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
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 137 - 144   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2022.137

Research article
Intermittent Cooling Reduces Perceived Exertion but Has No Effect on Baseball Hitting or Defense Performance in a Hot Environment
Jyh-How Huang1, Chung-I Lin2, Chih-Yang Liao3, Meng-Hung Hsieh3, Han-Szu Lin4, Chen-Kang Chang5, 
Author Information
1 Department of Sport Information and Communication, National Taiwan University of Sport, Taichung, Taiwan
2 Department of Ball Sport, National Taiwan University of Sport, Taichung, Taiwan
3 Department of Sport Performance, National Taiwan University of Sport, Taichung, Taiwan
4 Graduate Institute of Sport Coaching Science, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan
5 Department of Sport Performance, National Taiwan University of Sport, Taichung, Taiwan

Chen-Kang Chang
✉ National Taiwan University of Sport 16, Sec 1, Shaun-Shih Rd, Taichung 404, Taiwan.
Email: wspahn@seed.net.tw
Publish Date
Received: 29-11-2021
Accepted: 08-02-2022
Published (online): 15-02-2022
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ABSTRACT

Hot environments can impair the complex cognitive functions that are crucial to baseball hitting and defense. This study investigated the effects of intermittent forehead and neck cooling on the hitting and reactive agility of baseball players in hot environments. Ten male collegiate baseball players played 7-inning intrasquad games in a hot environment (31.1°C - 33.4°C), completing one cooling and one control trial in a randomized crossover design. In the cooling trial, the participants placed ice-cold towels on their forehead and neck for 3 min during offensive half innings. Hitting and reactive agility tests, a go/no-go task, and the Stroop Color and Word Test were administered before and after each game. The games in the hot environment significantly increased rectal temperatures to the same level in the control (38.15°C ± 0.31°C, p < 0.001) and cooling (38.08°C ± 0.24°C, p < 0.001) trials. Intermittent cooling significantly reduced forehead and tympanic temperatures, perceived exertion, and thermal sensation during the game. Swing power significantly increased after the game, but the exit velocity of batted balls did not significantly differ in both trials. Reactive agility was significantly impaired after the game in the control trial (before: 0.367 ± 0.109 s, after: 0.491 ± 0.212 s, p = 0.008) but displayed a trend of decrease in the cooling trial (before: 0.390 ± 0.183 s, after: 0.518 ± 0.282 s, p = 0.066). The game and cooling intervention had no significant effects on the reaction time or error rate in the go/no-go task and Stroop Color and Word Test. The results showed that intermittent cooling during a baseball game in a hot environment reduces perceived exertion and thermal sensation but has no significant effect on hitting, defense performance, or cognitive function.

Key words: Reactive agility, swing power, exit velocity, cognitive function, forehead and neck cooling, go/no-go task


           Key Points
  • Hot environments can impair the complex cognitive functions that are crucial to baseball hitting and defense.
  • Intermittent cooling on forehead and neck using ice-cold towels during a baseball game in a hot environment significantly reduced forehead and tympanic temperatures, perceived exertion, and thermal sensation.
  • Intermittent cooling had no effect on hitting performance, reactive agility in defense, and cognitive functions measured with go/no-go task and SCWT.
 
 
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