Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Comments

Submitted to the Graduate School of Bridgewater State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Physical Education

Degree Program

Physical Education

Degree Type

Master of Science


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of midsole construction (barefoot, traditional bowling shoes with minimalist midsole design, and the modified bowling shoes with E TPU midsole design) on the amount of shock absorption and the mechanics of bowling delivery. All shoes underwent static testing on top of a force platform. The static test involved dropping a 0.5 kg dumbbell inside a PVC pipe from a height of 0.61 meters onto the heel cup region in each type of shoe. Twelve healthy, college, right-handed recreational males participated in dynamic testing of bowling delivery. Data collection took place at the Biomechanics Laboratory. Participants stood five meters away from cushioning mate and performed a four-step approach to roll the bowling ball on top of a mat. A Casio high speed camera was set up to capture the right sagittal view of bowling ball delivery at 120 Hz in conjunction with a 650 watts spotlight. Every participant was asked to bowl five balls in each type of footwear, so a total of 15 bowls were collected for each participant. A total of 180 trials were collected in this study. Force plate data were recorded at 1000 Hz with Vicon Nexus software to evaluate the amount of shock and force absorption. Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS) software was used to measure the 2D body kinematic joint angles and velocities of hip, knee, and ankle, stride length, and linear ball velocity. For the static testing, a t-test was conducted to compare the amount of vertical ground reaction force between the traditional bowling footwear with minimalist midsole design and the modified bowling footwear with E-TPU midsole design. For the dynamic testing, a one-way repeated measure ANOVA for the initial peak vertical force (Fz), the rate of loading, and peak vertical ground reaction force to body weight ratio were compared between three different footwear conditions. A one-way repeated ANOVA (α = 0.05) for the joint angles and velocities of hip, knee, and ankle, stride length, and linear ball velocity were compared between three different footwear conditions. Post hoc pairwise comparisons were conducted using t-test with Bonferroni adjustment if a statistical significance was found. The kinetic results indicate that the bowling footwear with the E-TPU material provided lower amount of initial peak vertical ground reaction force and rate of loading, which may potentially be beneficial to bowlers to minimize lower v extremity injury. However, there was no significant difference found in the peak vertical ground reaction force with respect to each participant’s body weight. The findings of this study provide a preliminary understanding on the effects of the E-TPU material on shock absorption in bowling footwear. The kinematic results indicate that no significant difference was found in the lower extremity for the joint angles and velocities of hip, knee, and ankle, stride length, and linear ball velocity. The findings of this study could help practitioners understand that bowling footwear does not alter mechanics of bowling delivery and also provide further understanding on the effect of footwear cushioning on athletic performance. Sports footwear developers may use this information to construct appropriate footwear to minimize injury. Future studies are warranted to evaluate 3D motion analysis with experienced bowlers at the bowling alley and the internal joint forces and torques of bowling delivery mechanics with the E-TPU material footwear.


Dr. Tong-Ching Tom Wu, Chairperson of Thesis Committee

Dr. Martina Arndt, Committee Member

Dr. Christopher Swart, Committee Member