There have been a few comments recently on traveling and calling travels. It's not a strict relationship between the amount traveled and the likelihood of being called, either, since the perception of the marker (or nearby travel-calling defender) is important.
A Swedish player named Edmund England has written a paper on the perception of novices and experts in regards to traveling. The full title is "Differences in Perception Between Novices and Experts in Judging a Complex Movement in Ultimate Frisbee." Here is the abstract:
Sport researchers have lately realised that perception is an
important ability of the sport performer. In open sports, perceiving
movement of the co-players and opponents is crucial. Biological
motion, attention and decision-making are used as theoretical
background in this thesis. It examines the differences between one
group of experienced ultimate players and a group of novices in
their qualitative judgement of a complex movement in ultimate
frisbee. In this experimental digitalvideo study a total of 162
subjects participated, 104 experts and 58 novices. Twelve pretest
throws and 40 test throws were judged by the subjects. The result is
that experts are slightly better than novices. On the whole men
excel though less among experts. The background to this can be
that expert players don’t value this ability in comparison to other
ultimate frisbee skills. The intriguing difference found between
pretest and test can have implications for this paradigm in the
Another key quote is:
"The hypothesis in this thesis is as follows:
• Experienced ultimate player’s judge travelling in ultimate frisbee better than
In the following thesis I also intend to answer these questions:
• Can humans judge this complex situation with more certainty than random?
• Which of the independent variables examined seem to influence the result?"
My email response to him bounced, so Edmund, please respond here with a link to the paper, if you would like others to read it.
I only had a chance to skim the paper, but I'm not sure that I would agree with the classification of "expert". Some expert players and travel-callers I've seen are actually not experts at discerning travels. I would instead have tried to select Observers as the experts. Unfortunately, the WFDF world does not believe in Observers.
Ooh, here's a juicy conclusion:
Differences between men and women
By analysing previous studies in a neighbouring field, time to contact field where gender differences are found by e.g. Schiff and Oldak (1990), McLeod and Ross (1983). Their findings show that women are less accurate at judging point of contact than men judge. Schiff and Oldak, (1990) mean that this can have two reasons, either it is of the women’s tendency to underestimate or that women have poorer spatiotemporal skill. This present study show that women are more defensive in their judgements (women have lower beta values than the men) which supports the former reason of gender differences.