OSU researchers are looking into the answer to one of the oldest questions in baseball—do batters really keep their eye on the ball?
In reviewing the little previous evidence available such as film and lab studies, researchers determined that yes, they are keeping their eye on the ball, but they are moving their heads, not their eyes, to do it.
In some studies researchers found that at the last moment some batters shift their view to home plate. Researchers suspect they are trying to anticipate where the ball will be when in range of their bat. However, not all batters took their eye off the ball in a similar move.
After examining all the previous studies, they collected on head and eye movements in baseball batters, OSU researchers found they couldn’t come to a consensus on what combination of eye or head movements were best. However, further investigation to lead to a new kind of eye gaze training for batters in the future.
Study authors stated that because they know batters do keep their eye on the ball, but with head movements instead of eye movements there must be an advantage to tracking the ball with head movements, they just don’t know the answer to “why” yet.