Tracking Data in Team Sport

Team sport

A team sport involves an organized game played by two or more teams of players. The players compete to score goals in a game that can last up to three hours (depending on the length of commercial breaks and stoppages). Getting children involved in team sports early on, allows them to develop social skills and build a sense of community with coaches, teammates, family members and friends. It also helps to teach the importance of keeping active and improving cardiovascular health.

In the context of team sport, there are a range of practical applications for tracking data. These can include the identification of training load, the assessment of competition characteristics, and the comparison of performance between positions.

These applications are based on the ability of tracking systems to identify and quantify locomotor demand. This has been demonstrated in a number of studies, using either GPS or LPS technologies, to compare the external load exerted by each playing position within Australian football matches [73]. A time-series analysis approach is able to detect and describe how an athlete’s physical output changes during a match, without being restricted to pre-defined fixed duration windows.

This is particularly useful when evaluating the high-intensity actions of team sports. For example, basketball requires rapid changes of direction and cutting actions, as well as short accelerations and decelerations, all occurring between different locomotor demands, e.g., running and jumping. This information is critical for both injury risk and performance management.

Similarly, the Olympic sport of bobsleigh involves two to four athletes in a sled that speeds up to 90 mph over icy tracks. Athletes must have exceptional endurance, agility and balance, as well as the ability to work in tandem with their teammates during races. This level of coordination, communication and unity is vital to ensuring a safe race that can yield the best results for the team as a whole.

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