The relationship between visual function and performance in rifle shooting for athletes with vision impairment

Myint, Joy and Latham, Keziah and Mann, David and Gomersall, Philip A. and Wilkins, Arnold J. and Allen, Peter M. (2016) The relationship between visual function and performance in rifle shooting for athletes with vision impairment. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 2 (1). e000080. ISSN 2055-7647

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Background: Paralympic sports provide opportunities for those who have an impairment that might otherwise be a barrier to participation in regular sporting competition. Rifle shooting represents an ideal sport for persons with vision impairment (VI) because the direction of the rifle can be guided by auditory information when vision is impaired. However, it is unknown whether those with some remaining vision when shooting with auditory guidance would be at an advantage when compared with those with no vision at all. If this were the case then it would be necessary for those with and without remaining vision to compete in separate classes of competition. Materials and method: The associations between shooting performance and 3 measures of visual function thought important for shooting were assessed for 10 elite VI shooters currently classified as VI. A conventional audiogram was also obtained. Results: The sample size, though small, included the majority of European VI shooters competing at this level. The relationships between visual functions and performance confirmed that individuals with residual vision had no advantage over those without vision when auditory guidance was available. Auditory function was within normal limits for age, and showed no relationship with performance. Summary: The findings suggest that rifle-shooting athletes with VI are able to use auditory information to overcome their impairment and optimise performance. Paralympic competition should be structured in a way that ensures that all shooters who qualify to compete in VI shooting participate within the same class irrespective of their level of VI.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: athletes
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 08:11
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:00

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