Why Ball Tracking Is So Important To Football Coaches, Referees, and Fans
Sports performance software is now benefiting referees. Football analytics are helping match officials make more accurate and consistent decisions. And the sports data it provides allows coaches to analyze the beautiful game with unprecedented detail and gives fans insights never seen before.
Did a player touch the ball? When did they touch it? Until recently, it was virtually impossible to give a clear and reliable answer to these questions. Today, ball tracking is revolutionizing how football (or soccer, how some of us say) matches can be called. And you don’t need a soccer ball tracking camera anymore.
Using Ultra Wide Band (UWB) and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) technology, connected ball technology can provide real-time data to match officials. This optimizes decision-making on the pitch by precisely capturing the sport’s data on every touch of the game. This exact detection of the kick point allows for faster and more accurate analysis of offside incidents and other in-game situations. It’s football analytics at its best.
Soccer Ball Tracking Helps Referees Make Proper Calls
Additionally, using sports performance software, referees can see if a tackling player touched the ball (in real-time) and base their foul calls on reliable information rather than visual impressions. Thanks to three-dimensional tracking, connected ball technology can even help to detect if a player made contact with the ball with their hand and when.
The so-called heartbeat graphics clearly illustrate the moment the ball was touched. Hence, it is possible to determine whether a player had their foot on the ball before it crossed the goal line or whether the score should be awarded to their teammate.
„For the first time in the history of football, connected ball data will allow everyone involved to determine precisely when and if a ball contact has taken place.“
How Sports Perfomance Software and Ball Tracking Benefits Fans
Sports performance software captures every touch players make on the pitch and creates synergy with fans.
Official match balls with KINEXON’s ball tracking solution not only received the FIFA Quality Pro certification in February 2022, KINEXON also became the “FIFA Preferred Provider for Live Player & Ball Tracking.“ With the technology greenlit for official matches, the Liga Portugal Bwin later partnered with KINEXON and ball manufacturer SELECT to put together a test case.
During the first leg of Portugal’s relegation playoffs in May 2022, a league used an official match ball with a tracking sensor inside for the first time ever. Teams, broadcasters and social-media teams received hundreds of football analytics such as the ball’s rotation rate, shot speed, the tightest ball control, dribbling- and passing speed and accuracy, as well as successful tacklings in real-time. Sports analytics created a multi-dimensional view of the game everyone involved enjoyed.
Ball Tracking in Football: FAQs
So, how does sports analytics software make soccer ball tracking work? Why does the sensor not interfere with the ball’s flight characteristic? Which metrics can be gathered?
Read our ball tracking FAQs for further insights:
How does KINEXON’s ball tracking work?
KINEXON’s 500Hz IMU sensor can be integrated into any official match ball in corporation with ball manufacturers. Combined with the stationary real-time locating system by KINEXON (RTLS), it tracks the ball’s position up to 100 times per second with centimeter accuracy. Using artificial intelligence, the anchors around the pitch then transform the data into metrics such as speed, passing distance etc.
Does the sports analytics sensor interfere with the ball’s flight characteristics?
At only 7 g, the chip does not alter the ball’s physics. Hence, KINEXON’s xBall is the first sensorised ball with a perfectly balanced center of mass that does not interfere with flight characteristics. A crucial aspect for ball tracking to be suitable for in-game use.
How is the sensor charged?
Lightweight and low power, the sensor inside the tracking ball is charged wirelessly via a charging pad within 90 minutes. Once active, the battery life is up to 6h.
What are the benefits of the UWB and IMU technologies?
Combining UWB and IMU technologies, the connected ball technology transfers raw data in high resolution. UWB allows for precise tracking of the ball’s position, speed etc. At the same time, the IMU technology detects touches, rotation, force and movements. It is possible to pinpoint a touch down to 2 milliseconds. That way, it is possible to determine, for example, when the ball was played with millisecond accuracy.
Which advantages does the connected ball technology have compared to other tracking technologies?
