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PERCEPTUAL-COGNITIVE EXPERTISE IN CRICKET UMPIRES DURING LEG BEFORE WICKET DECISION MAKING

Ramachandran, P (2021) PERCEPTUAL-COGNITIVE EXPERTISE IN CRICKET UMPIRES DURING LEG BEFORE WICKET DECISION MAKING. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Perceptual-cognitive skills have been shown to contribute towards elite performance in multiple domains and sports, including cricket. However, research examining these skills in cricket has predominantly focused on batters, with little attention devoted to extensively exploring the factors that contribute towards expert cricket umpiring. In this thesis the ‘expert performance approach’ proposed by Ericsson & Smith (1991) was used to develop a series of studies that examined the influence of perceptual-cognitive skills in leg before wicket (LBW) decisions made by cricket umpires. In Chapter 2, eye movement data was collected from expert and novice cricket umpires whilst they performed a simulated LBW decision making task. In addition to making more accurate decisions, the expert umpires demonstrated a tendency to anchor their gaze on the stumps, whereas the novices showcased a preference to fixate on the pitch. In Chapter 3 a different sample of expert umpires were required in one condition to make a ‘no-ball’ verdict prior to an LBW decision and in another condition to exclusively make the LBW decision with no preceding task. The ‘no-ball’ task aimed to engage the shifting function of the umpire’s working memory, to better mirror match demands. The purpose of this Chapter was to examine whether switching from the ‘no-ball’ task to the LBW task would negatively affect the umpire’s decision-making performance in line with the ‘switch cost’ evidenced in cognitive psychology literature. In corroboration with the switch-cost, umpires were less accurate at determining where the ball bounced on the pitch when required to task- switch. Also, in line with previous research, following the task-switch the umpires were more likely to allocate their gaze towards ‘other locations’ compared to when performing the LBW task exclusively on its own. Despite this, umpires still displayed a tendency to anchor their gaze on the stumps in both conditions. Chapter 4 utilised findings from Chapters 2 and 3, and involved the implementation of a Quiet Eye training intervention in novice umpires with the aim of augmenting LBW decision making. To compare the effectiveness of this intervention, novice umpires were allocated to either a Quiet Eye Training, Technical Training or Control group. The Quiet Eye intervention led to improved LBW performance across all components of the task immediately following training, and these effects persisted in a one-week retention test. Immediately after the intervention, the Technical Training group reported improvements on determining where the ball would have travelled post ball- pad impact however these effects were lost in a one-week retention test. The Control group reported no changes in accuracy across all three experimental phases. With all the experimental chapters considered, this thesis provides insights into the perceptual- cognitive skills cricket umpires use to cope with the unique demands on LBW decision making, and how these skills can be transferred to novice performers to expedite more accurate decisions. These data have implications for improving decision making throughout the cricketing pyramid, as well as theoretical implications for understanding the role of visual attention in complex decision making tasks.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cricket Umpiring; Perceptual-Cognitive Skill; Working Memory; Task-Switching; Quiet Eye; Decision Making; Attention
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2021 10:19
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2021 10:19
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00015787
Supervisors: Causer, J, Hayes, S, Bennett, S and Watts, M
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15787

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