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Hand and Eye Dominance in Sport: Are Cricket Batters Taught to Bat Back-to-Front?

Mann, David ; Runswick, Oliver ; Allen, Peter

Sports Medicine, 2016, Vol.46(9), pp.1355-1363 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Hand and Eye Dominance in Sport: Are Cricket Batters Taught to Bat Back-to-Front?
  • Author: Mann, David ; Runswick, Oliver ; Allen, Peter
  • Description: 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 (<5years' 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.
  • Is Part Of: Sports Medicine, 2016, Vol.46(9), pp.1355-1363
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0112-1642 ; E-ISSN: 1179-2035 ; DOI: 10.1007/s40279-016-0516-y
  • Subjects: Medicine
  • Language: English

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