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Visual strategies of sub-elite cricket batsmen in response to different ball velocities

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When different interceptive skills are considered, humans tend not to pursuit track the approaching object along its entire trajectory to the point of interception. Previous research of cricket batsmen facing medium paced deliveries reported pursuit visual tracking of the ball for the first 100–150 ms of flight followed by a saccade to the predicted ball bounce location. The aim of this study was to examine eye movements of batsmen while facing a range of slow to medium pace delivery speeds. Thirteen sub-elite batsmen faced 36 deliveries from a ball machine in which the projection speed was randomly varied across a range of 17–25 ms−1. The foveal gaze of the batsmen was recorded with a monocular eye movement registration system. Gaze strategies differed between participants in several ways, i.e., in the initial location of gaze prior to delivery (on the outlet of the ball machine or “parked” at a location on the predicted flight trajectory), the behavior immediately after ball release (pursuit tracking or saccade), and the behavior in mid-late flight (predictive saccade to the bounce point or “parafoveal” pursuit tracking). Across the range of delivery speeds used in the current study, it was possible to pursuit track the ball from release to bounce point but it was also possible to choose to make saccades along the trajectory. Depending on the spatio-temporal demands of the task and the intentions of the batsman a range of visual search strategies can be employed to support their actions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-763
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Movement Science
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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