Gaze behavior of gymnastics judges: Where do experienced judges and gymnasts look while judging?

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Gymnastics judges and former gymnasts have been shown to be quite accurate in detecting errors and accurately judging performance. Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to examine if this superior judging performance is reflected in judges’ gaze behavior. Method: Thirty-five judges were asked to judge 21 gymnasts who performed a skill on the vault in a video-based test. Classifying 1 sample on 2 different criteria, judging performance and gaze behavior were compared between judges with a higher license level and judges with a lower license level and between judges who were able to perform the skill (specific motor experience [SME]) and those who were not. Results: The results revealed better judging performance among judges with a higher license level compared with judges with a lower license level and more fixations on the gymnast during the whole skill and the landing phase, specifically on the head and arms of the gymnast. Specific motor experience did not result in any differences in judging performance; however, judges with SME showed similar gaze patterns to those of judges with a high license level, with 1 difference in their increased focus on the gymnasts’ feet. Conclusion: Superior judging performance seems to be reflected in a specific gaze behavior. This gaze behavior appears to partly stem from judges’ own sensorimotor experiences for this skill and reflects the gymnasts’ perspective onto the skill.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 1825750

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