Collecting live statistics for out door games

Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell during a bas...
Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell during a basketball game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I watched a FUBA game between the Oilers and Tiger head power which got me thinking isn’t there a way of collecting statistics of what is happening on the field live as the game progresses instead of relying on word of mouth of the radio pundits come Saturday night. So this week I have spent the bulk of it looking around and discovered something that the NBA installed to record everything that happens in a game.

STATS’ SportVU system which uses small HD-quality cameras mounted throughout an arena and pointed at the floor. STATS’ proprietary software then takes over and, leveraging complex codes, can quickly identify the smallest of details — like when a pick-and-roll occurred, where it occurred, whether the pick actually hit a defender and the position of all 10 players on the floor as the play unfolded. Teams can also factor in the individual skill set of every NBA player in order to prepare.

The system is used by all 30 NBA teams (during games and also for practice sessions) to calibrate and measure the movements of all players and the ball on the court. It provides a continuous stream of statistics based around speed, distance, player separation and ball possession for detailed and targeted analysis of players and teams, according to the company.

The tracking system’s portability allows quick setup at various locations throughout the venue and, with its integrated software and hardware combined with network and database solutions, provides constant data directly to a variety of portable and fixed consumer devices. And all aspects of the data collection process are completely non-intrusive to game action.

In basketball, the computer vision cameras capture video and data while complex algorithms extract X,Y, Z positioning data of all objects on the court, 25 times per second. There are six cameras in 4-6 locations in the catwalk. Three cameras per half court allows for true 3-D object tracking. The NBA Game Time app, and NBA TV use SportVU player tracking data, enhancing the league’s current statistical offerings and providing fans with the most comprehensive breakdown of every game.


The SportVU system has been used in other outdoor sports as well. STATS’ has partnered with Sony to create the Data Augmented Video (DAV) analysis system for European football, which sends all types of data analysis to multiple screens simultaneously. Enhancing video footage with information graphics, sourced from STATS’ SportVU system, enables production teams and viewers to see matches from new perspectives, and in greater detail. Also, the Sony platform processes the data live, allowing the inclusion of data enhanced video clips within an instant replay.

During soccer match broadcasts (for which it has been successfully used on air) Sony technology captures (cameras) and displays (monitors) the imagery while STATS’ SportVU player tracking software provides real-time data for all 22 players, 3 referees and the ball. SportVU’s performance data, highlighting speed profiles, accumulated distances, fitness graphs and coverage heat maps, can the be used to support sports media and scouting – all in real-time. These on-air live broadcast enhancements create new interactive advertising opportunities and generate new revenue streams. Only con for the system to be deployed in our amateur league is it costs a whopping $100,000


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