How to stop chucking | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to stop chucking

Nobody tries to throw the ball when they are bowling.

Yet for some, especially young bowlers who are trying to bowl fast, that is exactly what happens. Unlike most technical errors, throwing is illegal under the Laws of cricket and has an unfair stigma attached to it that can ruin a players bowling career. If you come across such a problem it needs to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible.

What is chucking?

As with many cricket skills, bowling with a straight arm is an unnatural act as any coach who has tried to teach it to young players can testify. It's much easier to throw the ball by bending and straightening at the elbow. However, the Laws are clear. For a ball to be legal, Law 24.3 says: "the elbow is not straightened partially or completely".

Thanks to computer analysis we now know that all bowlers have a slight straightening (which is now legal in professional cricket up to 15 degrees), but it is when it is clear to the naked eye that problems occur. A young player can get called for throwing and face being banned from bowling.

An example of straightening the elbow

To clarify the point, lets take an example of a young player who has been accused of unfairly throwing. Here is are two stills from the same delivery, taken a frame apart:


As I have highlighted, there is a clear bend in the arm in the first picture and a straight arm in the 2nd picture. This is quite hard to detect at full speed. Without access to a biomechanics lab it would be hard to say if the ball is a chuck or not (remember there is some leeway allowed). Assuming he has only contacted me because he is getting no balled let's say there is an issue.

I suspect this has come about has he tried to up his pace before his growing body is read for the extra demand.

Is there a problem?

Before we roll up our sleeves and start the process of correction, we need to ask if there is a problem at all.

The famous example is Sri Lankan spinner Mularitharan. His hyper flexible shoulders and wrists combined with a bent arm certainly looks like chucking to the naked eye and the bowler was no balled for it in top level cricket. He has undergone extensive computer model testing and despite what the eye thinks, his arm straightens well within the legal limit.

The only way to tell at lower levels is to rely on the judgement of the umpires. If a player is getting no balled his progress will stall and remedial work is needed. It may be he or she is not chucking in the modern definition, but if it looks like it that is enough.

The answer: Kinaesthetic chaining

So how does a coach correct a technical error like this?

It's much easier for young players to correct as they have not ingrained the habit on their muscle memory. However, whatever the age of the player, it is up to a good coach to take the action back to the root of the problem and build it back up again. I call this kinaesthetic chaining. What that translates as is this: Breaking the action down and rebuilding it by getting the feel right. Here is how you do it:

  • Strip it down. Start by taking everything away from the bowler except the action itself: Batsman, net, ball, run up and stumps. The bowler should bowl from a standing position, starting at the point of back foot impact.
  • Build up the feel. Take time to go through the right feel from a standing start without the ball. Make sure the bowler can deliver with a straight arm and maintain all the components of a strong action: loading up, head position, foot position, hip position, shoulder rotation. The coach is not trying to alter the action too much here, the focus is on getting the feel for a straight arm again. When the arm is straight from a stationary position you can start to walk through the action, then jog through from a few paces; still without the ball.
  • Bring back the ball. When the arm is straight without the ball it's time to bring the ball back in. Initially it's more important to get the feel for releasing the ball again rather than worry about line and length. Start as before with a standing position and move to walking through. When the release is sound you can start to jog through the action with the ball from a few paces.
  • Bring back the run up. Finally you can bring back the bowler to their full run up and release. Now is the time to focus on accuracy. With a player wanting to generate more pace the coach could work on driving the hip and chest through more to prevent a chucking relapse.
  • Complete the new action. The new action is now complete and the bowler can return to nets or matches. At any stage the coach may drop back to the previous drill if there are signs of a relapse.

This process can take some time. While the bowler is rebuilding the action it's vital they do not try and bowl at all in practice or games; doing that will only get the player back into previous habits.

If you or one of your players is accused of chucking, the correction process should be a last resort. Although difficult, it is possible for a coach to remove the rhythm of a bowlers' action. However, if the problem threatens future success you may have no choice.

What are your experiences of chucking? Leave a comment whether you are a coach or a player.



Want to learn more technical infomation about coaching fast bowlers? Click here to view Ian Pont's fast bowling course on PitchVision Academy.



