On August 12, in the first Commissioners Cup between Seattle and Phoenix, the NFL, which celebrated its 25th season, provided its players with new technology set to revolutionize analytical studies in American professional sports. Worn at the center of the shorts, shaped like little boxes, these gadgets have determined certain data, such as acceleration and players’ change of direction or agility, roughly 25 times per second!
At the same time, at least 14 hook-eye cameras (used to judge “challenges” in tennis) were placed in various locations at the Footprint Center in Phoenix and identified 17 skeletal strategic analysis points for each player and referee, in order to A more complete study than ever of their movements.
Less invasive technology
Developed by KINEXON, these tools do what others already offer in some of the professional sports leagues in Europe and around the world. But it is less invasive.
“Outside, a lot of teams are wearing these sensors to keep track of your heart rate and oxygen level and all that stuff, which they’ve done before.” I explained. “Except there, they put it on the body, so throughout the match we have to constantly make sure it fits. I wore it once and then threw it away, I couldn’t. »
In the WNBA, there is no such problem: chests are placed in the waist belt, so that the players do not feel the device much, and therefore end up not noticing its presence during the match. ” I even forgot I got it at the end of the match DeWanna Bonner laughed.
Changing the way you watch and consume basketball
Through the integration of “Hawk-Eye” cameras and KINEXON technology, a system used for the first time on US soil, nearly 50 million “points” were captured during the meeting. Huge data package that can change the consuming sports experience.
« This is the first time these two systems have been used simultaneously for a sporting event here in the United States, if not in the world. Said Christy Hedgpeth, President of Strategic Operations for the WNBA. ” It is a step in a process of greater transformation, at a crucial time in our history. »
For spectators, this entry into high-tech can allow them to better understand the players, their choices on the field and all the stats associated with them. ” The opportunity to see Breanna Stewart and study her image is ultimately the perspective we are trying to present to our viewers. » Judge Lisa Bennington, who was commenting on the meeting in question.
What’s the point in the NBA?
Within the franchises, the democratization of these new tools could offer a more in-depth study of opposing teams, with more complete “exploratory reports”, and thus better prepared defenses. Unlike current tools, which measure players chest-to-chest, these new tools should allow for more detailed analytics, by measuring the distance between the hand and the ball when shot.
Already used by the league to ensure proper respect for social distancing during the Orlando “bubble” in the summer of 2020, KINEXON technology can also greatly facilitate the lives of referees during matches, and thus the lives of spectators, in theaters or in front of screens.
For example, the innumerable data collected can quickly make it possible to find out which player last touched the ball before it went out of bounds, saving everyone from endless “revisions”.
All this data can also facilitate arbitration decisions in the face of illegal blocks, three-second violations in the racket and all those decisions that can sometimes be misinterpreted by gray-clad men. Finally, players’ health, and especially their stress level, can benefit from a deeper level of understanding, by checking in real time whether a basketball player is not close to a failure level.
Asked about this, Players Union chief Michael Roberts said it was dampening the league’s interest, saying that some players might, rightly, be reluctant to share this level of information. ” If I’m an athlete, and for example I’m negotiating a contract, some of that data can be used against me. “Talk. ” I have the right to some confidentiality about these topics, unless I agree to waive that right.«
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