The contribution of visual information about a pitched ball to the accuracy of baseball-bat contact may vary depending on the part of trajectory seen. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between hitting accuracy and the segment of the trajectory of the flying ball that can be seen by the batter. Ten college baseball field players participated in the study. The systematic error and standardized variability of ball-bat contact on the bat coordinate system and pitcher-To-catcher direction when hitting a ball launched from a pitching machine were measured with or without visual occlusion and analyzed using analysis of variance. The visual occlusion timing included occlusion from 150 milliseconds (ms) after the ball release (R+150), occlusion from 150 ms before the expected arrival of the launched ball at the home plate (A-150), and a condition with no occlusion (NO). Twelve trials in each condition were performed using two ball speeds (31.9 m s-1 and 40.3 m s-1). Visual occlusion did not affect the mean location of ball-bat contact in the bat's long axis, short axis, and pitcher-To-catcher directions. Although the magnitude of standardized variability was significantly smaller in the bat's short axis direction than in the bat's long axis and pitcher-To-catcher directions (p < 0.001), additional visible time from the R+150 condition to the A-150 and NO conditions resulted in a further decrease in standardized variability only in the bat's short axis direction (p < 0.05). The results suggested that there is directional specificity in the magnitude of standardized variability with different visible time. The present study also confirmed the limitation to visual information is the later part of the ball trajectory for improving hitting accuracy, which is likely due to visuo-motor delay.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)