

    Run up vs standing throw - surely that has some effect?

    1. Ted Treen
      Coat

      Re: Cricket vs Baseball

      Our rebel colonial cousins have, interestingly, taken two traditional British girlie games - netball and rounders - and have turned them into a national religion, having renamed them as (respectively) basketball and baseball...

      1. NogginTheNog
        FAIL

        Re: Cricket vs Baseball

        Along with rugby, which they play hidden inside protective suits!

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: Cricket vs Baseball

          If you were paying someone $8M to play 16-20 games per year, wouldn't you want them in a protective suit also?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cricket vs Baseball

          I much prefer Cricket.

          The sound of willow hitting your opponent's head is so much more satisfying than the dull thud when using a baseball bat...

          1. Mike Flugennock

            Re: Cricket vs Baseball

            I much prefer Cricket.

            The sound of willow hitting your opponent's head is so much more satisfying than the dull thud when using a baseball bat...

            ...especially with those damned aluminum bats the American college teams are using now.

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Cricket vs Baseball

            Many Americans would feel the other way, preferring the sharp "crack" of a solid hit with a Louisville Slugger or other ash baseball bat vs. the relatively tame "thump" of willow on a cricket ball. I've personally listened to many home run hits vs. hits for six and feel the same way, though I suspect it's more a matter of what you grew up hearing.

        3. Mike Flugennock

          Re: Cricket vs Baseball

          Y'know, to be honest, I always had more admiration for rugby players than American rules "football" players. The American rules players are much bigger and stronger, but they also play in heavy pads and helmets, whereas the rugby guys are pretty much playing naked, not a pad or helmet among 'em. I gotta give 'em grudging admiration for that. Mind you, I think they're out of their goddamn' minds, but I admire 'em.

          I used to follow American rules (NFL) religiously, but some years ago, on an early visit to Mexico, I got to watch some football ("soccer" to us Yanks) and really got into it. The game had a kind of grace and flow to it that I really enjoyed. American rules bored me after that. Same with rugby.

          American rules football, otoh, is like gladiatorial combat -- really slow, boring gladiatorial combat. The QB calls off the signals, they all crash into each other, the ref blows the whistle, the guys all get up and stand around for five minutes, then repeat. Sometimes the QB throws the ball to a guy downfield and misses. Once in a while, the ball is actually kicked, with the feet.

      2. Steve Knox
        Happy

        Re: Cricket vs Baseball

        Netball came from basketball, not the other way round, and was specifically modified for women.

        Baseball and rounders have a common origin, rather than having an ancestor-descendant relationship.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_netball

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball#Origins_of_baseball

      3. Mike Flugennock

        Re: Cricket vs Baseball

        Our rebel colonial cousins have, interestingly, taken two traditional British girlie games - netball and rounders - and have turned them into a national religion, having renamed them as (respectively) basketball and baseball...

        True dat, but it ain't "girlie" no more, pal. (;^>

        Btw, re: Nolan Ryan vs. the famous cricketer... that's got me wondering if the cricket bowler's run-up or the baseball pitcher's wind-up puts more kinetic energy behind the ball. Neither athlete is going from an upright standing start, though I suspect the cricketer would have the advantage as he's allowed to run up to bowl, whereas the baseball pitcher is required to keep on foot on the rubber plate atop the mound.

        I've also wondered if the Science mag studied all styles of baseball pitchers, or just straight overhand throwers. Many of the best pitchers in the game are side-armers.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Cricket vs Baseball

      I've actually never felt any animosity towards either sport. I like both of them, and I'm an American. Each has its intricacies and I fault neither sport for them, and they've both gradually evolved to keep with the times. Whether it's a thrilling nine-inning pitcher's duel or an exciting T20 showdown that comes down to the last ball, if it's your game, you'll enjoy the day. I say pick one, sit back and revel in the marvel of top-class players in action.

    3. BongoJoe

      Re: Cricket vs Baseball

      According to that fount of all knowledge accurate and othewise; the national sport of Wales is, er, baseball.

