At the second session of the Sports Technology Symposium, an important announcement was made on an issue will change the way we understand the monitoring data that football teams collect during training and matches. The Barça Innovation Hub and FIFA joined forces to create a standard format to unify this data, which until now has been stored differently by each club. This information is collected using EPTS (Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems) and under the new format developed by the two organisations can now be exchanged and compared in a unified and standardised fashion.
Johannes Holzmüller, head of sports technology at the FIFA World Cup 2018, made the announcement during one of the round table discussions this Friday on the final afternoon of the Sports Technology Symposium. According to Holzmüller, this new format arose from a mandate issued by the IFAB (International Football Association Board), an independent organisation that oversees the rules of football and is made up FIFA and the four British football associations. “Clubs have a lot of data that comes from different suppliers and sources” he explained. “And it is very important to compare this data. That is why we have developed a standard format with the Barça Innovation Hub that makes it possible to control, interpret and compare this data in a more simple way.”
Holzmüller stressed that the project has taken several months of intense work. “We have been working together since the creation of the Barça Innovation Hub, especially in the last two years”, he continued. “It is a starting point. We still have to make improvements, but this is the first time that we have had a global data structure accessible to everyone to share information. It is a totally pioneering initiative”.
This was the main topic of the second day of the Sports Technology Symposium. The morning session had examined people's obsession with mobiles, featuring Meghan Ryan, director of digital and social marketing at the San Francisco 49ers and Matthew Jafarian, vice president of digital strategy and innovation at the Miami Heat. The day ended with a talk on the future scenarios for football in different areas, such as social responsibility, which was discussed by Mariona Miret, head of programmes at the Barça Foundation, who explained the details of the Robot Pol project, and Jonas Lygaard, director of brand and business development at Konami, who looked at the future of eSports at sports clubs.
The fourth edition of the Sports Technology Symposium has been yet another success in terms of numbers, with more than 800 registered guests, and is now fully consolidated as the most important sports technology congress in Europe.