Table tennis is a game in which two/ four players face each other standing in opposite directions across a table which has an approx. length of 2.75 meter. It is one of the game played with a ball and can be identified with uncertainty and severe time pressure. The players involved have little or no time to judge as to where and how to hit the ball and they have to be quick in their actions. The hitting at the ball and the speed of the ball is fastest in this game as compared to other games. One important characteristic feature of this game is the players have the best ability to adjust their timings to fast moving visual objectives.
Eye tracking study and analysis for one of the challenging game of table tennis is aimed to determine the action of arm movements, head and eye movements during the actual execution of this game. It is implied that a skilled table tennis player should have specific visual strategy to ensure an excellent execution under severe time pressure. The case of eye tracking study with the help of tobii pro glass tracker 2 can be more clear and precise with the findings of an experiment conducted on a group of players. The main purpose of this study was to analyze the visual strategies for the gaze-ball angle, eye and head movements in the skilled players. The case study goes like this. A group of thirteen players was selected, these included expert as well as semi-expert players. All these players were within an age group of 18-21 years. All of them reported to have a normal vision, zero motor deficits and without any stereoscopic problems or any issues of squint eyes. These were divided into 2 groups viz. a group of experts and other group of less expert players depending upon their playing experience. The light weight design of the eye tracker glasses and the wireless connection made this device more easy to be used by the players. Due to its robust structure and high technical specifications systematic recording of the eye movements was an easy task. The heart rate variability of the players was measured through evaluation of the individual stress level during the game. The insights gathered through the eye movements showed that outstanding strokes in the game were associated with longer fixations, of course
stress and fatigue were responsible for shorter fixations and more mistakes during the game. There were significant differences in the gaze ball angle and eye movements between the expert and the semi-expert players. There was one more finding through the study which indicated that the effect of eye velocity on the gaze ball angle was much more than head velocity. These results clearly show significant differences in gaze positions and eye movements between the more experienced and comparatively less experienced. So the important point to be concluded here can be that visual strategies in table tennis are more associated with eye movements rather than head movements.