Adaptations in Visual Search Behaviour as a Function of Expertise in Rugby Union Players Completing Attacking Scenarios

van Paridon, Kjell N., Lally, J., Robertson, Paul J., Basevitch, Itay and Timmis, Matthew A. (2022) Adaptations in Visual Search Behaviour as a Function of Expertise in Rugby Union Players Completing Attacking Scenarios. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. p. 837558. ISSN 1664-1078

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The current study investigated the adaptations which occur in visual search behaviour as a function of expertise in rugby union players when completing attacking scenarios. Ten experienced players (EP) and ten novice players (NP) completed 2 vs. 1 attacking game scenarios. Starting with the ball in hand and wearing a mobile eye tracker throughout, participants were required to score a try against a defender. The scenarios allowed for a pass to their supporting player (Spin Pass or Switch) or trying to run past the defender (Take-Player-On or Dummy Switch). No between group differences were found in fixating on the supporting attacking player (p > 0.05). However, EP increased the length (p = 0.008) and frequency (p = 0.004) looking at the area immediately ahead of the supporting player, particularly when executing a spin pass. NP fixated longer (p = 0.005) and more frequently (p = 0.032) at the defender, whilst EP fixated more frequently in the space the supporting player would run into in Switch and Dummy Switch scenarios (p = 0.025). More successful passes were completed and tries scored by EP compared to NP (p = 0.001). Differences in visual search behaviour between experienced and NP suggest that the experts extract information from areas directly related to guiding the motor action; the space immediately ahead of the support player to pass the ball in. Contrastingly, novices use a more allocentric perspective where the actions from the defender are used to guide their motor actions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: visual search behaviour, eye tracking, rugby, representative design, expertise
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 10:01
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 16:18

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