Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 167 - 175

Research article
Investigating the Contextual Interference Effect Using Combination Sports Skills in Open and Closed Skill Environments
Jadeera P.G. Cheong1,2, , Brendan Lay1, Rizal Razman2
Author Information
1 School of Sport Science, Exercise & Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
2 Sports Centre, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Jadeera P.G. Cheong
‚úČ Sports Centre, University of Malaya, Lembah Pantai, 50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Publish Date
Received: 20-08-2015
Accepted: 25-01-2016
Published (online): 23-02-2016
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This study attempted to present conditions that were closer to the real-world setting of team sports. The primary purpose was to examine the effects of blocked, random and game-based training practice schedules on the learning of the field hockey trap, close dribble and push pass that were practiced in combination. The secondary purpose was to investigate the effects of predictability of the environment on the learning of field hockey sport skills according to different practice schedules. A game-based training protocol represented a form of random practice in an unstable environment and was compared against a blocked and a traditional random practice schedule. In general, all groups improved dribble and push accuracy performance during the acquisition phase when assessed in a closed environment. In the retention phase, there were no differences between the three groups. When assessed in an open skills environment, all groups improved their percentage of successful executions for trapping and passing execution, and improved total number of attempts and total number of successful executions for both dribbling and shooting execution. Between-group differences were detected for dribbling execution with the game-based group scoring a higher number of dribbling successes. The CI effect did not emerge when practicing and assessing multiple sport skills in a closed skill environment, even when the skills were practiced in combination. However, when skill assessment was conducted in a real-world situation, there appeared to be some support for the CI effect.

Key words: Blocked practice, random practice, practice schedules

           Key Points
  • The contextual interference effect was not supported when practicing several skills in combination when the sports skills were assessed in a closed skill environment.
  • There appeared to be some support for the contextual interference effect when sports skills were assessed in an open skill environment, which were similar to a real game situation.
  • A game-based training schedule can be used as an alternative practice schedule as it displayed superior learning compared to a blocked practice schedule when assessed by the game performance test (real-world setting). The game-based training schedule also matched the blocked and random practice schedules in the other tests.
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