Team sport is a complex and dynamic arena of training, competition and match-play. Whether the goal is to perform skilled actions or simply to achieve an outcome, each player must communicate with each other in order to succeed at this type of activity.
The specific characteristics of team sports vary from one to another. For example, basketball is a quick and fast-paced game that involves thorough communication and unity between its players (see Fig 1). It also involves substantial endurance and dribbling movements.
American football is an intermittent, contact sport characterised by physical demands that include high-speed running (HSR), accelerations and decelerations. The game is played across four 15-min quarters with multiple stoppages and commercial breaks extending the length of a match to upwards of three hours.
Bobsleigh is a fast-paced sport that involves two or four athletes riding sleds on ice tracks, at times topping out at speeds of over 90 mph. The sport requires a large amount of energy and can cause injury if a member of the team makes a mistake.
Measuring physical output in team sport using aggregate parameters is challenging because periods of intense physical activity are not typically detected by examining the total distance covered per drill, rotation stint, quarter or match . Periods where external load changes may be more evident by examining a moving minute interval or a time series analysis approach to detect a trend over a longer period.
To ensure the most appropriate metrics are chosen for a specific sport, it is important to consider a critical thinking process that takes into account the unique characteristics of each sport. In this way, practitioners can guarantee the best use of tracking systems and subsequent data in a specific context.