Omega Installs Player Tracking For Olympic Hockey, Could NHL Be Subsequent?

Omega Timing’s bench and whistle detection system in ice hockey (Courtesy of Omega)

Because the U.S. ladies’s ice hockey group skated to its first Olympic gold medal since 1998, stitched into the sweaters on the backs of each participant was a small movement sensor weighing fewer than 10 grams and transmitting reams of knowledge over a devoted frequency to antennas put in all through the world. Mixed with digital camera-monitoring of the puck, the Omega Timing system can tally every’s participant variety of shifts, passes, velocity, acceleration, time on ice and extra.

That info is generated, processed and distributed in fewer than one hundred milliseconds, with a few of the statistics displayed on tv broadcasts or on the stadium scoreboard. Worldwide hockey doesn’t allow on-bench entry to this knowledge — the NHL permits iPads for video assessment — so coaches and gamers can see the knowledge after the sport.

“The analytics and the statistics that we will generate by way of these sensors will permit to elucidate precisely how a objective was scored, how he acquired to the objective — for each groups, for the one scoring it and the one [allowing] it,” Omega Timing CEO Alain Zobrist advised SportTechie from PyeongChang, South Korea. “These info shall be obtainable in actual-time so we will have very correct recreation evaluation and participant stats popping out of those sensors.”

Omega’s system efficiently debuted on the 2016 Youth Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, prompting its rollout to those 2018 Video games. The NHL has introduced plans to implement its personal monitoring system for the 2019-2020 season. Because the league considers its selection of distributors — Sportvision, for example, operated the system for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey that included NHL gamers — Omega might be within the combine as properly.

“Once we develop the know-how, it isn’t just for the Olympics,” he stated, including: “We undoubtedly need to see the know-how deployed in sports general.”

Omega, which started timing the Olympics in 1932, is utilizing comparable methods in alpine snowboarding, speedskating, ski leaping, bobsledding and occasions like huge air and halfpipe, the place the monitoring information consists of leap peak and rotation. On the bobsleds, g-drive, braking, positioning and acceleration are among the many knowledge factors.

Whereas Zobrist, like all monitoring system operators, emphasised that that is “simply further info” and “not the one issue that can be utilized to guage gamers,” the potential to tell all the stakeholders (athletes, coaches, followers, et al.) is immense. Sports activities Innovation Lab’s Angela Ruggiero — a Hockey Corridor of Famer who was on the earlier U.S. staff to win gold in 1998 — raved concerning the system to steaming news community Cheddar.

“So followers now can see who’s sprinting probably the most, who’s received the highest velocity, what distance have they coated — issues your coaches historically needed to clock with a stopwatch after which [report] after the very fact,” Ruggiero stated. “These athletes are getting it in actual-time, and truly the followers are getting engaged in actual-time.”

Omega Timing CEO Alain Zobrist holding an Olympic hockey monitoring sensor (Courtesy of Omega)

Zobrist stated Omega coordinated intently with the Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation in addition to gamers and coaches to ensure the sensors have been unobtrusive and that the info was introduced in an informative approach.

“I don’t have to know the G-drive of the contact between [Alex Ovechkin] and the opposite man if he’s robust, however perhaps some individuals would really like it,” IIHF basic secretary Horst Lichtner informed the Related Press. “I can see a coach having 100 pages extra of data. He may adore it, however what’s the profit for the fan?

“I’m asking my individuals all the time, ‘Why can we do it and what’s in it for selling hockey higher?’ Make it extra difficult? It’s already quick and sophisticated sufficient. Are you able to clarify the sport higher? Sure? Then we’ve an enormous profit.”

Hockey monitoring methods reman a nascent know-how and, as such, would require continued improvement to extract probably the most significant info.

“We have been producing a lot knowledge out of that sensor that it was a problem to know which knowledge was related for whom,” Zobrist stated, earlier than later including:

“We’re studying what to do with it, learn how to perceive it and in addition how one can take it to the subsequent degree.”