View Full Version : From eye movements to actions: how batsmen hit the ball

April 13, 2007, 12:24 PM
After watching Irish batsmen being slaughtered by Aussie fast bolwers, I digged up this article. Please read it if you are interested in the dynamics of batting.

From eye movements to actions: how batsmen hit the ball

In cricket, a batsman watches a fast bowler’s ball come toward him at a high and unpredictable speed, bouncing off ground of uncertain hardness. Although he views the trajectory for little more than half a second, he can accurately judge where and when the ball will reach him. Batsmen’s eye movements monitor the moment when the ball is released, make a predictive saccade to the place where they expect it to hit the ground, wait for it to bounce, and follow its trajectory for 100–200 ms after the bounce. We show how information provided by these fixations may allow precise prediction of the ball’s timing and placement. Comparing players with different skill levels, we found that a short latency for the first saccade distinguished good from poor batsmen, and that a cricket player’s eye movement strategy contributes to his skill in the game.

...Here we examine the eye movements of cricket batsmen, and show that, in general, they do not watch the ball continuously...

...The rules of cricket have evolved to produce a balanced contest between the visual-motor skills of the batsman and the strength and skill of the bowler. Batting is possible (or batsmen would refuse to play), but not all the time (or bowlers would
refuse to play). The abilities of the best batsmen against the fastest
bowlers reveal the limits of the visual-motor system....

...It takes about 200 ms for even an expert batsman to adjust his shot on the basis of novel visual information. (In some sports, such as table tennis, reaction times may
be faster4, but the inertia of the cricket bat precludes faster responses.) Therefore, his judgment must be essentially predictive, based on information available at least 200 ms before the ball reaches him. With a fast bowler, the ball takes about 600 ms
to reach the batsman, so the batsman must select an appropriate trajectory for his bat based on information from the first twothirds of the ball’s flight...

...Batsmen facing fast bowlers do not keep their eye on the ball throughout its flight. They fixate on it as it is delivered, at the time of the bounce and for a period up to about 200 ms after the bounce...

...Top batsmen emphasize the need for early information about the trajectory of the ball. “In a perfect world, you will see the ball early and play it late” (Geoffrey Boycott). “The key to playing all strokes is to see quickly the line and length of the ball and to move early into the appropriate position” (David Gower)....

More here: http://www.cns.nyu.edu/events/vjclub/archive/land2000.pdf

April 14, 2007, 02:16 AM
I remember reading this in these BC forums before.