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  • Writer's pictureJUSTIN LEONARD

The Purpose of Wingspan Measurement In Sport

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

wingspan measurement

What is the purpose of wingspan measurement in sport?

In a nutshell, wingspan is a predictor of athletic ability. This is particularly true in sports that involve use of the arms, such as catching a ball.

It is assumed that if we know at least three factors, a prediction can be made as to how they might perform on the playing field. Those factors are 1) a person's standing height, 2) how high they can jump, and 3) hand size (length and span).

However, these three factors alone don't quite tell us enough about the likelihood of a player out-jumping another player for a ball. In fact, it is usually the case that shorter athletes have greater relative vertical leap abilities than taller athletes.

In sports, this means that what a person may lack in height could be offset by how high they can jump. So, in addition to vertical leap and standing height, we would need to look at other factors such as wingspan [and even hand span] to better predict the likelihood of athletic performance.

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