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1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Although sports vision procedures have been implemented in many sports worldwide, no rigorous scientific investigation of the visual skills trends of Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) participants has been carried out in Ireland to date. The aim of this study was to identify the visual skills required to play Gaelic football and to establish normative data for those skills which can be used to classify, superior, above average, average, below average and inferior visual performance. Hardware visual skills including high and low contrast vision, stereo acuity, colour vision, and contrast sensitivity and software skills including eye hand co-ordination, dynamic fixation and anticipation timing were studied. This work also compared the visual skills of Gaelic footballers playing at county (n=61) and club (n=46) level. With the exception of Wayne Pro-Action, Wayne Reaction, and vision 90% right there was a significant difference in the other visual test results between county and club level players. County players performed significantly better than club players in tests to assess vision 90% left, 90% binocular, 10% right, 10% left, 10% binocular, dynamic fixation and anticipation timing. In contrast, club players performed better than county level players for contrast sensitivity. Approximately 56% of county and club level players had a stereo acuity value of 60 seconds of arc. No recordable stereo acuity was found in 11% and 15% of county and club level players respectively. A larger proportion of club players (6.5%) had a colour deficiency than county level players (1.6%). Normative data can now be provided to Irish Optometrists, enabling improved visual care for this group of participants, as it provides a frame of reference when interpreting optometric test results carried out on Gaelic footballers and identifies areas of deficiencies that need to be addressed.
Kennelly, V. (2013). Establishing Normative Data for the Visual Skills of Gaelic Footballers, Masters dissertation. Dublin Institute of Technology. doi:10.21427/D7BK52