The aim of this study was to compare and evaluate the kinematics of baseball pitchers who participated in the 1996 XXVI Centennial Olympic Games. Two synchronized video cameras operating at 120 Hz were used to video 48 pitchers from Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, Cuba, Italy, Korea, Nicaragua and the USA. All pitchers were analysed while throwing the fastball pitch. Twenty-one kinematic parameters were measured at lead foot contact, during the arm cocking and arm acceleration phases, and at the instant of ball release. These parameters included stride length, foot angle and foot placement; shoulder abduction, shoulder horizontal adduction and shoulder external rotation; knee and elbow flexion; upper torso, shoulder internal rotation and elbow extension angular velocities; forward and lateral trunk tilt; and ball speed. A one-way analysis of variance (P < 0.01) was used to assess kinematic differences. Shoulder horizontal adduction and shoulder external rotation at lead foot contact and ball speed at the instant of ball release were significantly different among countries. The greater shoulder horizontal abduction observed in Cuban pitchers at lead foot contact is thought to be an important factor in the generation of force throughout the arm cocking and arm acceleration phases, and may in part explain why Cuban pitchers generated the greatest ball release speed. We conclude that pitching kinematics are similar among baseball pitchers from different countries.