1,050 research outputs found

    The efficacy of virtual reality in professional soccer

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    Professional soccer clubs have taken an interest to virtual reality, however, only a paucity of evidence exists to support its use in the soccer training ground environment. Further, several soccer virtual reality companies have begun providing solutions to teams, claiming to test specific characteristics of players, yet supportive evidence for certain measurement properties remain absent from the literature. The aims of this thesis were to explore the efficacy of virtual reality being used in the professional football training ground environment. To do so, this thesis looked to explore the fundamental measurement properties of soccer specific virtual reality tests, along with the perceptions of professional coaches, backroom staff, and players that could use virtual reality. The first research study (Chapter 3) aimed to quantify the learning effect during familiarisation trials of a soccer-specific virtual reality task. Thirty-four professional soccer players age, stature, and body mass: mean (SD) 20 (3.4) years; 180 (7) cm; 79 (8) kg, participated in six trials of a virtual reality soccer passing task. The task required participants to receive and pass 30 virtual soccer balls into highlighted mini-goals that surrounded the participant. The number of successful passes were recorded in each trial. The one-sided Bayesian paired samples t-test indicated very strong evidence in favour of the alternative hypothesis (H1)(BF10 = 46.5, d = 0.56 [95% CI = 0.2 to 0.92]) for improvements in total goals scored between trial 1: 13.6 (3.3) and trial 2: 16 (3.3). Further, the Bayesian paired-samples equivalence t-tests indicated strong evidence in favour of H1 (BF10 = 10.2, d = 0.24 [95% CI = -0.09 to 0.57]) for equivalence between trial 4: 16.7 (3.7) and trial 5: 18.2 (4.7); extreme evidence in favour of H1 (BF10 = 132, d = -0.02 [95% CI = -0.34 to 0.30]) for equivalence between trials 5 and 6: 18.1 (3.5); and moderate evidence in favour of H1 (BF10 = 8.4, d = 0.26 [95% CI = -0.08 to 0.59]) for equivalence between trials 4 and 6. Sufficient evidence indicated that a learning effect took place between the first two trials, and that up to five trials might be necessary for performance to plateau in a specific virtual reality soccer passing task.The second research study (Chapter 4) aimed to assess the validity of a soccer passing task by comparing passing ability between virtual reality and real-world conditions. A previously validated soccer passing test was replicated into a virtual reality environment. Twenty-nine soccer players participated in the study which required them to complete as many passes as possible between two rebound boards within 45 s. Counterbalancing determined the condition order, and then for each condition, participants completed four familiarisation trials and two recorded trials, with the best score being used for analysis. Sense of presence and fidelity were also assessed via questionnaires to understand how representative the virtual environments were compared to the real-world. Results showed that between conditions a difference was observed (EMM = -3.9, 95% HDI = -5.1 to -2.7) with the number of passes being greater in the real-world (EMM = 19.7, 95% HDI = 18.6 to 20.7) than in virtual reality (EMM = 15.7, 95% HDI = 14.7 to 16.8). Further, several subjective differences for fidelity between the two conditions were reported, notably the ability to control the ball in virtual reality which was suggested to have been more difficult than in the real-world. The last research study (Chapter 5) aimed to compare and quantify the perceptions of virtual reality use in soccer, and to model behavioural intentions to use this technology. This study surveyed the perceptions of coaches, support staff, and players in relation to their knowledge, expectations, influences, and barriers of using virtual reality via an internet-based questionnaire. To model behavioural intention, modified questions and constructs from the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology were used, and the model was analysed through partial least squares structural equation modelling. Respondents represented coaches and support staff (n = 134) and players (n = 64). All respondents generally agreed that virtual reality should be used to improve tactical awareness and cognition, with its use primarily in performance analysis and rehabilitation settings. Generally, coaches and support staff agreed that monetary cost, coach buy-in and limited evidence base were barriers towards its use. In a sub-sample of coaches and support staff without access to virtual reality (n = 123), performance expectancy was the strongest construct in explaining behavioural intention to use virtual reality, followed by facilitating conditions (i.e., barriers) construct which had a negative association with behavioural intention. This thesis aimed to explore the measurement properties of soccer specific virtual reality tests, and the perceptions of staff and players who might use the technology. The key findings from exploring the measurement properties were (1) evidence of a learning curve, suggesting the need for multiple familiarisation trials before collecting data, and (2) a lack of evidence to support the validity of a virtual reality soccer passing test as evident by a lack of agreement to a real-world equivalent. This finding raises questions on the suitability for virtual reality being used to measure passing skill related performance. The key findings from investigating the perceptions of users included, using the technology to improve cognition and tactical awareness, and using it in rehabilitation and performance analysis settings. Future intention to use was generally positive, and driven by performance related factors, yet several barriers exist that may prevent its widespread use. In Chapter 7 of the thesis, a reflective account is presented for the reader, detailing some of the interactions made with coaches, support staff and players in relation to the personal, moral, and ethical challenges faced as a practitioner-researcher, working and studying, respectively, in a professional soccer club

    A scoping review of the risk factors and strategies followed for the prevention of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases during sports mass gatherings: Recommendations for future FIFA World Cups

