A team sport is an athletic competition in which opposing teams interact with one another directly and simultaneously to accomplish a goal. The goal typically entails teammates facilitating the movement of a ball or other object by rules to score points. Playing a team sport fosters good sportsmanship and can help people learn how to handle winning and losing in a safe, secure, encouraging environment. However, playing a team sport also involves significant physical demands and can have a high injury rate.
Consequently, ensuring that training and competition metrics are applicable to a particular sport and playing position is vital for practitioners who aim to manage athlete injury risk, inform planning and monitoring of the training process, and quantify performance characteristics of a team sport. The choice of tracking system technology and derived metrics, therefore, needs careful consideration.
Different tracking systems have differing temporal analysis capabilities. For example, the use of a moving average to measure peak demands may be suitable for running-based team sports such as American football or rugby league. Conversely, an acceleration- and deceleration-based profile is more appropriate for basketball. This method has been shown to be more accurate than a threshold-based approach and is likely to be more suited to the small playing area of the sport.
Furthermore, a shift towards utilising contextualised characteristics (e.g., space occupation, off-the-ball movements) to improve the interpretation and translation of tracking system data for team sports has begun. This is particularly important given that the characteristics of a team sport are constantly changing due to changes in rules and other environmental factors.