Hand and eye dominance in sport: Are cricket batters taught to bat back-to-front?

Mann, David L. and Runswick, Oliver R. and Allen, Peter M. (2016) Hand and eye dominance in sport: Are cricket batters taught to bat back-to-front? Sports Medicine. ISSN 0112-1642

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0516-y

Abstract

Abstract: Background: When first learning to bimanually use a tool to hit a target (e.g., when chopping wood or hitting a golf ball), most people assume a stance that is dictated by their dominant hand. By convention, this means that a ‘right-handed’ or ‘left-handed’ stance that places the dominant hand closer to the striking end of the tool is adopted in many sports. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the conventional stance used for bimanual hitting provides the best chance of developing expertise in that task. Methods: Our study included 43 professional (international/first-class) and 93 inexperienced (<5 years’ experience) cricket batsmen. We determined their batting stance (plus hand and eye dominance) to compare the proportion of batters who adopted a reversed stance when batting (that is, the opposite stance to that expected based on their handedness). Results: We found that cricket batsmen who adopted a reversed stance had a stunning advantage, with professional batsmen 7.1 times more likely to adopt a reversed stance than inexperienced batsmen, independent of whether they batted right or left handed or the position of their dominant eye. Conclusion Findings imply that batsmen who adopt a conventional stance may inadvertently be batting ‘back-to-front’ and have a significant disadvantage in the game. Moreover, the results may generalize more widely, bringing into question the way in which other bimanual sporting actions are taught and performed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: 700 The arts; fine & decorative arts; recreation > 796 Athletic & outdoor sports & games
School/Department: School of Sport, Health and Applied Science
Depositing User: Kevin Sanders
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2016 09:48
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2017 10:20
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/1003

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