Implementing the Technology Shift From 2D to 3D: Insights and Suggestions for Umpire Educators

Kaiser, Keone
Walters, Simon
Sheehy, Kevin
Murray, Eoin
Spencer, Kirsten
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Frontiers Media S.A.

Effective methods to improve decision-making in sports officiating, particularly with the current and ongoing issues with in-person training, means new remote training methods must be developed. Traditional training of officials occurs primarily as “in-person coaching” at matches, with supporting training manuals and 2D broadcast analysis. However, live matches present difficulties in implementation, while manuals and 2D broadcast videos may not sufficiently ensure learning transfers to real situations. Due to its ease of use, first-person perspective, and ability to analyze live and post-event remotely, 360° virtual reality video technology (360° VR) offers an alternative technological solution for developing decision-making accuracy for sports officials across multiple sports. This study sought to assess the ecological validity (EV) of using 360° VR technology to enable remote teaching of decision-making. Decision-making quality and accuracy in softball umpires were similar when using 360° VR and the traditional method (2D broadcast footage), but 360° VR received significantly higher EV values than the 2D broadcast videos. In addition, interviewed participants expressed excitement about using 360° VR to augment traditional umpiring manuals and rulebooks. The results show that 360° VR has the potential to enhance or replace traditional remote learning methods for decision-making in softball umpires and allow softball learning to reach a much wider umpire audience.

4607 Graphics, augmented reality and games
Frontiers in Virtual Reality, ISSN: 2673-4192 (Print); 2673-4192 (Online), Frontiers Media S.A., 5. doi: 10.3389/frvir.2024.1368648
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© 2024 Kaiser, Walters, Sheehy, Murray and Spencer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.