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good article. will about 8 training sessions be enough to completely rebuild my action?

You can't really put a number on it. It's possible but you have to take it a step at a time. It can't be rushed.

I have found it very difficult for me to remodel my action, i think its mainly due to my very slim built body, that my shoulder and maybe my bowling arm isn't strong enough to sustain the amount of force required for me to bowl legally quick!

I played for club cricket for a bit but they told me to bowl with my arms brushing my ear which should help me keep it straight, but i find a painful strain occurs when i do that and nothing seems to improve! Whether im bowling medium paced or quick, i can still feel my shoulders/arm kind of giving up on me and allowing me to bend! I really want to get back to bowling quick and playing club cricket again!!!!! So any advice would be much appreciated especially on drills or exercises to help sort it out!

I am a great fan of cricket . and I used to bowl in college cricket. But now i cant bowl in matches in college as my action is accused of chucking. I have good paece. And i would like to bowl noramlly. I am of 20 yrs of age, have been bowling with this chucking action for long and bowls alot. So even if i tried to correct my action by myself i simply gets back to the chucking action itself. When there is no ball my hand is straight and with the ball too i can bowl with staright arm, but the paece will be too slow and i will never be having pitch of the bowl. when i try to generate paece and try to pitch the bowl on the spot i wish my hand bends like throwing the bowl down to that point. I am going to try your method to correct my action from today itself. And will inform you if i could clear my action.I would like to know whether i can get your help if i have any doubt..?

Yes, feel free to email me directly via our contact page. Good luck.


can you give me tips to change my action because i play for a club and their is a match coming up in a couple of days and i am still stuck with my action

if you want to correct your action within few days, it will be little difficult as far as i know. And what you can try in at the most is to reduce your speed of runup and concentrate on your action( if you are having a faster run up). And then you can try to bend forward and ensure your hand is high at the time of releasing hte ball. Also if possible try to ball such a way that your hands are so close to your ears. This may work in few days but you have o be extremely carefull while balling.
Hope you can do better. all the best for your match.

does it matter what type of action you have when you drive your hips and chest through. eeg front on side on midway. btw im front on

hey I play for under 18's for my club resently i was having trouble with my leg because of my perivous balling style and tried a different style but things havent gone smoothly i went from a first change baller to not balling at all because i keep chucking.The cricket season is starting agian soon and i want to get my action right.Can you please explain the part the chest play by that i mean what position does it have to be in because i think thats my problem.

Hi I play under 17s cricket I'm a fast bowler and I have been told I'm chucking by an official umpire.
So at my cricket club they took sone video of my action and I seem to be not locking my bowling arm when I bowl so when I try to bowl quick my arm straightens and I get accused of chucking.
Do you have any advice or drills on how I can lock my bowling arm.
All so I'm having problems with my follow through any advice on that would be great as well

hey i used to play under 17s cricket , i have a problem of changing my action now and then ,and this has caused me to chuck the ball , i ahve been trying very hard to rectify my action.when there is no ball i am able to bowl witha a straight arm but with a ball my arm always bends. I am going to try your method to correct my action from today itself. And will inform you if i rectify my action.I would like to know whether i can get your help in case i have any doubt..?

hey i used to play under 17s cricket , i have a problem of changing my action now and then ,and this has caused me to chuck the ball , i ahve been trying very hard to rectify my action.when there is no ball i am able to bowl witha a straight arm but with a ball my arm always bends. I am going to try your method to correct my action from today itself. And will inform you if i rectify my action.I would like to know whether i can get your help in case i have any doubt..?

hey i used to play under 17s cricket , i have a problem of changing my action now and then ,and this has caused me to chuck the ball , i ahve been trying very hard to rectify my action.when there is no ball i am able to bowl witha a straight arm but with a ball my arm always bends. I am going to try your method to correct my action from today itself. And will inform you if i rectify my action.I would like to know whether i can get your help in case i have any doubt..?

Good that you are trying to Rectify your action as soon as you observed it. Only Practice can make it working, not advices. Also if you can find a coach who can monitor you in your attempt, it would be better. Try not to bowl until you are practiced well enough without the bowl atleast for a month.

