Accuracy sports involve a level of visual precision above and beyond what is required in your run-of-the-mill goal or net game. These are the sports where a hair-length’s difference could separate gold from silver, or victory from defeat. The following four sports are a fine representation of activities where visual acuity takes on a whole new level of importance.
Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun Shooting
While each of these shooting activities is different in their own ways, they all require pinpoint accuracy in hitting a target or moving projectile with a gun-propelled bullet or shotgun shell. Skeet and trap shooting, in particular, require shooters to hit moving clay targets, following the projectiles’ flight with their eyes and the muzzle of the gun. So, of course, an excellent “deadeye” aim is required. Shooting is literally a game of inches and being able to follow the target clearly with one’s eyes is vital.
Much like shooting bullets from a gun, archery involves attempting to hit a target in a particular location from a fixed distance away. At the Olympics, archers are aiming at a bull’s eye that’s six centimetres in diametre and shoot from an astonishing 78 metres away. Many would say it’s even more difficult than gun shooting, as it requires both physical strength to draw a bow, and razor sharp aim with the arrow. In order for participants to hit the bull’s eye in this sport, they must have a real eagle’s eye themselves. Although archery competitions were intermittent Olympic events until 1920, they took an official place at the podium in 1972.
This sport is among the most difficult known to man. Not only do variable weather conditions, terrain, and shot selection all play a part in golf’s difficulty, but being able to see a pin location from hundreds of yards away is often necessitous in order to excel. Putting is also a part of the game that requires a keen sense of vision. Trying to read any putt over 20 feet with a big break requires extreme precision. If your read is off by an inch, you could end up missing the putt by many feet; which often leads to the worst four words in golf, “you are still away.” Fun fact: The word “golf” is not an acronym for anything. Rather, it derives from the Dutch word “kolf” or “kolve,” meaning “club.” In the Scottish dialect of the late 14th or early 15th century, the original Dutch term became “goff” or “gouff,” and eventually in the 16th century, “golf.”
While perhaps not among the first games that one would think of when it comes to accuracy sports, billiards — or “pool” as it is known colloquially — requires amazing precision. Pool involves using a cue stick to hit a cue ball either against two balls or to drive another into a pocket. Strong vision is so important to billiards, as the game requires its players to see angles and line up shots in all manners of ball configurations. Most importantly, if you’re shooting the length of the table and you’re off by just a few millimetres, by the time the cue ball reaches the desired ball, the angle will be off and you’ll miss the pocket by several inches. There truly is no margin for error on long shots in pool. Interestingly, the game actually evolved from a lawn game similar to croquet played sometime during the 15th century in Northern Europe (most likely in France).
Of course, because all of these accuracy sports require amazing visual precision, it is highly important that your eyesight is up to snuff. If your eyesight is lacking, you should visit the experts at LASIK MD to (literally) see how your game may improve.