Perceiving and acting upon spaces in a VR rugby task: Expertise effects in affordance detection and task achievement

Vanda Correia, Duarte Araújo, Alan Cummins, Cathy M. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


This study used a virtual simulated 3vs3 rugby task to investigate whether gaps opening in particular running channels promote different actions by the ball-carrier player and whether an effect of rugby expertise is verified. We manipulated emergent gaps in three different locations: gap1 in the participant’s own running channel, gap 2 in the 1st receiver's running channel, and gap3 in the 2nd receiver's running channel. Recreational, intermediate, professional and non-rugby players performed the task. They could i) run with the ball, ii) make a short pass, or iii) make a long pass. All actions were digitally recorded. Results revealed that the emergence of gaps in the defensive line with respect to the participant’s own position significantly influenced action selection. Namely, ‘run’ was most often the action performed in gap 1, ‘short pass’ in gap 2, and ‘long pass’ in gap 3 trials. Furthermore, a strong positive relationship between expertise and task achievement was found.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-321
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


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