Is this bowler chucking?

hello.. isn't there any sort of drill or exercise like carrying weights and continuously rotating your arms around 360 degrees in your bowling stride so as to get things back on track? well.. DESPERATE

Have you tried the process in the article? If so, where exactly did it break down?

Is this action legal? I bowl a bit like this too.

I've been accused of chucking and it really gets me down as I never knew. Any advise to changing my action quickly? It only seems to happen when I bowl fast? Thanks

Brother You Know What To Do If You Are Chucking?
You Should Take A Action That Can Generate Pace,Can Not Cause To Many Injuries To You(Like:SHANE BOND)Can Comfort You To Bowl Where Ever You Want.
I Was Called The Biggest Chucker In Our Team,I Changed My Action 5 to 10 Times No Improvement Then I Was |Going To GIVE UP,But My Luck Got Lighten Up!
One Day There Came 2 New Guys Who Played Cricket And Loved It,They Asked To Play With Us So We Said OK They Told Me Not To Ball Until I Stop Chucking So I Asked What To Do??? They Said Keep A Simple Action Once You Stop Chucking You Can Modify That Action And In ONE DAY I Stopped That Habit
But When I Try To Out Swing The Ball I Chuck So I Am Working On It And Reached Here Searching For This.I Hope I Stopped Chucking So You Do The Same!!
Regards RANA WALEED HASSAN,A 12 Year Old Guy.
You Can E-Mail Me On

Are there any other ways of correcting chucking?

I am a pace bowler. I don't have a lot of pace but have accuracy.When i try to hit the deck hard some say that i am chucking.My action is a bit of praveen kumar like.I have not understood chucking yet.while hitting the deck hard my arm bends?Is this chucking?If yes,please advise me some steps to stop this.If required i can send you my photos while bowling.

Very very useful article for me, I am much relaxed after reading this.
I am a pace bowler and can swing the ball both ways effectively also I can generate the reverse swing. My line and length are very accurate. The only concern being the bowling action as all my team mates and co-players accuse me of chucking. I am very much depressed out of this.
I have read that if you through the ball it leads to get you the shoulder pain, but I never feel that. Thats the only relief for me which makes me feel that I am a genuine bowler.
While some of my team mates say my action is somewhat like Kyle Mills' action and there is nothing wrong.
Yet, I shall try to use the precautionary measure and shall definitely do the kinaesthetic chaining practice.
More suggestions are welcome.

Hey! I'm a new ball bowler, playing club cricket and occasionally in the League. I have a problem that my elbow is sort of flat and looks slightly twisted and hence, my action looks like a chuck, though, my coaches have verified under high speed camera that my hand is straight. Is there any way by which I can conceal this little illusion. I mean, no bowler wants to see himself with an 'Odd' action. Any help would be more than welcome.

My 9 year old son has just been accused of throwing in a match. Due to his size (small), he needs to 'throw' it to a degree to even reach the other end of the pitch. Because he cleaned bowled two batsman in succession, he was not allowed to bowl again and was withdrawn from the attack to 'avoid no balls' being given. This obviously upset him and me very much.

When I took the issue up with the two opposing coaches, I was lectured in terms of the laws of cricket.....for 9 year old?????????

My view is that as he gets stronger, his action will improve. The alternative is to let him bowl halfway up the pitch, which incidentally, the coaches allowed for the majority of the other lads.

This cannot be right for developing young entusiastic kids.....can it?

Your comments would be most welcome.

It strikes me that you're dealing with a couple of overly serious coaches. Whilst I don't know the coaches involved they do seem to have taken the matter far too seriously considering the ages. It is this kind of heavy handed approach which can turn players away from the game.

I'm guessing it was an Under 11 match as opposed to an under 9? I'll concede that you do tend to need to be able to 'bowl' at under 11 level but even so, I have seen players 'throw' the ball. Generally, some coaching is given on the pitch (trying to get the arm straight etc) but it's not made a big deal of. By the sounds of things it was the two wickets that caused the issue and would seem that the teams involved are about winning rather than developing players. However, there does seem to be a lot of contradiction as you mention other players were given leeway when it came to their actions.

