The Importance of Tracking Data for Team Sport

Team sport

For millions of children and adults, team sport is more than just an extracurricular activity – it provides a foundation for lifelong health, well-being and personal development. In addition to physical fitness, playing a team sport can teach lessons in leadership, collaboration, commitment and delayed gratification – lessons that will benefit them long after they leave the court, field or rink.

Practitioners of team sport often seek to apply tracking data analysis to influence planning at a drill or macro-cycle level, with the goal of increasing or decreasing training load (e.g. [9, 10]). However, the multitude of metrics available for team sports makes it difficult to extract meaningful and timely information.

Rowing is a unique team sport that requires specialised equipment and intense training. Rowing involves up to nine team members working together in a boat and requires extensive conditioning, as well as coordination and commitment. It also teaches lessons in teamwork, communication and perseverance that can be applied to other areas of life.

Ice hockey is an intermittent, collision sport characterised by high-intensity bouts of skating with rapid changes in speed and direction, evading defenders and body checking [129]. Game play is played in shifts of 30 to 80 s, over 60 min of actual game time. Despite the specialised nature of the sport, its overall intensity is similar to that of many other team sports. Consequently, the ability to detect and interpret changes in external load during a match is highly challenging. Fortunately, recent advances in sensor technology and spatial-temporal analyses have allowed practitioners to move beyond aggregate parameters such as total distance covered per drill, on-field rotation or quarter.