Temporal and spatial information used by baseball catchers when making decisions about fielding in pairs

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Other Title
  • 野球の捕手が2者間で行う打球処理の判断に係る時間的および空間的情報
  • ヤキュウ ノ ホシュ ガ 2シャ カン デ オコナウ ダキュウ ショリ ノ ハンダン ニ カカル ジカンテキ オヨビ クウカンテキ ジョウホウ

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Abstract

The present study aimed to examine the temporal and spatial information used by baseball catchers when making decisions about fielding in pairs. The subjects were 7 collegiate baseball catchers. The experiment was carried out in the defense scenario of a sacrifice bunt with no outs and a runner at first base in the actual field. The participants made decisions about 1) the player (catcher or pitcher) who caught the ball, 2) where to throw the ball (first or second base) when catchers caught the ball, and 3) instructing a teammate (i.e., the pitcher) where to throw the ball (first or second base). The data were subjected to canonical discriminant analysis using a stepwise method according to the type of decision, using the player who caught the ball (catcher or pitcher) and the base at which to throw the ball to (first or second base) as a dependent variable. Ball velocity, ball direction, catching distance, catching time, running time, runner velocity, and runner displacement were used as explanatory variables. The results indicated that 4 explanatory variables – ball velocity, ball direction, catching time, and catching distance – were incorporated in the 3 discriminant functions, and that the discriminant predictive value was 84.1%. From the discriminant functions, it was shown that 1) decisions about the player who caught the ball were based on prediction of the position where the player caught the ball (i.e., catching distance) using information about ball velocity, 2) when catchers made decisions about the base they threw to, they used information about ball velocity and direction, and the time required to catch the ball (i.e., catching time), and 3) when catchers instructed a teammate where to throw the ball, the decisions were based on prediction of the time required to catch the ball (i.e., catching time) using information about ball velocity. These results suggest that catchers make decisions about fielding in pairs using information about ball velocity and direction, the time required to catch the ball themselves (catcher) or by their teammates (pitcher), and the catching position of both players.

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