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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessing the reliability and validity of online tasks to assess perceptual cognitive skills in baseball Grieve, Georgia


There has been an increasing interest in training perceptual skills in sports through video-based methods, particularly in baseball (e.g., baseball pitch recognition). However, there is little empirical evidence related to their reliability and validity, to help guide the efficacy and application of video-based training methods. Here we sought to investigate whether an online task can be used to a) assess perceptual cognitive skills and b) discriminate across age and different skill groups. An online experimental platform was developed to help collect data on baseball specific predictions concerning pitch type and dynamic visual acuity among baseball players (n = 21) and novices (n=14) with low baseball experience (age 13 -22 yr). The baseball prediction task consisted of two different pitchers, three pitch types and three occlusion points (such that ball flight information was progressively removed). Each clip was shown twice. The prediction task was shown to be valid and reliable, discriminating across skill groups and showing reliability across repeated viewings and from the online task to an in-person assessment (n=6). There were, however, differences in reliability and discriminant validity based on the type of pitcher, with one pitcher being responded to more accurately and reliably. The skilled participants showed good discriminability between fastballs and change-ups versus the novice group and there was a trend for better dynamic visual acuity in the skilled group. Due to difficulties in recruitment, the data was mostly based on adult participants, such that further data collection is needed to make conclusions about age-group differences and development of perceptual-cognitive skills in baseball. The current data mostly help to provide baseline data about current stimuli and methods for assessment of perceptual skills in baseball, showing evidence speaking to the validity and reliability of online methods.

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