Mann_et_al_2016.pdf (593.94 kB)
Hand and Eye Dominance in Sport: Are Cricket Batters Taught to Bat Back-to-Front?
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:47 authored by David L. Mann, Oliver R. Runswick, Peter M. Allen
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 (<5 years’ 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.
Publication titleSports Medicine
- Published version