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  • Writer's pictureJo Clubb

New Publication: Tracking Systems in Team Sports

I am excited to share a new open access review in Sports Medicine Open, entitled:

The purpose behind this project was two-fold. Firstly, we felt there was a research gap in sport-specific considerations for tracking systems.

We discuss the overarching applications of athlete tracking data. We then outline considerations for how these are applied across multiple team sports. As I have discussed on the blog before, we require the ability to translate systems to the sport and environment we are working in, and this includes the collection and analysis of tracking data.

Three circles in a Venn diagram representing the describing, planning, and monitoring of tracking systems data. Each of these are broken down further by time periods from long term (e.g., season-long) to detailed epochs (e.g., rolling 1-min windows), represented by an inverted triangle.
Applications of tracking systems data. The overlapping purposes of Describing, Planning, and Monitoring are shown. The inverted Reuleaux triangle in the centre of the Venn diagram represents the varied time analysis approaches, drilling down by time, that can be applied.

In addition, one of our goals was to conduct this project exclusively with women. Calls have been made to increase awareness and address the gender bias in sports medicine and science authorship (Mujika and Taipale, 2019). As per that article, in the first five issues of 2019 in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, only 13% were women.

So it was a pleasure to work on this project alongside these giants of our field; Lorena Torres-Ronda, Emma Beanland, Sarah Whitehead, and Alice Sweeting.

Please find links to the full article, citation, and abstract below.

Available on Sports Medicine Open here.

Available on ResearchGate here.

Torres-Ronda, L., Beanland, E., Whitehead, S., Sweeting, A., & Clubb, J.. Tracking Systems in Team Sports: A Narrative Review of Applications of the Data and Sport Specific Analysis. Sports Med - Open 8, 15 (2022).


Seeking to obtain a competitive advantage and manage the risk of injury, team sport organisations are investing in tracking systems that can quantify training and competition characteristics. It is expected that such information can support objective decision-making for the prescription and manipulation of training load. This narrative review aims to summarise, and critically evaluate, different tracking systems and their use within team sports. The selection of systems should be dependent upon the context of the sport and needs careful consideration by practitioners. The selection of metrics requires a critical process to be able to describe, plan, monitor and evaluate training and competition characteristics of each sport. An emerging consideration for tracking systems data is the selection of suitable time analysis, such as temporal durations, peak demands or time series segmentation, whose best use depends on the temporal characteristics of the sport. Finally, examples of characteristics and the application of tracking data across seven popular team sports are presented. Practitioners working in specific team sports are advised to follow a critical thinking process, with a healthy dose of scepticism and awareness of appropriate theoretical frameworks, where possible, when creating new or selecting an existing metric to profile team sport athletes.


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