      Though Welsh Baseball does look rather primitive and in true Welsh tradition the league appears to be mostly played in England. And, no, living here in the Welsh Welsh heartlands of the Llŷn I, and no-one else, have ever seen it.

      But it's in Wikipedia, so it must be true. But that doesn't stop me telling any passing Merkin that the Welsh invented the game.

    4. The First Dave Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Cricket vs Baseball

      Actually a bent elbow _does_ allow you to impart more speed, that is why it is illegal in cricket!

  3. a_milan
    Coffee/keyboard

    Thanks - it's always refreshing to see such a well researched and referenced article!

  4. Fogcat
    Headmaster

    And I thought that throwing resulted in a no ball. So bowlers have had to change this natural throwing ability.

    1. Psyx
      Thumb Up

      "And I thought that throwing resulted in a no ball. "

      Now, yes. It was legit about a hundred years ago, though.

      But then; so was aiming a ball at the batsman's face.

      1. gerryg
        Coat

        underarm bowling legit in 1981

        <= mine's the one with six stones in the pocket

        You've forgotten the infamous Chappell incident

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oiYV73lYhg

        The game was the third of a five-match series final, and each team had won one game. New Zealand still had six runs to tie and two wickets in hand when the final ball came to be bowled. To prevent Brian McKechnie, the New Zealand batsman, hitting a six, Greg Chappell told his brother Trevor to bowl the ball underarm.

        1. Corinne
          Happy

          Re: underarm bowling legit in 1981

          Not sure whether it's an urban myth, but I was taught that bowling used to always be underarm. Then women wanted to play, and big skirts like as not with a mass of hoops and/or petticoats were seriously in the way so overarm bowling was invented to overcome that.

      2. Furbian
        Go

        The Elbow Angle..

        Indeed, bending your elbow, angling it, which is what the whole article focus's on is not just illegal in modern cricket but will get you labelled a 'chucker' the worst of worst cricketing insults. It will cause a diplomatic incident with country whose bowler is alleged to have done this, referral to the authorises to examine the bowler's bowling action and then result in the chap having to have training to remedy his 'action' or medical tests to prove that he's (possibly she, but I've yet to hear of a lady 'chucker') double jointed.

        Oh cricket vs baseball, the cricket ball, being made of cork wrapped in leather really really hurts if it hits you, one floored me for a good ten minutes one when it hit me in the ...

        1. Steve Knox
          Trollface

          Re: The Elbow Angle..

          Oh cricket vs baseball, the cricket ball, being made of cork wrapped in leather really really hurts if it hits you, one floored me for a good ten minutes one when it hit me in the ...

          Well, that's the cricket half of the comparison .. We need to get you on a field with a baseball and professional pitcher to test the baseball half...

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: The Elbow Angle..

            Cricket balls ARE rather denser than baseballs due to their compositions. But being hit by either one at speed is going to hurt, PARTICULARLY if the hit comes off their respective bats (players HAVE tragically suffered fatal injuries in both sports as a result of being hit directly by driven balls). As for baseball, many a player have noted that getting literally beaned (hit in the helmet by a pitch) can easily feel as if you've had your bell rung. Hits to the back or legs aren't too pretty, either. No wonder some batters don't take kindly to getting hit, especially if it's not the first time the pitcher's done it in the game. But in the end, that's why there are rules focusing on the safety of the players holding the bats. If things go wrong, we can re-evaluate, but for now let's play as well as safety permits us.

            1. Yet Another Commentard

              Re: The Elbow Angle..

              @Charles 9

              IIRC the cricket dismissal method of "hit ball twice" is a player safety one - whereby in days of yore batsmen could hit the ball again as a catcher was about to catch, leading to one or two fatalities from the bat.

              Interesting how a US term for a headbound delivery is a beaner, and the cricket equivalent would be a beamer (non bouncing ball above waist height, not a legal delivery). In cricket it's bad because as a batsman you expect the ball to hit the ground at some point, and it's easy to lose the ball's path if it comes directly at you, increasing the chances of a hit to the chest or head. Ouch. It's not seen to often, and every time I have seen it happen it's an accident, with the bowler immediately apologising. Mind you, doing it deliberately could get you banned.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Elbow Angle..