Some common sense needs to be utilised - it's a kids game of cricket after all.

hi. i am 14 years of age. i used to bowl for 2 years. then i go for some matches. there pple advised me to give more effort when i release the ball. listening to them, i started giving more effort when releasing, and i started chucking the ball. still i am not realizing whether i am chucking or not, bcse i am trying to bowl. pls. help me

Thanks for the reply. I'm glad I'm not just a biased Dad! It was actually an under 9 match, but the coaches insisted that it was down to the laws of cricket. I would like to know the official line on this. Do you know how can find out?

Thanks again

The official line is very clear - you can't straighten your arm. Technically the coaches were correct.

However, at that age you have to take into account players are still learning a complex technique and sometimes they will get it wrong. He's not "chucking" to gain an unfair advantage at the age of 9, he just hasn't learned the right way to bowl yet.

You have to look at it on a case by case situation (what do the opposition think, how serious is the match) but most coaches, if you talk to them quietly beforehand, will let it slide at that age.

Of course it's vital to correct this as soon as possible with good coaching. He can't still be doing it at later age groups.

David, you are pretty much spot on. However, I do think it was a slightly heavy handed approach to begin lecturing about the laws of cricket to a 9 year old (based on the original post).

A quiet chat with the parent after the game should have been more than ample. As you say, he does need to learn to bowl with a straight arm but I'm sure the player, parent and coaches are well aware of this. I talk to a lot of coaches and most agree that bowling is fairly unnatural thing to do and takes time to learn. Giving leeway is common at the U9 age group although it does require some discretion.

It may well come back to the old winning/losing conundrum. Then again at the age of 9, surely there more to it than simply the result? Yes, a competitive element is good (kids enjoy it as do parents/coaches) but there are others way of introducing it than just having a winner/loser.

Without doubt, there is a time and place to do these things. During an U9 match is the wrong time! I mean, how many overs is he going to bowl - 4 at most? I do feel like it's a coach being protective of his W/L ratio at the expense of the passion of a young cricketers.

Remember the Preamble to the Laws emphasises common sense and not being overly officious.

Rob - I think you are being very open minded in seeking objective input: and congratulate you on being involved with your son's play.. and you've had a fair amount of support for your approach from other community members here - but I will give the other point of view.

I think if your son cant bowl, but only throw - he's not ready for bowling in a game. I think its very unfair to the other boys of both teams: unfair on the boys who have practiced and learnt to keep their arm straight but arent getting treated any dfferently to someone who hasnt.. - and certainly VERY unfair on the 2 boys he bowled out. If you were in those parents shoes - How do you think your would feel knowing that their boys game was ended by being dismissed by someone simply throwing the ball at them... personally I would feel a bit unhappy about it.

Of course I wasnt there: I dont know if it was marginal straigtening (if so then it IS rediculous to make a fuss).. or full scale, run in, stop at the bowling crease and completely throw the ball (as young kids do!)... if it was the latter then in fairness to everyone, he really shouldnt be bowling in a match just yet.. but has the right motivation to acquire the skill.

Not trying to be judgemental at all Rob - just giving the other view... and would hasten to add: that no matter how bad his action was, whoever is running the game should never never never manage it in a way the would belittle the young player: but rule are rules and if their not maintained then the game looses its meaning and value.

DBD - I don't think anyone is saying that throwing should be permitted, only that in an U9s game some discretion is desirable when players are be doing so. The players are 7/8/9 years of age and will make mistakes. You also have to ask how much of an advantage an 8 year gets when throwing compared to bowling. In most cases I'd wager not much (given that many run up, stop, go through most of the bowling action and then throw at the last minute) save for a generally getting the ball down there.

Most of the U9 cricket in the areas I work is based on pairs cricket - players either get 2 or 4 overs to bat in. If this is the case, having a player who throws and takes a wicket is less of an issue as the batsmen still have plenty of opportunity to bat. However, if playing standard rules then yes, having players lose wickets to throws could be seen as a problem and makes the scenario described more understandable. Then again, I still expect the reaction was less due to a concern for the player/s and more for the result.

In this case the question is: is he throwing to gain unfair advantage? As he is clearly not even able to get the ball down the other end, I doubt it's a spearing yorker, so my guess would be "no".

