Videos: Watching the Ball

If using the still images is difficult, please watch our YouTube videos which demonstrate the same point. You’ll see balls from a bowling machine and then as a cricket umpire sees it. You may want to replay the video several times. The videos are from different perspectives – the first 3 are from the umpire’s end and the following 3 are from the batsman’s end. The principle though is the same, if you are looking in the right areas then the ball will be easier to see and importantly appear “slower”.

Video 1: “Looking in the wrong area as an umpire”

Do this first as you will see the difference much easier when you do it right in the second video. The video shows cricket nets with an orange cone about halfway down the pitch. Only look at the cone and as the ball passes through to the end of the pitch and be aware how difficult the ball is to see at the other end of the pitch. Or in other words, as an umpire yopu have lost sight of the ball, and now have to guess the outcome. Why? You simply are looking in the wrong area, and should be looking in the contact zone and allowing your mid-peripheral vision to see the flight of the ball for you.

Video 2: “Looking in the right area as an umpire”

As with video 1, look only at the cone, which is now positioned in the contact zone area of the pitch. As the balls travel to the end of the pitch, notice how you can pick up the flight of the ball, which is its direction and where it pitches, without having to try and ‘follow’ the ball. (What some people incorrectly advise as ‘tracking the ball’.) If you repeat this you will find it much easier to see each ball’s flight and hopefully realsie that by simply looking in the right area, in this case the contact zone, you are able to use your vision to pick up all the necessary information without having to move your eyes trying to “track” the ball. Now go back to Video 1 and look at the contact zone and not the cone and notice again how easy it is to see the ball, and in fact how much slower the ball seems to be.

Next up: Determining your Dominant Eye