          "what the whole article focus's on"

          Unable to parse

      3. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "But then; so was aiming a ball at the batsman's face."

        I assume you mean aiming for the face with a full toss. It's still considered OK to do it with a bouncer. That's why cricket's adopted the term "chin music" from the Americans for such deliveries (in both sports, chin music is usually strategic: meant to unnerve the batter/batsman and force him out of his comfort zone).

  5. proto-robbie
    Pirate

    Nah...

    For real speed you need a javelin throwing action, with a run-up and sudden stop, when the back, hip and shoulder turn are released through the whipping action of the arm. Pitchers don't have a run up, and lose a lot of this focussing of the energy of the big muscles in the body.

    When I was younger and stick-like I could through stones / balls / snowballs prodigious distances - over 100 yards, but only when the projectiles were the "right" weight. Too heavy, and my shoulder and arm couldn't cope when doing the "whip" thing, and the results were sore, and pretty feeble.

    ps A cricket ball weighs 20% as much as a javelin, for kinetic energy comparison purposes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nah...

      Do the javelin chaps and chapesses throw with a straight or bent arm? Always looks pretty straight to me, like what a fast bowler would do. Particularly Jeff Thompson (who I believe started with the Javelin before migrating to cricket) or that chap from Sri Lanka who's name escapes me. Personally, the best quick I've ever seen was Malcolm Marshall. Under 6 foot, but still lethally fast, accurate, skillful and cunning. I appear to have wandered a bit, apologies to readers from the non crikosphere nations.

      1. implicateorder
        Pint

        Re: Nah...

        Best Fast Bowler...

        That privilege goes to Glen McGrath. That dude was so excellent in his deliveries. I would believe it if someone told me he had a 100% strike rate of hitting a coin from 22 yards off, running in full steam, another 20-22 yards.

        Albeit, after watching the movie "Fire in Babylon", I long to see the fearsome foursome of the West Indies pace attack again, in some shape or form. Alas, the game has been ruined by T20 (and to a large extent, one-day cricket).

        1. Gray Ham
          Pint

          Re: Nah...

          Many years ago, my father christened our neighbour's corgi "Larwood" .... because he had 4 short legs and his balls could swing either way.

          Sure, Glenn was a gret fast bowler ... but will his name still resonate 80 years on?

    2. Hollerith 1

      Re: Nah...

      It seems it is a taught skill, or non-skill. I wasn't told that I shouldn't hold my breath when I sprint until I was embarrassingly old, but my dad did teach me to throw a ball -- and every PE teacher thought I was a natural athlete (despite the holding-breath). Girls are also discouraged from the hours of practice it takes to be good at throwing (boys can throw balls back and forth, or against a wall, for hours, and it's a boy-thing, but girls are told to stop wasting their time -- yes, a massive generalisation, but check out how often a boy is left to frolic or mess about compared to his sister on any family outing.)

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Nah...

      "Pitchers don't have a run up, and lose a lot of this focussing of the energy of the big muscles in the body."

      Perhaps, but the natural motion of a big-league pitch means the torso twists in the wind-up. Also, you lift the forward leg into the air for additional potential energy. It's like throwing a punch. You use the rest of your body like a coiled spring and then unleash them in sequence to continually build up speed and power for the final release. Stomp the foot, untwist the torso, whip the arm at the shoulder and then the elbow, flick the wrist, THEN let go. Being able to combine all these momentum-bulding motions and not move your back foot (meaning you're essentially throwing from a standstill) demonstrates that the big-league fastball has considerable science and experience behind it, and cricket with its studies of grips, deliveries, seam actions, etc. is no different in that regard.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Nah...

        All of the above movements does seem to imply a superiority from our whole bodies physiology. Thinking of throwing and martial arts moves powers really delivered from us being able to get all the muscles to work in a co-ordination with each other, whether its a whipping action or coming of the back foot I've seen lightly built people deliver real powerful kicks and punches in comparison with weightlifting types who don't train on getting that synergy.

