Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An advanced virtual environment for rugby skills training
Author: Miles, Helen C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 5908
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
There is growing interest in utilising virtual environments (VEs) in the context of sports. In particular there is a desire to be able to improve sensorimotor skills rather than just using a VE as a tool for strategy analysis, or entertainment. While there have been a number of VEs developed for the sports of tennis, football and baseball, very little work has been done for the game of rugby. The main aim of this thesis is to address this gap in the research. Passing is chosen as the skill in question, as it is considered a core, fundamental skill of the game that is sometimes forgotten amongst more complex training regimes. No previous work has been undertaken to build a virtual environment to train passing skills for rugby, and so a prototype system has been designed to explore it's potential. The system (VERST: a Virtual Environment for Rugby Skills Training) was designed to have a user facing a large screen with a virtual scene containing targets; the user holds a real rugby ball (tethered to prevent damage to equipment) and must throw it at the virtual targets. The system was tested in two exploratory experiments featuring a throwing task and a verbal estimation task. 10 participants were recruited to assess the perception of depth for the virtual targets and the suitability of the design of the system. Different configurations of the hardware were tested: the participant's position relative to the screen, the use of stereoscopy and the use of a floor screen. The results suggests that the difference in intended target distances is being correctly perceived, but that the subjects were not tlu'owing that distance. Though the reason for this is not clear, it is possible that the virtual scene chosen for the task lacked sufficient depth cues. It is also possible that the task was not appropriately designed, as the task of throwing the ball forward is an illegal move in a game of rugby. Despite negative results from the throwing task, VERST has proven to be a useful platform for investigating the optimal set up of a virtual environment for training ball passing skills in rugby.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available