Decision-making requires the perception of relevant information variables that emerge from the player–environment interaction. The purpose of the present article is to empirically assess whether players’ decisional behavior about which type of pass to make is influenced by the spatio-temporal variable tau. Time series positional data of rugby players were analyzed from video footage taken in real match scenarios. The tau of the distance motion gap between attacker and defender was calculated, along with the duration of the next pass. Results revealed that the initial tau value predicted 64% of the variance found in pass duration. A qualitative distinction of tau dynamics between two periods of the approach between the attacker and the defender was also observed. We argue that the time-to-contact between the attacker and the defender may yield information about future pass possibilities. Additionally, the informational fields constraining attacker–defender interaction may be viewed as a convergent channeling of possibilities towards a single pass solution.
Correia, V., Araujo, D., Craig, C., & Passos, P. (2011). Prospective information for pass decisional behaviour in Rugby Union. Human Movement Science, 30(5), 984-997. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2010.07.008