The International Cricket Council recently introduced new regulations for helmets in cricket. Amongst other changes, these regulations limit batters from adjusting the gap between the peak and the grille, resulting in some controversy over whether the new helmet design reduces visibility of the ball. This study compared the visual field of individuals when wearing an old helmet that does not conform to the new regulations, and the equivalent replacement which does. The visual field of 10 male participants was tested whilst wearing an old and new helmet. The new helmet resulted in a significant reduction in the visual field of the wearer (M = 66.1 out of 76 points seen in the new helmet vs. 74.8 seen with the old helmet), with the restriction predominantly confined to the superior visual field. The new regulations do appear to restrict the visual field of batters, confirming the anecdotal reports of players. However, the majority of this restriction occurs in the superior field, suggesting that the impact on batting performance may be limited. The importance of considering the impact that new helmet regulations can have on vision, batting performance, and player safety is discussed.
- visual field