Even from different angles, there may be several legs between a soccer ball tracking camera and the ball. With the sensor integrated into the ball, those disruptive factors drop out. Plus, a latency of only 20 ms means the human eye perceives everything ball tracking provides in real-time, which means: there is no faster and more reliable way to track the ball in real-time.
Do sensors work with any ball?
In theory, ball sensors from KINEXON can be integrated into every ball. In practice, KINEXON partners with leading ball manufacturers to equip ball models of professional leagues with the sensor. The reason: ensure that the ball tracking technology does not alter the ball’s rolling and flight characteristics or its weight and haptic sensation.
How does ball tracking support referees?
The connected ball technology tells in real-time when which player touched the ball and where, who changed its spin in which way, who passed or shot, and the ball’s position during any game moment. Hence, live-ball tracking helps match officials back up their decisions in real-time. Offside? Foul? Hand? Ball tracking helps detect every touch — or non-touch – and make a fair call.
Can soccer ball tracking data be combined with player tracking data?
Yes, KINEXON’s tracking engine not only enables live evaluation of sensor-based ball data but also the combination of sensor- and/or optical-based player tracking data. These can come from player tracking systems from KINEXON as well as from third-party providers. Thanks to open interfaces, KINEXON offers one of the most flexible and versatile solutions for tracking data analysis in professional sports.
How do coaches and players benefit from soccer ball tracking?
Sensor-based tracking of footballs (soccer balls) can provide valuable information to players, coaches, and fans alike. For players and coaches, sensor-based tracking can help them analyze their performance and make strategic decisions in real time. For example, sensors can track a number of football analytics, including the speed, spin, and trajectory of a football, which can help players and coaches understand how different kicking techniques affect the flight of the ball.
How does sensor-based soccer ball tracking benefit fans?
Sensor-based soccer ball tracking can enhance the viewing experience for fans. With real-time data on the movement of the ball, fans can get a better understanding of the game and see things that they might not be able to see with the naked eye, e.g. the ball’s spin rate.
If you’d like to learn more about KINEXON’S ball-tracking technology, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to explain how it works and how it can help you make better coaching decisions.
KINEXON Football Analytics Helping to Decrease Injuries at the University of Wyoming
Author: Dave Grendzynski
Eric Donoval, the Director of Sports Performance for the University of Wyoming football team, offers a unique perspective on how KINEXON football analytics are reshaping his program’s training methods.
How Mesh Locating Technology Boosts Asset Tracking and Management, Saving Production Time and Costs
With the innovative KINEXON Mesh locating system, we empower our customers to streamline their search efforts and effortlessly track and manage all assets. This comprehensive system offers a near real-time overview of assets, resulting in reduced costs caused by over and underutilization. By optimizing resource allocation, businesses can enhance production efficiency, making operations more cost-effective and resource efficient.
KINEXON Mesh: The Reasons Why Industrial Asset Tracking and Optimization Just Got Better
At KINEXON, we strive to provide our customers with the best solutions tailored to their needs and goals. Our latest innovation, KINEXON Mesh, is a game-changing technology in the world of IIoT. With Mesh, companies of any size can now more effectively track the location and connect industrial assets, optimizing shopfloor and warehouse operations like never before.
Sports Science Reveals the Secret Behind Cristina Neagu's Unstoppable Handball Shot
Is Cristina Neagu really the best handball player in the world? Red Bull put together a team, that included a sports scientist from KINEXON, to help answer this question. Here’s what they discovered.
How Football Analytics Rejuvenated the University of Louisiana's Training Regimen
Author: Dave Grendzynski
Coach Connor Neighbors, the University of Louisiana’s Director of Athletic Performance for Football, offers insights into how the “Ragin’ Cajuns” partnership with KINEXON’s football analytics is transforming their training approach.
What Is Basketball Shot Load and Why Is It Important to Track?
