Research Articles (Exercise and Sport Sciences)

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    An exploratory investigation of the effect of a sports vision program on Grade 4 and 5 female netball players' visual skills
    (MDPI, 2022) Coetzee, Dane; De Waal, Elna
    Vision is one of the most complex and dominant sensory systems necessary for information feedback from the environment. Few studies have already reported a positive effect of a sport vision program on elite sport teams’ visual skills; however, few studies have focused on the effect of sport vision programs on children’s visual skills. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of a sports vision program on Grade 4 and 5 female netball players’ visual skills. Girls (N = 25) with a mean age of 10.08 years (SD = 0.65) formed part of this study. A pre-test–post-test design was followed with a retention test. The eight-week sports vision program was executed twice a week for 60 min on the experimental group (n = 13). The Developmental Test of Visual–Motor Integration (VMI-4), the Wayne Saccadic Fixator (WSF) and the Developmental Eye Movement (DEM) test were used to evaluate the girls’ visual skills, hand–eye coordination, visual reaction time, peripheral vision and saccadic eye movements. No statistical differences were found between the two groups before starting with the sports vision program. After intervention, significant differences between the two groups were reported, with the experimental group performing better in hand–eye coordination (p = 0.001) and reaction time (p = 0.001). Results further indicated that the experimental group experienced significant improvements (p ≤ 0.05) in motor coordination, hand–eye coordination, reaction speed and visual tracking after intervention with significant lasting effects (p ≤ 0.05). The control group performed significantly worse in reaction time (p = 0.01). A sports vision program can be recommended for Grade 4 and 5 female netball players to improve certain visual skills.