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Own investigation of handedness distribution among the top goal-scorers at the team-handball World Championships from 2005 to 2015 revealed that 25.64–44.44% of players were left-handed; indicating that left-handedness is a relevant issue for team-handball goalkeeping (see Table 1).Predominant exposure to right-handed individuals in daily routine and sports may bias visual attention toward others' right body side (i.e., toward the left from an observer's perspective; e.g., Marzoli et al., 2014, 2015) since information relevant for social interaction may be most likely available on this side.
As a consequence, gaze may not be optimally oriented when watching left-handed actions.
Leaving aside subtle variations due to task (Loffing et al., 2014), sex (Gilbert and Wysocki, 1992), geography (Perelle and Ehrman, 1994), culture, or religion (Fagard and Dahmen, 2004; Faurie et al., 2005), only about 10–12% of the normal population are estimated to be left-handed (Llaurens et al., 2009).
In sports, left-handedness is also rarer than right-handedness (Grouios, 2004; Loffing and Hagemann, 2012).
So far empirical verification of such assumption, however, is lacking.
Here we report on an experiment where team-handball goalkeepers' and non-goalkeepers' gaze behavior was recorded while they predicted throw direction of left- and right-handed 7-m penalties shown as videos on a computer monitor.
Apart from the demonstration of the handedness effect, its underlying perceptual-cognitive mechanisms, however, are only poorly understood.