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FIFA EPTS (Electronic Performance and Tracking Performance)

The latest installment of the FIFA World Cup is upon us. Every year the tournament not only throws up some exciting on-field ties but also some exciting off-field ventures. Technology is usually the big player in the off-field ventures that FIFA does. Every World Cup there are technological advancements made that enhance the spectator game experience, player performance measuring parameters and the game in general. We at, Sparup Sports Technology, are keen observers of technological advances in the Sporting Industry, bringing it to the people around us involved in the industry. Technology that could benefit athletes’ performances, enhance the level of sports both on an athlete and on a sporting level. Advancements that enable all-around development both on and off the field.

Over the course of this FIFA World Cup, we’ll cover a series of articles covering various technological advancements made in this year’s FIFA World Cup along with a few pieces that would be insights into team development through the use of Sports Science. The first one in the series is the use of Electronic Performance and Tracking system (EPTS).

Performance-based real-time information is in high demand in the modern day industry. It has for some time been a heavily invested area of Sports Sciences and technology. The EPTS has previously been used in combination with microelectromechanical devices (accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc.) and heart-rate monitors as well as other devices to measure load or physiological parameters. This FIFA World Cup sees a major boost to real-time player performance analysis as the Electronic based performance tool will be used on a full scale at the biggest footballing event in the World. The EPTS is basically an athlete tracking device which gives a minute by minute lay-down of the athlete’s and the ball’s positioning all over the pitch.

How will it work at the World Cup?

A tablet-based system will be used at the World Cup. The tablets will be given to coaches and support staff for all the 32 teams involved. Enabling them to access player statistics and video footage in real time. Three tablets will be provided to each team, one for the team analyst in the stand, one for the analyst on the bench and one for the medical team. Data and stats such as player positioning data, passing, pressing, speed and tackles will be available through these provided tablets to the team management and staff. The match footage and videos will be provided with a delay of thirty seconds from the live play.

Devices involved

The data acquiring for EPTS can be done through either through wearable tech devices or through the various kinds of cameras used within the stadium facility. Wearable technology in football was allowed by FIFA back in 2015. Both technologies carry their own merits and demerits, however, for this World Cup, the governing body has gone with the cameras for data retrieving.

The positional data will come from the two optical tracking cameras that track the players and the ball. These will be available to the analysts in real time alongside live footage. The teams will also have access to selected tactical cameras for deeper insights into the ongoing game and perhaps facilitate various game scenarios in real time.

What does the technology mean for the game?

The EPTS will bring information and data almost on a platter for the team staff and coaches. Decision making for the coaches is bound to be a bit easier given that detailed position related information will be available. The EPTS will increase the dynamism of the game involvement from everyone involved. Training routines will now perhaps be realized well on the pitch given that the changes will be observed a lot more keenly. Meaning that pointing out the errors in gameplay will be easier.

Fitness wise, the medical staff will be able to regulate an individual’s fitness levels and injuries. An individual’s fitness levels can be checked with the data from training and decisions could be made accordingly. Enhancing the utilization of the athlete and the team in a way.

The FIFA World Cup presents a big opportunity for the EPTS to operate on a full tournament scale. How it develops through the course of the tournament will be exciting to watch. Is this going be as helpful as initially perceived?, one feels it won’t be until after the World Cup for the overall outcome of the technology to come out. Exciting times ahead, one that will be closely watched.

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