        Wasn't there also some research that said that human muscle strength is inhibited to give us better muscular control? Which I would think makes all the difference on fine control for a throw, or snapping out a punch with the hand eye co-ordination to hit where you intend on the target.

        Chimps wouldn't seem to have the hips to use some of the kinetic actions we use, or the fine muscle control to hit a target with an accurate punch. Admittedly a chimps more likely to just run at you screaming and bite you with its canines or tear your arm off and hit you with it, so having the brains to think a pointy stick and tactics would be handy has got to be some help as well.

  6. Roger Stenning
    Coat

    Pah...

    ...it's all a load of balls anyhow...

    ...ok, ok, I'll get me coat ;-)

  7. Dazed and Confused

    Throwing actions

    OK, I know I'm going to get accused of sexism here, but if you watch boys and girls throwing you'll tend to see that in the large majority of cases they have a very different action. Boys from a very young age tend to use their wrists in a whipping action where as this, in my experience, seems to be comparatively rarer in girls.

    It would be interesting to know whether there is reason why this is the case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Throwing actions

      you forgot to add that girls can't run properly either

    2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Throwing actions

      The boys' wristy whipping action has other uses than just for throwing things, you know...

      1. Dazed and Confused
        Happy

        Re: Throwing actions

        Yes, but they learn the whipping action before they learn what its really for.

    3. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Throwing actions

      There was a recent Mythbusters which looked at this and found negligible differences between young boys and girls when it came to throwing ... the differences set in after puberty.

      If you want to assess two subjects and remove any learned bias, get them to throw with their other arm - as soon as you do that girls and boys throw pretty much equally.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge

        Re: Throwing actions

        Bad form to reply to ones self, but the same episode also showed that:

        1) Men are just as likely to ask directions as women (although the subjects were tested *alone*)

        and

        2) Men are no better at parallel parking than women.

  8. ukgnome

    Now if we could just get those boffins to explain how Shane Warne was able to bowl a finger slip flipper we would all be even wiser.

  9. Beaufin

    Interesting how the merkin guys also like to play netball and

    have to wear helmets and padding for a game of football.

    However the true culmination of millions of years of evolution is clearly the

    moder darts player.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Gridiron started adopting armor when tackles became more full-on body collisions and there are increased collisions to the head (so the bigger helmet was brought in to reduce the risk of concussions. In Rugby, Australian Footy, and similar disciplines, tackles above the shoulders aren't allowed, and the general preference in a tackle is not to collide but to grab bodily and wrestle down. This isn't as hard on either player involved so they don't need the additional protection.

  10. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Ahem

    First, speaking of Lynn Nolan Ryan is a bit like speaking of Lloyd George as David George.

    Second, modern-day pitchers, particularly "closers", regularly clock in over 100 mph.

    Third, aren't bowlers throwing with a sharper downward trajectory?

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Ahem

      Second, modern-day pitchers, particularly "closers", regularly clock in over 100 mph.

      Clocking in at 100MPH won't even get you in the top 15.

  11. MJI Silver badge

    So they play rounders, netball, a form of Rugby with tons of padding.

    Any more sports to pick on?

    1. sabba
      Holmes

      Let's pick on NASCAR next...

      ...a racing sport, which requires that your steering wheel turn in one direction only (usually to the left). <<yawn>>

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Let's pick on NASCAR next...

        To be fair, NASCAR used to be a lot more fun when the cars were actually stock cars with better tires and exhaust systems and truly custom tuned engines. The drivers really had to drive and advances in automobile tech directly translated to what you could buy in the showrooms. Now the cars are all basically identical underneath, have nothing in common with the actual cars they are supposed to 'be' and the racing is just boring.

        I would prefer the cars were still (mostly) stock even if it meant they ran at 130MPH instead of 200+.

      2. Tikimon Silver badge

        Re: Let's pick on NASCAR next...

