Is the pink ball still under review? Cricket umpires’ perceptions of the pink ball for day/night matches

Maguire, Robert and Timmis, Matthew A. and Wilkins, Luke and Mann, David L. and Beukes, Eldré W. and Parekh, Haimisha and Johnstone, James and Adie, Joshua and Arnold, Derek and Allen, Peter M. (2021) Is the pink ball still under review? Cricket umpires’ perceptions of the pink ball for day/night matches. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. ISSN 1878-1861

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Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 27 March 2022.
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (68kB) | Request a copy
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2021.03.011

Abstract

Objectives: The visibility of the pink ball used in day/night Test cricket has been under scrutiny, with recent research suggesting cricketers find the pink ball less visible at dusk under floodlights. With increasing interest in this match format, this study sought to investigate elite umpires’ opinions pertaining to the visibility of the pink cricket ball during day/night matches. Design: Purposeful sampling of a cross-section of elite umpires with experience adjudicating matches played using a pink cricket ball. Methods: Twenty-seven international/first-class umpires completed a questionnaire consisting of Likert scale and free text responses covering perceptions of the pink cricket ball, with a particular emphasis on visibility. Results: The pink ball when viewed at night under floodlights was rated as being significantly more visible than the red ball during natural lighting (ps < 0.050). Umpires who actively participated in training reported a significantly higher rating of the visibility of the pink ball (mean −3.14) at night under floodlights compared to those who didn’t (mean p = 0.010). No significant difference was reported in visibility in natural light or dusk under floodlights. Free text responses (n = 10) revealed the following themes: use of eyewear (coverage 0.30), and adjustment to positioning (coverage 0.20) to improve visibility of the pink ball. Conclusions: Umpires report the visibility of the pink ball is equal to the red in natural light and at dusk but is significantly better at night. Preference for the pink ball is likely due to the predominantly perceptual nature of visual tasks performed by umpires.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Cricket, Colour, Visual perception, Performance, Lighting, Safety
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2021 14:04
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:51
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706656

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