Is the pink ball still under review? Cricket umpires’ perceptions of the pink ball for day/night matches

Maguire, R., Timmis, M.A., Wilkins, L. ORCID: 0000-0001-6735-1903, Mann, D.L., Beukes, E., Parekh, H., Johnstone, J.A., Adie, J.M., Arnold, D. and Allen, P.M., 2021. Is the pink ball still under review? Cricket umpires’ perceptions of the pink ball for day/night matches. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 24 (11), pp. 1166-1172. ISSN 1440-2440

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Abstract

Objectives: The visibility of the pink ball used in day/night Test cricket has been under scrutiny, with recent research suggesting cricketers find the pink ball less visible at dusk under floodlights. With increasing interest in this match format, this study sought to investigate elite umpires’ opinions pertaining to the visibility of the pink cricket ball during day/night matches.

Design: Purposeful sampling of a cross-section of elite umpires with experience adjudicating matches played using a pink cricket ball.

Methods: Twenty-seven international/first-class umpires completed a questionnaire consisting of Likert scale and free text responses covering perceptions of the pink cricket ball, with a particular emphasis on visibility.

Results: The pink ball when viewed at night under floodlights was rated as being significantly more visible than the red ball during natural lighting (ps < 0.050). Umpires who actively participated in training reported a significantly higher rating of the visibility of the pink ball (mean −3.14) at night under floodlights compared to those who didn’t (mean p = 0.010). No significant difference was reported in visibility in natural light or dusk under floodlights. Free text responses (n = 10) revealed the following themes: use of eyewear (coverage 0.30), and adjustment to positioning (coverage 0.20) to improve visibility of the pink ball.

Conclusions: Umpires report the visibility of the pink ball is equal to the red in natural light and at dusk but is significantly better at night. Preference for the pink ball is likely due to the predominantly perceptual nature of visual tasks performed by umpires.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Creators: Maguire, R., Timmis, M.A., Wilkins, L., Mann, D.L., Beukes, E., Parekh, H., Johnstone, J.A., Adie, J.M., Arnold, D. and Allen, P.M.
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Date: 1 November 2021
Volume: 24
Number: 11
ISSN: 1440-2440
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.jsams.2021.03.011DOI
1487002Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 09 Nov 2021 12:10
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 17:27
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/44665

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