        I actually agree, draft trains on oval tracks are a good cure for insomnia. On the other hand, a spectator can see the whole course, not a tiny piece of it like most road courses. If anything interesting DOES happen, you can see it, not just hear about it on the radio. I too miss true "stock cars", not the hi-tech skeletons they race now.

        In defense of its form factor, NASCAR grew its roots on small-scale dirt tracks so moonshiners could race their war wagons. It was never a road sport, except one-on-ones on country roads.

      3. Mike Flugennock
        Thumb Up

        Re: Let's pick on NASCAR next...

        ..a racing sport, which requires that your steering wheel turn in one direction only (usually to the left). <<yawn>>

        Sure, love to -- and I'm American.

        I used to dig stock car racing when I was a young boy; then, when our family was transferred to Germany for a few years in the late '60s (my Dad was in the Army then), I got to see lots of Formula 1 on TV, as well has having an F1 track within a half hour's drive at Hockenheim.

        By the time we returned to the States, I'd just turned 13, was a hardcore F1 freak, and was bored out of my skull at all the stock-car and Indy/CART races on TV. The guys really had to do some driving in F1; NASCAR and CART drivers just go around in circles all day. Big damn' deal.

        I still dig drag racing, though. Go figure.

  12. Ian 62

    Cricket..

    If I remember my hateful days of public school (at least it wasnt snowing playing cricket)...

    The bowler gets a run up before letting fly. A pitcher has to stand still.

    Given that the bowler probably has 4-5mph advantage in that, I'd think the pitchers throw is more efficient.*

    *Purely based on the figures El Reg has provided.

    1. Fink-Nottle

      Re: Cricket..

      Ah, yes ... another boy that stand at mid-off and sa "hullo clouds, hullo sky".

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: "hullo clouds, hullo sky"

        Hello daisies and ladybirds. Happy days. :-)

    2. Pookietoo

      Re: I'd think the pitchers throw is more efficient

      Depends how you define efficiency - the rules prevent chucking in cricket, so I suspect pitchers dissipate a lot more energy in their elbows than do bowlers. The run-up is more about getting the limbs swinging in the correct coordinated manner, rather than adding a slow jog to the top speed, I think.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Nevermind
    Pint

    not forgetting....

    Stoolball, underarm bowling but interesting bats.

    1. Blitheringeejit
      Joke

      Stoolball..?

      Are we back to the poo-throwing here?

  15. vadertime
    Alien

    Spear Chucking

    I think that the motion involved in spear throwing is much closer to throwing a baseball than to hurling a cricket ball. As a child I played both sports when I grew up in the Middle East and Asia. Nowadays, I live here in America and I was listening to NPR on the way to work this morning and they had a lengthy segment on this topic. Cro-Magnon, evolved with the upright shoulder blades, which are needed for horizontal throwing motions. He also was a runner. These two abilities to chase down prey and hurl objects at it while on the run allowed him to become a superior predator, especially when hunting in groups. Amazing what 2 million years of evolution can accomplish, ehh? Scotty, are you there?

  16. Simon Smith 1
    Coat

    Optionally optional

    Hate to burst a few bubbles but (ulp!!)...

    ...Netball is actually a derivative of Basketball!!!

    No, really, it is - the strict positioning and odd flow of netball is, actually, due to a major misinterpretation of basketball's rules. In our house netball is referred to as 'girlie basketball"

  17. dingdong
    Facepalm

    Fastbest Baseball Pitch

    As an expat in Ohio, I can assure you that the Nolan Ryan speed is considerably out of date.

    Here in Cincinnati, Aroldis Chapman pitches faster than this on a regular basis and a year or two ago set the new record of 105mph. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aroldis_Chapman

    Don't get me wrong. I haven't got all confused and started thinking that baseball is better than cricket.

  18. Squander Two

    Funnily enough...

    The British used to play baseball and the Americans used to play cricket. Cricket was effectively killed in the US when the ICC decided to bar American teams from international competition for no good reason. No idea why the British gave up baseball, but Wikipedia tells me that we actually beat the US in the first ever Baseball World Cup.