Author: Gregory Bernstein
“It’s a make-or-miss league.” This commonly heard phrase, repeated by coaches, players, and analysts worldwide, encapsulates the simple truth about basketball: if your shots go in, your team wins, and if they don’t, you lose. After countless hours of scouting, scheming, and statistical analysis, all the hard work only pays off if the ball goes through the basket.
With KINEXON’s new shot tracking solution, we’re here to optimize your shooting drills and routines, ensuring your players are physically prepared to execute in the moments the game will be decided.
KINEXON Volleyball Analytics: A Revolution in Sports Data
In the age of digitization, volleyball is experiencing a shift. While instinct and intuition still play a vital role in team management and strategy, there’s an ever-increasing emphasis on analytics.
But what kind of data can you pull? And what type of information can coaches glean from it? Let’s find out.
Sports Data Campus, KINEXON, and Sevilla FC Team Up to Improve Football Analytics
Author: Dr. Guilherme de Sousa Pinheiro
Sports technology is redefining many of the games we all love, including football. Analytics software is being studied and is ushering in a new era of sports. Thanks, in large part, to the Sports Data Campus, Sevilla FC, and ball tracking technology.
How Shot Tracking Can Increase Success During Practice and In-Game
In the dynamic world of basketball, the margins between victory and defeat are razor-thin. As athletes strive for excellence, the significance of data-driven insights cannot be overstated. Shot statistics, generated by basketball analytics software, are a powerful tool that is revolutionizing how players, coaches, and trainers approach the game.
This article explores the advantages of shot statistics, highlighting four key areas: the objective distribution and patterns of shots, the examination of shot choices, the pinpointing of strengths and weaknesses, and in-depth tactical analysis.
The Advantages Sports Performance Analysis Software Provide for Coaches and Athletic Trainers
In the modern sports era, the ability to dissect every moment of a game or training session is no longer a luxury but a necessity. With the advancement of technology, sports performance analysis software has emerged as a vital tool for coaches and athletic trainers to refine strategies and optimize athlete performance.
But what advantages can it offer players, coaches, and athletic trainers?
COMPETE Vision: How KINEXON is Transforming Camera Tracking Technology and Basketball Analytics
Author: Jonas Bohner
As a basketball coach, you already know how vital the stat sheet is for you, your athletes, and the coaching staff. This might include box score stats such as rebounds, assists, and fouls. But most importantly, everyone is traditionally tracking shot statistics – points scored, 2‑point vs. 3‑point shots, makes vs. misses. Considering how shot statistics are tracked, what if you could capture and analyze the data without needing a wearable device or recording by hand?
How Sports Performance Tracking Technology Can Improve Max Speed in Football
Football is a game of inches and can be the difference between victory and defeat; coaches and athletes are constantly seeking innovative ways to gain an edge. One of the most crucial aspects of the game is speed — the ability to cover ground quickly, change direction on a dime, and execute plays with precision. This is where the combination of sports performance coaches and cutting-edge technology come into play.
Why KINEXON is the Future of Tool Control in Smarter Manufacturing
In today’s rapidly evolving automotive industry, manufacturers must maintain a competitive edge by maintaining a critical balance between global customers’ demands and local governmental regulations on a single assembly line. Maintaining high production quality for premium automotive brands — with tremendously high flexibility — is a real challenge.
How to Boost Manufacturing Quality and Accelerate Assembly Processes with KINEXON Assembly Tool Control
In the rapidly evolving automotive industry, maintaining production speed and quality is more crucial than ever to stay ahead of the competition. Each week brings news of innovative electric vehicle (EV) pioneers, raising the bar for established automotive manufacturers to deliver cutting-edge products within shorter production cycles. To meet this increasing market demand, production planners must maximize assembly speed while minimizing time-consuming and costly rework operations.
Sports Analytics: A Game-Changer for Injury Prevention in Team Handball
Team handball is a dynamic sport that requires agility, strength, and endurance. However, like any physical activity, it comes with the risk of injuries.
Fortunately, modern sports science, particularly sports analytics, is opening new avenues for injury prevention. Let’s explore how this data-driven approach is making handball safer for athletes.