Prediction of shot success for basketball free throws: Visual search strategy

Yusuke Uchida*, Nobuaki Mizuguchi, Masaaki Honda, Kazuyuki Kanosue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In ball games, players have to pay close attention to visual information in order to predict the movements of both the opponents and the ball. Previous studies have indicated that players primarily utilise cues concerning the ball and opponents' body motion. The information acquired must be effective for observing players to select the subsequent action. The present study evaluated the effects of changes in the video replay speed on the spatial visual search strategy and ability to predict free throw success. We compared eye movements made while observing a basketball free throw by novices and experienced basketball players. Correct response rates were close to chance (50%) at all video speeds for the novices. The correct response rate of experienced players was significantly above chance (and significantly above that of the novices) at the normal speed, but was not different from chance at both slow and fast speeds. Experienced players gazed more on the lower part of the player's body when viewing a normal speed video than the novices. The players likely detected critical visual information to predict shot success by properly moving their gaze according to the shooter's movements. This pattern did not change when the video speed was decreased, but changed when it was increased. These findings suggest that temporal information is important for predicting action outcomes and that such outcomes are sensitive to video speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-432
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Basketball
  • prediction
  • temporal information
  • visual search strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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