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: Funnily enough...

      Indeed, the first ever international match of any sort was cricket between the US and Canada which, I understand, Canada won.

    2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Funnily enough...

      I have seen cricket played in hereabouts (Washington, DC, and its suburbs) now and then. Generally the players are from the subcontinent, maybe sometimes from the islands. And I've seen people with cricket gear around Philadelphia; I understand that Haverrford College has a cricket team. Hell, there's a whole well thought of novel built around US cricket, Netherland.

  19. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    (American) football

    Nuff said!

    (Paris, because she would make a good pro football cheerleader)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Trollface

    So chimps can only hurl poo underarm? Might this explain the performance of our Australian friends in the cricket recently?

    Possibly they are de-evolving due to all that sun, and easy money from mechanically digging stuff out of shallow holes in the ground and selling it to China. Perhaps all we need to win the Ashes is to have some distracting bananas on the field at all times...

    To channel both the spirit of Eadon and W G Grace: Australia rhymes with FAILure!

    1. Don Jefe

      Did something happen to Eadon? I've seen a couple of comments 'memorializing' him today.

      1. Thecowking

        Eadon got modded

        http://forums.theregister.co.uk/user/34672/

        As you can see, his post history is now a lot less ranty.

        I think I prefer it.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Though they're known to throw objects (often feces) underhand, chimps, on rare occasions, do throw overhand, but those throws are far less accurate and powerful than those of [a human child]."

    Clearly, our superior poop flinging ability allowed our ancestors to dominate other simian rivals, allowing us to colonize every continent on the planet.

    Humans: 1 Chimps: 0 or shall I say Humans: 1 Chumps: 0

    1. ian 22
      Meh

      We rise above beasts

      What differentiates us from the beasts is we fling faeces faster further? Fantastic!

  22. Lars Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Ever so amusing

    Ever so amusing when somebody find a bone or something to explain why we survived. Why not stick to the obvious, the ability to speak, the ability to use fire, the better brains. Next there is somebody comparing our toes to the toes of an elephant. Suppose the ability to fuck not only from behind is the big thing. Now we should learn to stay alive regardless of what we are

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ever so amusing

      I seem to think whales do it front-to-front, but I could be wrong.

      Animals communicate, use group coordination, have social cohesion, inter-group conflict, inter-personal conflict and they demonstrate intelligence and emotion.

      The only thing I can think of which humans have and animals don't have to any extent, is religion.

      Fortunately, we have a whole army of people working to eradicate the uniqueness of humanity so we can be proper animals.

  23. Pat Volk
    Headmaster

    Technical mechanics...

    (I'm a yank). The baseball pitcher does get the benefit of 3 feet of elevation of the pictcher's mound, and the cricket bowler gets a run up. About the best way I can explain it is, a baseball pitcher is a torsion catapault, and the cricket bowler uses a trebuchet action (underhand softball pitches use a messed-up trebuchet motion), with the leg, hip, and arm connected and transferring the force to the ball.

    Have to wonder what the maximum speed of a cricket and baseball are. Drag is big at 100mph. Whose throws are more accurate? Baseball has gloves, cricket doesn't. Baseball requires 130m throws, cricket about 70m.

    My dad hates baseball (too boring). If he goes to hell, he'll have to watch cricket (not as excruciating as baseball IMHO, but a baseball game is 3 hours generally. Cricket is a commercial every 6 balls, and goes on for five days in its' pure form). I try and explain cricket to folks around here as baseball with 2 bases, and no foul territory. Cricket has grown on me (and I have a couple of nephews who brought their cricket kit), more than baseball.

    1. Stratman

      Re: Technical mechanics...

      I once had baseball described to me, by an American, as "Five minutes of action crammed into three hours"

      1. Tufty Squirrel
        Coat

        Re: Technical mechanics...

        As opposed to "three hours of inaction crammed into five days"

        Coat? Yes, mine's the white one.

      2. Mike Flugennock

        Re: Technical mechanics...

