GPS In The NRL - How Wearable Tech Is Making Australia's Toughest Sport Smarter

The rise of big data has redefined the relationship between science and one of the world's most physically demanding sports.

Technology is being used to give players, coaches, and trainers more information than ever before. In this episode of The Numbers Game we discover what data is being recorded, what can be done with it, and how it translates into real wins on the park.

Catapult Research Development is an Australian company at the forefront of wearable GPS technology. They walk us through the ways they're giving teams a competitive edge using analytics collected by tiny devices worn by players in games and at training. These devices record data that maps player performance and provides deep insight, eliminating guesswork from training, coaching, and strategy.

The developers explain how rolling average is one of the most important statistics drawn from this data. Acceleration and deceleration is measured to produce stats on peak player performance. It's used to find the performance levels needed in training to ensure the best possible outcome not only in matches, but throughout a player's entire career.

Will these new metrics ever replace gut instinct? We spend time with sports scientists from Catapult and Victoria University, as well as coaching staff from NRL club Melbourne Storm to find out.