Turns out their is a science to catching fly balls. And researchers at Brown University have the data to prove it.
The essence of the study is that fielders need to track an optical variable called optical acceleration cancellation which will help them reach the ball.
“All the fielders need to do is track this optical variable and it will lead them to a successful catch,” says William Warren, professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences at Brown and the paper’s senior author. “They don’t have to do a lot of heavy computation in their heads to predict the landing point.”
Eight varsity college baseball players and four softball players took part in the research by fielding virtual fly balls. Each wore a virtual reality-type display headset.
“Catching is clearly a perceptual motor skill that you have to learn,” Warren says, “but it does raise interesting questions about why some people are so much better at it than others.”No tags for this post.