        I once had baseball described to me, by an American, as "Five minutes of action crammed into three hours"

        I know I'm going to catch a lot of crap for this, but the leisurely pace of baseball is one of the things I love about it. It's not crash-bangy and violent, like American rules football, or bat-outta-hell frenetic, like basketball, and they don't play baseball by a clock. There's no timed periods; they just play nine innings as long as it takes them, and if it's tied after nine, they just play until somebody wins. Football is technological; baseball is pastoral. I'm cool with that.

        For me, it's the perfect sport to enjoy while kicking back and knocking down a few frosty cold ones on a nice, hot summer afternoon.

  24. John 156
    FAIL

    I tend to find, being only a rather primitive primate, that when I try to throw something, I lose my balance and fall over; hence, I conclude my inability to throw is related to the fact that I have not yet fully evolved the technique of balancing securely on my two hind limbs.

  25. Chimp

    You need...

    ... the extra knuckles to get decent inswing on poo.

  26. Uffish
    Headmaster

    Atlatls, Woomeras, throwing sticks and boomerangs.

    An atlatl is a woomera and whatever other names the ubiquitous 'spearthrower' is called. A throwing stick is precisely that - a stick which is thrown. Throwing sticks probably predated spears and are effective for small prey. If you use a particularly bent stick with a flatish profile you get a boomerang.

    Not as interesting as cricket but someone had to say it.

  27. bte
    FAIL

    Nolan Ryan's record pitch not the fastest baseball ever thrown

    The referenced record of Nolan Ryan's 100.9 MPH pitch is not representative of the true ability of a modern professional baseball player, nor do I believe it remains the fastest pitch on record. In fact, there are a number of pitchers in the game today who regularly throw 101 MPH+, with the truly great pitchers able to do so 100+ pitches into a game. Its also important to note that position players are capable of throwing much harder than pitchers, particularly outfielders who get (much like the cricket bowler) a running start before releasing the ball. For example, Vladimir Guerrero, during his prime, would routinely throw as hard as 106 MPH from his right field position during annual scouting evaluations at the beginning of each season. Thus, your contention that cricket-style bowling is a match for baseball-style is based on cherry-picked facts, not a true understanding of the full capabilities of the most talented baseball players. Just thought I would add some "esoteric" perspective to your limited knowledge of our superior American game.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: fastest baseball

      Baseball fielders are allowed to carry a huge catching apparatus on one hand, why not a small cannon on the other hand for returning the ball?

      You know it makes sense.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        Re: fastest baseball

        You're not far off. You'd be impressed at the strength and accuracy of the throwing arms of outfielders; after all, they're often called on to throw runners "out" at home. Catchers also have to develop enough strength and accuracy to "gun down" a runner trying to steal second, from a standstill at home plate, throwing the ball almost twice the distance from the pitcher's mound to home.

        "Shotgun arm" is a compliment often given to strong, accurate throwers in baseball, and to American rules football QBs as well.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: fastest baseball

          "Catchers also have to develop enough strength and accuracy to "gun down" a runner trying to steal second, from a standstill at home plate, throwing the ball almost twice the distance from the pitcher's mound to home."

          It's more challenging than that. They're actually starting from a SQUAT, so they have to jump to their feet to make their throws to second. Not only that, they also have to wait on the actual pitch, so they really don't have a lot of time unless the catcher anticipates a steal and calls for an intentional high throw which they take AS they jump to their feet (however, that's an intentional ball so can't be used when there are already three balls—that's why a runner is likely to try a steal on three balls).

  28. John 62

    According to the interwebs, Cricket, Stoolball and Rounders have a common ancestor that came from games played by Flems living in East Anglia. Interestingly, Rounders was first codified by the Gaelic Athletic Association and Baseball was derived from that. GAA Rounders is slightly different from English Rounders.

    In Derby, there was a push to make Baseball into the workers' summer sport instead of Cricket, hence Derby County's old stadium the Baseball Ground.

    And finally, many Rugby players do wear American rules-style padding under their shirts.

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