Visual skills essential for rugby
Medical hypothesis discovery and innovation in ophthalmology,
Vol. 12 No. 1 (2023),
31 May 2023
AbstractBackground: Keen vision is one of the most important qualities required of athletes. It enables players to perform sports-related drills and apply decision-making skills. To accurately measure the visual ability of athletes, it is important to first identify the variety of visual skills involved in the particular sport. The objectives of this novel review are to identify the most important visual skills required for rugby, and to create a reference point for further studies to include visual skills essential to rugby players.
Methods: We conducted an electronic search with various combinations of relevant keywords using the following databases: Sport Discuss, Ovid’s Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews, PubMed/MEDLINE, Current Contents, Science Direct, the National Research Council’s Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Google Scholar, and international electronic catalogues to assess the scientific literature related to the visual skills required for rugby. Only the articles published in English were included. We extracted data on the relationship between vision and match performance, the defined problem or purpose of the study, and the inclusion of theoretical definitions of tactical behaviors.
Results: Our search yielded 80 records, 51 of which fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The most important visual skills in rugby are classified based on whether they meet the requirements for visual hardware or visual software skills. Visual hardware skills include visual acuity, depth perception, fusion flexibility, and contrast sensitivity; visual software skills include eye tracking, hand-eye coordination, eye focusing, peripheral vision, speed and span of recognition, visual response time, and visual memory.
Conclusions: Rugby players must use both visual hardware and software skills to reliably observe their teammates’ positions, understand their opponents’ actions and tactics, handle the ball, analyze the immediate circumstances, and anticipate what will occur. Further studies are needed to verify the significance of each visual skill in actual competition to determine a relationship between vision and the results of a championship.
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