Video analytics ups performance of German football team

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The German national football team which won the World Cup in Brazil used a vision system during training sessions as part of the team’s tournament preparations.

The Vis.Track tracking system is a video analysis machine that monitors the position coordinates for every player, the ball and the referees during a game. It currently provides video analytics of football matches played in the Bundesliga, the German football first division, and parts of the system were used for training purposes for the German national team.

The tracking system can calculate a player’s total running performance including average and maximum speeds, number and intensity of sprints and the distance covered. The system can provide statistics for the entire team for immediate analysis, so that at half-time tactics can be set by understanding both the team and the opponent’s performance during the first half.

The system records the X/Y coordinates of every player 25 times per second and stores them, yielding approximately four million position logs by the end of a match. Data can be presented graphically, for example as speed graphs for each player which can document a player's willingness to run over the course of a game. The extent of a player’s coverage of the pitch can be represented by a heat map. Tactical analyses can be made using 2D and 3D animations.

During training sessions, the analysis provides the opportunity to adapt the training intensity for individual players, i.e. following injury, or to improve their current performance levels. In addition, the use of additional camera pairs on a computer system allows activities on several pitches to be recorded and analysed at the same time.

Two HD cameras, supplied by Stemmer Imaging and encased in a specially designed weatherproof housing, are positioned at the centre line to give views of each half of the pitch. The image data is transmitted in parallel to four high-performance image processing PCs using the Stemmer Imaging CVB GigE Vision server, with each PC performing a different processing function. Stemmer Imaging’s Common Vision Blox (CVB) imaging toolkit was used by Impire, a media service provider, to develop the dedicated software package for tracking the players.

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