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    ObjectiveSports mass gatherings of people pose particular concerns and place an additional burden on the host countries and the countries of origin of the travelers. It is imperative to identify how countries dealt with various communicable diseases in the context of previous world cups and identify possible advice for protection from outbreaks.MethodsA scoping review was employed in this study and a PRISMA extension for scoping reviews was employed to guide the reporting of this study. A systematic search was performed using PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, SCOPUS, SportDiscus, and Google scholar. The search strategy included two main strings viz “communicable disease” AND “sport” AND “setting” as keywords for each string. A total of 34 studies were included in this review.ResultsInformation on risk factors for infectious diseases during FIFA, and recommendations for disease prevention in various stages of the event: pre-event, during, and post-event were charted. These strategies can be achieved with the empowerment of the public by enhancing their social responsibility and the coordination between the healthcare system, the ministry of public health, and other stakeholders.ConclusionThe findings will support planning for protection strategies to prevent any outbreak while having the FIFA World Cup or any other sports gatherings. A model was constructed to present the findings and recommendations from this review

    SOCCER-SPECIFIC STADIUM AND ITS SOCIAL IMPACT: A PARALLEL LINE BETWEEN MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AND THE NIGERIAN PROFESSIONAL SOCCER LEAGUES

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    Over the past ten years, Major League Soccer (MLS) has grown substantially by implementing stadium development projects similar to those used by other major leagues in the United States. This study analyzes the critical role of soccer-specific stadiums in MLS\u27s recent success and compares it to the current state of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). Additionally, the study explores this growth\u27s social and economic impacts through liminality and communitas concepts. Despite MLS\u27s achievements in expanding to new markets and adopting stadium development initiatives, the sustainability of this model remains uncertain. The paper then suggests that future research should focus on why the league should prioritize global soccer best practices rather than continuing to adapt to the closed league system used by other major leagues in the United States. Furthermore, given the United States co-hosting of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, aligning with the global system is crucial to elevate United States soccer to the next level. The paper utilizes secondary data sources and frequency analysis to examine MLS trends over the last decade and make recommendations to the Nigerian league on how to channel their strategy for growth. Ultimately, the study suggests that the United States and MLS adopt a new approach to compete effectively in international soccer, leveraging the country\u27s infrastructure, socio-economic capacity, and increasingly diverse population. Keywords: Major League Soccer, Nigeria Professional Football League, Soccer, 2026 FIFA World Cup, Soccer-specific Stadium, Premier Leagu

    The Effect of Factors and Constraints on Sporting Attendance

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    21,625 fans packed the confines of Brooks stadium on September 3, 2022, for a clash between the Army Black Knights football team and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers football team. This was a new record at Brooks stadium, and was followed with just 12,261 the next week vs. Gardner Webb. Meanwhile, a 2022 Coastal Carolina Women’s Soccer game draws in less than 200 spectators. On the surface level, the disparity of these numbers appears confusing and unconnected to one another, however there are a multitude of factors that go into the number of people who show up to a particular sporting event. This study will aim to identify the factors influencing the attendance at a Coastal Carolina sporting event and explain how each factor does so. The base factors of attendance in this study will be referenced from other thesis and research documents on collegiate sports attendance factors, as emphasis on this topic has increased drastically over the past 3 decades

    They are not all the same: Determinants of attendance across different sectors in a stadium

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    Previous research inspecting the demand for tickets for professional sports has mostly used aggregate data in their estimations. In a nutshell, it implies that all fans would be driven by the same determinants. In this research, we test whether this hypothesis holds. We analyse all first-tier Brazilian League home matches of both Flamengo and Fluminense at the iconic stadium Maracanã (Brazil) from 2014 to 2019. Ordinary Least Square regressions model individual equations for each sector for comparing their determinants. Our empirical results offer evidence that ticket price and Uncertainty of Outcome have different impact on demand for tickets according to the sector. Further research is encouraged to inspect whether similar behavior is detected in other settings

    Complete Issue - Vol. 84, No. 3 and 4

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    Deeper in the pyramid: Share of throat

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    ‘Milk’ explores our relationship with milk and its place in politics, society and culture. It considers how milk has come to be seen as so central to perceptions of nutrition and “good health” in the UK. The choices we make about milk are personal. But it is also a highly politicised liquid that has been used to exert power as well as provide care. The exhibition brings together over 100 objects, including items used in farming and infant feeding, historical advertising, public health posters, and contemporary artworks. ‘Milk’ includes new artistic commissions by Danielle Dean, Jess Dobkin and Ilana Harris-Babou, as well as a new documentary by Leo Hallam Dawson on UK dairy farming and a 2023 iteration of Melanie Jackson and Esther Leslie’s project ‘Deeper in the Pyramid’. This installation is part of a long-standing body of collaborative work interrogating milk’s networks of exploitation and care. Human and non-human milk’s multiple technological forms as liquid, solid, powder and foam are expressed through different media. These include the liquid crystal of the screen, digital animation , ceramic clay, language and lactones. The ceramic sculptures draw on milk’s molecular formations, its poured, extruded, and bodily forms, and the vessels that have contained it across time and place. The book allows us to create our own journey of exploration through this spiralling and far-reaching substance
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