Science Questions

Can colourblind people play cricket?

Sun, 13th Sep 2009

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Question

Kathy Leslie, Cape Town asked:

Hi, while watching my son (8yrs) and his friends play cricket, I was wondering how boys with colour-blindness cope with learning to play cricket. They all start off with a red ball similar to, but harder than, a tennis ball before progressing to either a red or white hard ball. Mostly they are playing on grass fields with green astro-type pitches.

 

Do you think a potentially brilliant cricketer may be missed due to colour blindness?

Answer

Kat -   I think you would still see the motion of the ball and you’d still see the ball.  You just might not see the colour of it.

Ben -   It has a very different texture to grass, of course.

Kat -   Yeah.

Ben -   And on the forum, there was quite a bit of a chat about this Lyner, RD and Bored Chemist all making very good points about it and Bored Chemist pointed out of course that blind people also play cricket.  So whether or not you can actually see the ball may not necessarily be a hindrance when playing cricket.  But if you are colour blind and if you’d like to let us know how you cope with playing cricket then please do get in touch.  You can drop us an email to chris@thenakedscientists.com.

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Kathy Leslie asked the Naked Scientists: Hi, while watching my son (8yrs) and his friends play cricket, I was wondering how boys with colour-blindness cope with learning to play cricket. They all start off with a red ball similar to, but harder than, a tennis ball before progressing to either a red or white hard ball. Mostly they are playing on grass fields with green astro-type pitches.   Do you think a potentially brilliant cricketer may be missed due to colour blindness?   Why don't they change the ball colour (I understand most colour blindness is in males and is a red/green confusion)? Why are cricket balls red? And white for ODIs?   If you are good at tennis or other ball sports and weak at cricket, could you be colour-blind?   Can you wear glasses to compensate for colour-blindness?   Thanks Kathy Leslie Cape Town, South Africa Ps: I have checked my son for colourblindness and must accept that his average cricket ability is due to genes not eyes! What do you think? Kathy Leslie , Mon, 3rd Aug 2009

Hi Kathy
At first,  I thought that filter glasses wouldn't help but I now think that a filter might, indeed, help.  The only way of distinguishing between two coloured objects, for a 'colour blind' person might only be according to their luminance (or brightness). A red ball could have identical luminance to the grass - so it would not be very visible; texture alone would give a clue, which would be difficult with a ball hurtling towards you at 50mph (School cricket).
A red filter would render the green grass  darker and leave the red ball lighter - possibly making it more visible. lyner, Mon, 3rd Aug 2009

There are different types of colour blindness : a "yellow-blue" colourblind person (tritanopia) would not have a problem playing cricket, (although most colour blindness is "red-green" for whom playing cricket with a red ball would be unusually hazardous).

http://www.colblindor.com/coblis-color-blindness-simulator/    RD, Mon, 3rd Aug 2009

I don't know if this game
http://www.laserquest.co.uk/
caught on in the states.
It was a fad here about 10-15 years ago and I (with a bunch of mates) was getting kitted up to play. Some bloke whom I didn't know asked me what colour his kit was- he explained that he was red/ green colourblind.
Think about that;
The teams wear different colours; red and green. The idea of the game is to shoot the oposition but not your own men. The "goal" is to capture the oposing team's base. It's played in a poorly lit area and it's fairly fast action. The teams are picked so there's no guarantee that you know the people on your team.
This guy was playing even though he was colourblind.
His team beat ours.
I don't think that colourblindness would stop someone playing cricket.

If you still aren't sure have a look here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_cricket Bored chemist, Mon, 3rd Aug 2009

I hear that pink balls could be used for T20s and ODIs

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/7092114.stm Chemistry4me, Mon, 3rd Aug 2009

Pink cricket balls? How very dare they! In women's cricket, or in New Zealand, maybe. Mind you, the Aussies would fall about laughing so much, maybe they'd actually lose. DoctorBeaver, Sun, 9th Aug 2009

Which would make a change from them laughing at our team's efforts. Bored chemist, Sun, 9th Aug 2009

Unfortunately it has gotten worse.
YOU'VE JUST LOST ANOTHER WICKET. Chemistry4me, Sun, 9th Aug 2009

Beaking news..."English batsmen found to be colourblind" graham.d, Sun, 9th Aug 2009

Beaking news? Was Dicky Bird playing? Or were they out for a duck? DoctorBeaver, Sun, 9th Aug 2009

I am told (by an Aussie mate) it is a quacking match, but I think it is a matter of opinion. graham.d, Sun, 9th Aug 2009

Fortunately, it's only a game. Bored chemist, Sun, 9th Aug 2009

I followed the test, thanks to the internet... the first innings was horrid, England was batting like a pub team! And they bowled even worse. In their second turn at batting they redeemed themselves somewhat, but not enough to make Australia bat again.

There's still hope for the last test match!  MonikaS, Mon, 10th Aug 2009


WHAAAATT? lyner, Mon, 10th Aug 2009


WHAAAATT?


SHHHHHH, calm down! Every thing will be fine, he will see the light!
MonikaS, Mon, 10th Aug 2009


WHAAAATT?


SHHHHHH, calm down! Every thing will be fine, he will see the light!



BTW, I wasn't paying attention. Who won the Ashes? Bored chemist, Tue, 15th Sep 2009

Question for the moderators: Can I slap a fellow poster? Can I? Can I? Pretty please! Can I? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease, can I? MonikaS, Thu, 17th Sep 2009


How long are your arms? Bored chemist, Thu, 17th Sep 2009


How long are your arms?


Very long... and I use extensions! MonikaS, Fri, 18th Sep 2009

What about snooker ? neilep, Fri, 18th Sep 2009

Ian Botham is colour blind.  So I guess that answers your question. Hels, Sat, 31st Jul 2010

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