Sport Keeping an eye on the ball for FIFA

Keeping an eye on the ball for FIFA

Technology plays a growing role in all kinds of sport, but how well does it actually work?

Soccer’s international governing body FIFA has commissioned Victoria University to find out.

Wearable GPS tracking devices can monitor and record a range of indicators on the field, including player movement, position, heart rate and breathing.

They’re used in leading clubs like Manchester and Real Madrid – but there’s no way to prove just how effective they are, or even which devices work best.

Until now.

Victoria University pitched up an astute research proposal – and now FIFA has asked it to assess products from around 30 manufacturers across what has quickly become a multi-billion-dollar market.

VU Professor Rob Aughey says his team will investigate the quality and reliability of each device, including how well its results can be reproduced, to create the standard against which all products will be measured.

FIFA’s Nicholas Evans says FIFA chose Victoria University to create its global standard based on the strength of its research proposal.

“[It had] a good mix of scientific endeavour and a very practical solution to achieve what we’re looking at – a full-scale analysis of a football match,” Mr Evans says.

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