Yes, correct it. Yes, have a word with the opposition coach before the boy bowls. Yes, if he objects you have to be clear he can't bowl. Yes, if it's a Kwik cricket friendly tennis ball 8 a side on the outfield where kids are not even sure of the rules, why stand by the letter of the Laws? Just blimmin well get on with it!

Make sure everyone is having fun and enjoying it, iron out the rest as you go. It's not a case of letting him cheat or have an unfair advantage, one would assume. If there was even a suggestion of that, we would have to rethink things.

I think we've sorted this issue - what's next?

Thanks. His problem was marginal but already correcting it in the park!

Thanks for your support. He is already getting better!

Thanks DBD. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I totally agree with your view on the rules and the future of our great game. However, the facts were that he would have bowled max 2 overs, bowled with a good run up, delivery and follow through. The only issue was a marginal adjustment of his arm to give some extra length (he is only small compared to most). The opposition batsmen were quite happy running after dead balls from other bowlers and crashing them for four on a regular basis (maybe some inconsistency in the application of the rules then??). The opposition won comfortably due to their coaches 'proffesional' approach. However, I take your view on board. I coached 4 of the lads myself the following evening in the park and am happy to say with great improvement.

Also, if he had of thrown on pupose, I am pretty sure that batting against a genuine throw is a lot easier than dealing with the ball arriving around your head, down the leg side or plopped in front of you from a great height (a fair summary of most of the bowling during the match)

Thanks again for giving a correct perspective of the issue.

You can put a ball pen sized wood in ur elbow tie it with bandage and practise for some action is also improved by im playing for my district u 19 team n just 14 yrs.

Thanls for the article above. My action has been called illegal by few umpres in matches and few don't. What my coach tells me is that I move my wrist at the point of delivery, that is I cock my wrist back like the wrist position prior to an outswinger. Is that a legal action? I am confused please help.
Thank You.

As per my understanding any angle created at the wrist will never cause chucking.. Because we had enough wrist spinners in international cricket.

hey, i used to be able to bowl pace when i was really young like about 10 11... then i hurt my elbow and i cant bowl without chucking the ball, ive tried to fix it, but bowling slower, shorter run up nothing has changed. im now 20 and i can seem to fix it...

so much so that i cant even bowl off spin without bending my arm, the only way is through leg spin but im not that good at it.

how can i fix this?

please help!

hi sir my bowling speed is min 140 kmph max 158 kmph but while im bowling my hand stops before releasing or middle of action it is illegal ball or legal ball

but my arm straight

I know a simple and effective trick to bring back your action to normal
any bowler whose action is not ok
can contact me for a 2 months training at delhi and your action will alright

91 9350067028

Hi Satish,
Can it be done through online and through videos ??

My teammates have off late observed a mild chuck in my action which happens when I try to bowl fast. To prevent I have to revert back to line and length. This is not helpful as I don't get wickets without an attempt to bowl fast.Please offer some advise on what I must do!It would be much appreciated!!

sir one of the player of our academy name bhavin darji age 15 left arm spinner found bending his arm how correct his action

I am also a left arm spinner and last year when I was developing a off spinner as a variation I was accused of chucking but now I have corrected my action so that I am bending my arm within the allowed number of degrees. Just tell Bhavin to try and focus on what his fingers and wrist are doing not the arm, his arm should be high up nearly touching his ear for top spin and a bit lower for side spin. Make sure he knows what exactly his arm is doing. It would help to get a few words to say before each delivery (Shane Warne says: "think high" because his arm is sometimes to low) when I am afraid I am going to chuck I always go back to basics and bring my arm down much lower and just focus on spinning the ball with my fingers.
Hope he solves this problem soon. Best wishes

this can be done only through my advise
I am not a professional bowler but I used to chuck in my initial days of bowling
but later on I corrected my action so no more chucking
any one interested can come and meet me at delhi
Save your future as a fast bowler

some people say that that i chuck , some say that i dont, some say that i chuck sometimes.i dont know. i have reffered to many ranji coaches as well as bowlers and they have all said that i dont chuck. but many players in my club of my age say that i chuck. i am 13 years old...............pls pls pls help me out in this......

