A Cup full of Innovation


 

Naamloos3Nowadays we can find a big influence of IT in our daily life. Also soccer has experienced a great transformation established by IT. Decades ago the broadcast of soccer matches in colour was a great breakthrough. Meanwhile, lots of innovation has been taken place in the world of soccer. One example is the tracking information of players on the pitch.

We can keep track of all kind of information of the players. Passes completed, shot attempts, ball possession and the exact distance covered by players are examples of the detailed information available. In addition we can collect more information about the physical condition of the players as blood pressure, heart beating rate and calories burned.

During big soccer events as the FIFA World cup and UEFA Champions League these kind of information are shown on television during the broadcast. To accomplish this, FIFA is hiring the Italian company Datatre who is making use of their system called Matrics.

Matrics by Deltatre, Italia
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Datatre emphasis that data combined with context and insight is powerful storytelling tool. Matrics is a live system that combines automated collected data with information that has been entered by operation teams located at the venue. This data is aggregated and evaluated at Deltatre’s Operation Center.

Operation Centre
The Operation Centre is a fully connected production hub. Processes done at the production hub are HD video downlinking, ingestion, live streaming, video and data production, transcoding and publishing. The Operation Centre is equipped with 48 operation desks and associated equipment. This offers the ability of editorial and production services at short notice (Deltatre, 2015)

Tracking system
Deltatre combines portable optical tracking cameras with intelligent data analysis to provide real live statistics with a 99% accuracy, promised by Deltatre. It makes use of three cameras located at various positions at the soccer field. These three HD cameras use image recognition to recognize the 22 players, the referees, and the ball (Cherney M., 2014)
The image recognition technology works not completely automatic. Before the match starts operators have to tell the machine which team plays in which colored jersey and the same for the referees. Also they put in manually each player on the pitch. The system tracks the XYZ coordinates of each of the player. It relays the information to a digital workstation where 74 people pour over the data on-site, supported by another 20 back in Italy.
Besides the cameras, the company has written lot of algorithms. These calculate the passing stats, ball possession and other statistics, 350 in total. A human operator is watching a slightly delayed version of the match broadcasted. He/she validates each the info before it is sent back to the web or TV.
An alternative option to track information from player is done by GPS tracking system. However Deltatre is using cameras to optically track the players. Reason for this is that some soccer players have resisted adding GPS tracking technology into their equipment like shoes.

This is just one example of how IT is implement in sports and in our daily life’s. The opportunities for coaches and trainers to train and analysis has improved enormously and this available data can ensure that teams are reaching to their peak potential.

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References:
Deltatre, (2015) http://www.deltatre.com/onstage-solutions/matrics/ Accessed 10 Oct. 2015
Cherney M. (2014) via Motherboard. http://motherboard.vice.com/read/this-system-turns-the-beautiful-game-into-big-data Accessed 10 Oct. 2015

 

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