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Miss to the right: the effect of attentional asymmetries on goal-kicking.

Nicholls ME, Loetscher T, Rademacher M - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: The data showed more rightward deviations for kicks at goal.Combined, the studies suggest that the rightward deviation for lines placed in far space extends to the kicking of a football in laboratory and real-life settings.This asymmetry in kicking builds on a body of research showing that attentional asymmetries impact everyday activities.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia. mike.nicholls@flinders.edu.au

ABSTRACT
Cerebral asymmetries for spatial attention generate a bias of attention--causing lines to be bisected to the left or right in near (within reach) and far (outside reach) space, respectively. This study explored whether the rightward deviation for bisecting lines in far space extends to tasks where a ball is aimed between two goal-posts. Kicking was assessed in a laboratory and a real-life setting. In the laboratory setting, 212 participants carried out three conditions: (a) kick a soccer ball at a single goal post, (b) kick a soccer ball between two goal posts and (c) use a stick to indicate the middle between two goal posts. The goals were placed at a distance of 4.0 m. There was no deviation in the one-goal kicking condition--demonstrating that no asymmetries exist in the perceptual motor system when aiming at a single point. When kicking or pointing at the middle between two goal posts, rightward deviations were observed. In the real-world setting, the number of misses to the left or right of goal (behinds) in the Australian Rules football for the 2005-2009 seasons was assessed. The data showed more rightward deviations for kicks at goal. Combined, the studies suggest that the rightward deviation for lines placed in far space extends to the kicking of a football in laboratory and real-life settings. This asymmetry in kicking builds on a body of research showing that attentional asymmetries impact everyday activities.

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Illustration of a typical Australian Rules Football ground, showing the arrangement of the ground and the goal and behind posts.If the ball is kicked between the goal posts, a goal is scored. If the ball misses to the left or right, but is within one of the behind posts, a behind is scored. The field can be between 135–185 m long and 110–155 m wide.
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pone-0012363-g001: Illustration of a typical Australian Rules Football ground, showing the arrangement of the ground and the goal and behind posts.If the ball is kicked between the goal posts, a goal is scored. If the ball misses to the left or right, but is within one of the behind posts, a behind is scored. The field can be between 135–185 m long and 110–155 m wide.

Mentions: In addition to examining kicking asymmetries in the laboratory, we explored kicking asymmetries in the real ‘sporting’ world. Australian Rules football is a game where the objective is to kick a football between two goal posts (worth six points). If the kick misses to either side of the goal, but passes within one of the ‘behind’ posts, a ‘behind’ is scored (worth one point). Figure 1 shows the layout of an Australian Rules football ground and the goal and behind posts. The kick can be taken at any distance from the goal posts, but kicks longer than 60 m are rare. Most kicks are taken by dropping the ball from the hands and kicking. Kicks at goal are sometimes taken on the run, and on other times, are taken as a free kick is the ball is ‘marked’. Unlike sports like soccer or hockey, there is no goalie who plays a significant role in deflecting shots at goal and there is no limit to the height of the goal. Asymmetries related to the defensive players are therefore unlikely to affect whether players miss to the left or right. By examining the number of behinds scored to the left and right, Australian Rules football should provide a useful means of testing asymmetries in kicking on the sporting field. Data were collected from the 2005–2009 Australian Football League (AFL) seasons. In each season 185 games are played between 16 teams. We were able to gain access to information related to whether a left or right behind was scored and the angle and distance at which the kick was taken. While behinds can be scored if the ball hits one of the goal posts, or if a player touches the ball with their hand, the present analysis was limited to behinds scored by a kick that missed to the left or right of the goal. It was predicted that more behinds to the right (from the kicker's perspective) would be scored.


Miss to the right: the effect of attentional asymmetries on goal-kicking.

Nicholls ME, Loetscher T, Rademacher M - PLoS ONE (2010)

Illustration of a typical Australian Rules Football ground, showing the arrangement of the ground and the goal and behind posts.If the ball is kicked between the goal posts, a goal is scored. If the ball misses to the left or right, but is within one of the behind posts, a behind is scored. The field can be between 135–185 m long and 110–155 m wide.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2927441&req=5

pone-0012363-g001: Illustration of a typical Australian Rules Football ground, showing the arrangement of the ground and the goal and behind posts.If the ball is kicked between the goal posts, a goal is scored. If the ball misses to the left or right, but is within one of the behind posts, a behind is scored. The field can be between 135–185 m long and 110–155 m wide.
Mentions: In addition to examining kicking asymmetries in the laboratory, we explored kicking asymmetries in the real ‘sporting’ world. Australian Rules football is a game where the objective is to kick a football between two goal posts (worth six points). If the kick misses to either side of the goal, but passes within one of the ‘behind’ posts, a ‘behind’ is scored (worth one point). Figure 1 shows the layout of an Australian Rules football ground and the goal and behind posts. The kick can be taken at any distance from the goal posts, but kicks longer than 60 m are rare. Most kicks are taken by dropping the ball from the hands and kicking. Kicks at goal are sometimes taken on the run, and on other times, are taken as a free kick is the ball is ‘marked’. Unlike sports like soccer or hockey, there is no goalie who plays a significant role in deflecting shots at goal and there is no limit to the height of the goal. Asymmetries related to the defensive players are therefore unlikely to affect whether players miss to the left or right. By examining the number of behinds scored to the left and right, Australian Rules football should provide a useful means of testing asymmetries in kicking on the sporting field. Data were collected from the 2005–2009 Australian Football League (AFL) seasons. In each season 185 games are played between 16 teams. We were able to gain access to information related to whether a left or right behind was scored and the angle and distance at which the kick was taken. While behinds can be scored if the ball hits one of the goal posts, or if a player touches the ball with their hand, the present analysis was limited to behinds scored by a kick that missed to the left or right of the goal. It was predicted that more behinds to the right (from the kicker's perspective) would be scored.

Bottom Line: The data showed more rightward deviations for kicks at goal.Combined, the studies suggest that the rightward deviation for lines placed in far space extends to the kicking of a football in laboratory and real-life settings.This asymmetry in kicking builds on a body of research showing that attentional asymmetries impact everyday activities.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia. mike.nicholls@flinders.edu.au

ABSTRACT
Cerebral asymmetries for spatial attention generate a bias of attention--causing lines to be bisected to the left or right in near (within reach) and far (outside reach) space, respectively. This study explored whether the rightward deviation for bisecting lines in far space extends to tasks where a ball is aimed between two goal-posts. Kicking was assessed in a laboratory and a real-life setting. In the laboratory setting, 212 participants carried out three conditions: (a) kick a soccer ball at a single goal post, (b) kick a soccer ball between two goal posts and (c) use a stick to indicate the middle between two goal posts. The goals were placed at a distance of 4.0 m. There was no deviation in the one-goal kicking condition--demonstrating that no asymmetries exist in the perceptual motor system when aiming at a single point. When kicking or pointing at the middle between two goal posts, rightward deviations were observed. In the real-world setting, the number of misses to the left or right of goal (behinds) in the Australian Rules football for the 2005-2009 seasons was assessed. The data showed more rightward deviations for kicks at goal. Combined, the studies suggest that the rightward deviation for lines placed in far space extends to the kicking of a football in laboratory and real-life settings. This asymmetry in kicking builds on a body of research showing that attentional asymmetries impact everyday activities.

Show MeSH