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An in-situ examination of the timing of information pick-up for interception by cricket batsmen of different skill levels

Müller, S.ORCID: 0000-0001-5777-4953, Abernethy, B., Reece, J., Rose, M., Eid, M., McBean, R., Hart, T. and Abreu, C. (2009) An in-situ examination of the timing of information pick-up for interception by cricket batsmen of different skill levels. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10 (6). pp. 644-652.

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Cricket batting is performed under demanding constraints, which requires rapid and accurate decision making for successful achievement of the skill goal. To understand how batsmen negotiate these constraints, the capability of highly skilled and low skilled cricket batsmen to utilise visual information prior to and during sections of ball flight to strike balls delivered by fast bowlers was examined.

Six highly skilled and six low skilled batsmen faced different types of balls delivered by three fast bowlers. Batsmen wore vision occlusion spectacles and were required to strike delivered balls, while their vision of the bowler's delivery action and ball flight was selectively occluded. Three vision conditions were randomly designed that included temporal occlusion at: (i) a point prior to ball release (providing only advance information), (ii) a point prior to ball bounce (providing advance and ball flight information) and (iii) no occlusion (where all advance, ball flight and bounce information were visible). Foot movements made forward or backward were assessed as a measure of ball length judgement, while the quality of bat–ball contact was assessed as a measure of interception.

Results demonstrated the superior capability of highly skilled batsmen to utilise information prior to ball release to judge short ball length. Expert batsmen were better able to utilise ball flight information prior to and post-bounce to attain a superior number of bat–ball contacts.

Findings demonstrate that the mechanism of experts to deal with task constraints when attempting to intercept a delivered ball is their capability to pick-up visual information to judge ball landing position.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: Elsevier
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