|Computer technology has significantly transformed our lifestyles. Its effect on sports performance cannot be ignored. Coaches are realising the potential of such technology for analysing and simulating playing performance in competition and training. This article demonstrates several examples of modern computerised match analysis systems used in soccer.|
|COMPUTERISED ANALYSIS OF SOCCER PERFORMANCE|
Over the last 15 years, various match analysis systems have appeared on the market, each offering different levels of data and information (Fig 1). Basic game systems simply analyse the match cassette, allowing basic data input which provides statistical information such as the number of passes and tackles. Depending on the system, this can be done in real-time. Video montage software allows coaches to chop up and put together a digitised video of the match (post match only) to select, extract and visualise the information they want. This can be linked to what is known as a digital time code where specific match events such as headers, shots or passes are inputted (can be done in real-time or post-match) at the precise moment in time where they happened. These events can then be directly accessed and visualised at the click of a button. This avoids having to search through the film using a video recorder which is extremely time consuming.
Digital cameras have become cheaper and better in image quality. This type of camera can be linked directly to a computer and the film analysed straightaway, saving time (avoids the digitisation of a video cassette produced from non-digital type cameras).
The limitations of this type of software is the speed and accuracy of data can input. Equipment such as touch sensitive pads and voice recognition have made data input quicker and more accurate. The latter is extremely useful as it allows a match analyst to permanently view the game and input the data without being distracted. However, pitch positions of player actions are determined by simply clicking on a pitch representing the playing area, leading to inaccurate data. This lack of accuracy has led to the development of systems which automatically calculate player positions and movements.