i have been feeling quite depressed recently at the amount of criticism my action has got, most people tell me i chuck, while some seem to make me feel happy by assuring me my action is OK. It's getting to me now, as tomorrow is my grand final for school cricket and i feel that i souldn't bowl if my delivery is felt to be an illegal one. I'm really sad about this because i really love the game, especially the art that goes into bowling. At 14 yrs old i feel like the game is vanishing away from my grasp....Sad

Basically what I realised when I was chucking is that our shoulders are not strong enough so at the time of delivery we would simple bend our arm so that we can generate the force
I give you formula
its simple you simply start for one or two months only
bowling leg break deliveries in your practise sessions forget about your normal action
in your pracitse when you bowl leg break deliveries then within few days your action will become ok
after this session of practise you can resume to your normal bowling without chucking

i am a proffesional 1 st division cricketer and i have recently being warned for chucking what to do? iam 21 years old. i have already played for under15 and under17 state. but never had such problem. so now it has been 2nd time i have been warned. i am a fast bowler . sir please help...

While from the start up mine everything is correct my run up from staring slow then faster then faster then light jump ball back up and at the last moment my when i bring the ball up just right straight 90 degree of the earth from that point my hands leave that circle's line that have to make comlpete round just my hands come back towards my body im getting very much distract of my bowling so plzzz can u help me .....

Dear friends
I have given you the formula that is very simple

who ever is chucking or have been warned not worry
U have to simply practice a two to three months session of leg break bowlings
and dedicately do it.
in two months your fast bowling action would be as per books
dont worry do it and let me know the status after the session
you can call me on my mobile if nay doubt

I am a 13 aged fast bowler I can bowl without chucking but I chuck some balls unknowingly what can I do

I am a 13 aged fast bowler I can bowl without chucking but I chuck some balls unknowingly what can I do

Hi sir my name is osama im 19 years old i used to ball perfectly before this year when i tried to increase my pace my friends say u have started to chuk please give me a solution how i can my bowling back

Hi sir my name is osama im 19 years old i used to ball perfectly before this year when i tried to increase my pace my friends say u have started to chuk please give me a solution how i can get my bowling back

Hey there I am an indoor/outdoor cricket player now as I grew up I never got accused of chucking but as I moved to indoor they the age of 20 ( now 25) I have and uncanning habit of chucking I know it is a chick I have been recorded and currently I'm playing prem reserves and have been told by a few people that if I can sort out this problems my chances of making premiere grade and maybe even rep grades will increase drastically please help

Kind regards

Chucky Smiling

my elbow doesnt bend much when iam bowling at my natural pace but once i get the ball to speed up a little my elbow bends a little....????? any suggestion on how i might work it out...?????

Hi Sir,

My name is Sudaraka and i have a problem of chucking the ball . Whenever i try to bowl i remind to myself to be aware of chucking but at the end of my action it happens . Please tell me how to overcome this !!!!

I am a 10 year boy and i don't know much about the fast bowling..can u please tell me that other than bending arm is there anything else which is considered illegal in fast bowling...

May I knew that chucking in cricket is on elbow only or it indicates that wrist too ( Is wrist bending is also involves chucking or not) ...

Hi sir,
i am lucky.I am a fast bowler.I have a problem that all call my action as chucking.also i showed my action to some national level players but they are telling that the little bend in my elbow is due to my wrist action.Actually they say i have a great wrist movement.but many a times i also felt that while releasing the ball i straightened my hand but not a sort of what should i do.please sir help me as next month we are having our interschool matches.

Sathish sir does it really works.....have you tried it??


1. If the bowler is stopped in the 1 match,is he allowed to bowl in his 2 match?

2. If he is found chucking again in his second match and stopped again is he allowed to bowl in the 3 match?

3. How many matches will he be warned or stopped before he cannot bowl in the remaining matches?

Thank you.

Hi sir,
In my recent games i have been appericiated for my off cutters wickets of captians but later today i realised im chucking even though my pace is low n swing is good. So i tried to google the ways of stoping chucking. Currently after readinf your blog im trying to use your tips but im doubted about.
*will i lose my swing after trying your twins
*can i suffer sprains or injures
*is it confirm i can bowl the balls rather than chuck
*will i face troubles with high bounce becoz of my long hands
Please do reply
Joel (15)