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

Müller, S.ORCID: 0000-0001-5777-4953, Abernethy, B., Farrow, D., Rose, M., Anderson, T., Eid, M., McBean, R., Rennie, M., Ridley, D. and Buultjens, P. (2008) The information for interception: An in-situ examination of the timing of the visual information pick-up by cricket batsmen of different skill levels. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 30 (Supp. 1). S111.

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The purpose of this study was to examine the respective contributions of advance, ball flight, and ball bounce information to expert interception in the skill of cricket batting using an experimental task that preserved as many of the natural constraints as possible. Six highly skilled and six low-skilled batsmen attempted to hit balls delivered by fast bowlers under conditions in which vision of the bowler’s prerelease movement patterns and the subsequent ball flight were selectively and unpredictably occluded using liquid crystal spectacles. Vision was occluded either just prior to ball release, just prior to ball bounce, or not at all, creating conditions in which only advance information arising from the bowler’s movement pattern was progressively supplemented by the availability of early pre-bounce and late post-bounce ball flight information. The bowlers delivered balls of two different types either swinging away or into the batsman and two different lengths either bouncing close to or well short of the batsman and the interest was in determining the accuracy of both the whole-body positioning movements and the finer bat-positioning movements of the batsmen. The former was measured by the appropriateness of the definitive foot movements made by the batsmen forward for balls bouncing close and back for balls bouncing short and the latter by quality of bat-ball contacts (cf. Müller & Abernethy, in press). The highly skilled players were superior to the less-skilled players in the number of correct definitive foot movements made across all conditions when the ball was of full length and in the release condition when the ball was delivered at a short length. In relation to bat-ball contact, the more skilled players were able to utilize information both prior to and after ball bounce to attain a greater number of “good” contacts. The in-situ occluding method reveals aspects of expertise not apparent within traditional laboratory measures of anticipation and may, consequently, also have utility for the training of interceptive skill.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Human Kinetics
Copyright: © 2008 Human Kinetics, Inc.
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