How baseball outfielders determine where to run to catch fly balls

Michael McBeath, Dennis M. Shaffer, Mary K. Kaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

251 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current theory proposes that baseball outfielders catch fly balls by selecting a running path to achieve optical acceleration cancellation of the ball. Yet people appear to lack the ability to discriminate accelerations accurately. This study supports the idea that out-fielders convert the temporal problem to a spatial one by selecting a running path that maintains a linear optical trajectory (LOT) for the ball. The LOT model is a strategy of maintaining "control" over the relative direction of optical ball movement in a manner that is similar to simple predator tracking behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-573
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume268
Issue number5210
Publication statusPublished - Apr 28 1995
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

McBeath, M., Shaffer, D. M., & Kaiser, M. K. (1995). How baseball outfielders determine where to run to catch fly balls. Science, 268(5210), 569-573.