Millions of investment exemplary for other professionals?
All eyes on the floor: The Bundesliga is soon working with a real-time data collection.
“We are the first league that uses this technology nationwide and systematically makes it usable for all Bundesliga clubs,” said HBL CEO Frank Bohmann in a SID interview. He sees the German handball in a pioneering role: “We see technology as an investment in the players and in the sport.”
In addition to the undeniable added value for teams and coaches, fans, media and sponsors should be given additional “fascinating perspectives” and “new worlds of experience and innovative offers” created.
The technology of “Kinexon”, previously used mainly by NBA clubs, somewhat reminiscent of the “Big Brother Principle”: The professionals of the 18 Bundesliga will be in the league games from summer with small smart cards in jersey and ball followed at every turn to the last corner of the pitch. With 14 small W-Lan routers per venue, the data is assembled and retrievable within a fraction of a second under the hall ceiling – and the handball players are thus turned into glassy athletes.
“Do we need a slow motion at all?”
“I firmly believe that this type of data collection will be a standard for any medialized sport in the medium-term future,” says Bohmann. “Finally, many years ago we also asked ourselves: do we really need a slow motion?” The art will be to “select the data so that everyone gets what interests him, and no one is slain by data.” The fans should not be overstrained.
The league is investing nearly five million euros with its clubs for the contract until 2023. So far, reactions from the clubs have been “consistently positive”, Bohmann says: “Progress is after all the friend of every coach.” Whether it's throwing patterns, running lanes or operating times – in the future the teams will receive all information relevant to them at all 306 league games and other HBL events directly and live on their tablet on the sidelines.
“The mission is supported by a large majority.“HBL Managing Director Frank Bohmann
Maik Machulla, coach of the current German champion and current league leader SG Flensburg-Handewitt, sees many benefits in the profound changes. “Tracking provides us with a concise, continuous view of each player's performance in competition and practice, and provides important insights that help to further develop players and teams,” said Machulla. He also hopes for “added value” in load control, so the availability of additional data can support early detection and protect players from injury. “
Their baptism of fire experienced the technology at the All-Star Game in February. “The mission is supported by a large majority,” said Bohmann: “Now the whole thing has to work, otherwise the euphoria quickly turns into skepticism.”
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