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Old 08-17-2011, 06:29 AM   #11
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
Posts: 10,787

Originally Posted by dozu View Post
it's not a lie if you believe it

- george costanza
QFE. This is the case more than many realize.

Quite often, an erroneous call is made because of proximity-- the ball bounces too close to a player for them to call accurately. The ball traverses their field of vision too quickly for the smooth pursuit system to track the event successfully. When the ball gets very close to use we often use our saccadic (jump ahead) system to try to keep up with the ball. This happen when we are trying to make contact with an incoming ball or when trying to make a line call very close to our position. The ball becomes essentially invisible for periods of time. Players often mistakenly believe that the person closest to the event has the best perspective. Quite often the opposite is true.

Point #2: If the eyes are moving or the head is turning as the ball hits the ground, the ability to make an accurate call is seriously hampered. Studies have shown this to be true. The eyes/brain can be deceived. Certified lines people are trained to make calls with this in mind. They are taught to stop following the ball any time a ball encroaches a line. Instead, they fixate on the line keeping both the eyes and head still. Many players make the mistake of believing that their brain "sees" the actual event in such situations. In many situations such as this, the first stable image that the brain perceives, the ball appears to be out. The brain lies. This can be another instance where the saccadic system has yielded an inaccurate perception of the event.

Point #3: Vantage point or perspective is often the reason for erroneous line calls. In the case of a serve, the receiver often has an inferior view of the back service line. In doubles, they may have the worst perspective of all four players on the court if the ball is close to the back service line. If the ball is just a little bit long (a few cm or a couple of inches), the receiver may be unable to see the space between the line and the ball (bounce). In this situation, even tho' the server (and partner) are further from the event, they can more easily perceive the gap between the line and ball. The receiver's partner may have they best perspective unless they are too close to the bounce (refer to reason #1 above) or their head/eyes are moving (point #2).

If you keep these 3 things in mind, your ability to make fair calls should improve. You should also develop a better understanding of why others make erroneous calls that they believe to be true.

Last edited by SystemicAnomaly; 08-17-2011 at 06:34 AM.
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