Protecting player health by understanding physical distance during training

With recent discussions regarding the application of social distancing during professional sport, Catapult’s data science team has released an on-demand report which estimates the distance between players, and estimates how much time each athlete spends in close proximity to others. The solution shows how much time each individual athlete spends in close proximity to every other tracked athlete.

While leagues are handling social distancing guidelines in various ways, with obvious sport-specific dependencies (number of active players at a time, size of playing area, level of physical contact) coming into effect, many are requiring a report for the number of incursions and amount of time players spend in close proximity.

In addition to increased sanitisation of training facilities, regular athlete testing, and more comprehensive wellness questioning, this new player proximity report will assist with the safe return of professional sport following worldwide lockdown periods.

Catapult has also conducted similar research in Australian football, and is looking to implement the new feature with rugby, basketball, ice hockey, and American football teams in the coming weeks.

While there is already information in the market, teams should evaluate the source and sample size relevant to their sport and region, as well as understanding the accuracy and transparency of the wearable-based tracking technology they are using. 

Catapult Vector’s local positioning system and global positioning system FIFA-accredited reports can be found here: LPS and GPS.

Catapult’s reporting of player proximity accounts for the innate positional errors of Global Positioning Systems. This reporting aims to provide objective data on physical distancing and serve as a guide for teams and coaches as they return to training. It is currently available to Catapult Vector users.

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