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How players' tracking helps to improve training methods

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The use of players' tracking technology at the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 in Sweden, Austria and Norway has now got even more added value.

In the project, part of the long-term cooperation between data technology specialists KINEXON and the European Handball Federation, I-ball sensors and sensors in the players' jerseys tracked and registered every move, providing real-time information on individual performances.

It was the first time at a major national team event in handball that players' tracking technology was implemented, after the system was previously used at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 seven months earlier.

One step beyond

Now scientific analysis is taking the project even one step beyond.

The EHF Methods Commission appointed a team consisiting of EHF Competition Commission member Carmen Manchado from the University of Alicante, EHF Methods Commision member Marta Bon from the University of Ljubljana and Petra Platen from the University of Bochum to analyse the raw data gathered at the EHF EURO.

The scientifically valid results from this analysis, first presented by Manchado at the recent EHF Conference for Secretaries General, can help the teams involved to develop new strategies, effective methods and specific programs in their training.

The raw data interpreted by Manchado and her team foresees the covered distances, velocities, accelerations, changes of direction, impacts and jumps.

Combined with the metabolic power - a measure of the amount of energy needed during physical activity - a player profile for each playing position will be determined.

The scientific analysis includes roughly 7.15 million data points from all the 65 matches in the EHF EURO 2020, with specific analysis applied both to offensive and defensive covered distances.

Future scientific analysis can go even further

The analysis could be taken even further.

For the future, more position-specific analysis would enable the comparison of, for instance, offence and defence, winning and losing teams, or preliminary round and final matches.

Also, the energy demand of handball-specific moves, like jumping, throwing, blocking, dribbling and blocking, could be determined, which would then further enhance training optimisation.

A similar analysis has been done by Manchado and her team using the data gathered at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2019, with the results being published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

EHF to explore further possibilities

Currently the EHF works on staging a ‘hackathon’ in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy (IMW) in order to develop algorithms and explore further possibilities of data processing, scientific analysis and visualization.

In the future the EHF wants to develop a device for helping the coaches to use the real-time data during the game.

Bringing in scientific research enhances the new quality in handball the EHF and KINEXON are striving for, as their partnership was extended through 2024 earlier this year.

You can compare the EHF EURO 2020 team sheets below:

 

 

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