Barcelona’s Nou Camp becomes FIFA testing lab for data monitoring

29 October 2019 | Clubs & Rightsholders
Barcelona’s Nou Camp becomes FIFA testing lab for data monitoring
FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, has turned the Nou Camp, home of Spanish champions Barcelona, into a testing ground for monitoring systems that collect data during games.

It is hoped that the tests will lead to more effective data tracking that can assist coaches with match preparation, aid player medical treatment and supply more insight to broadcasters.

The monitoring systems of 13 data tracking companies have been subjected to the tests, including Track160, Catapult, STATSports, and Fitogether. The trials, which have been carried out during October by researchers from Australia’s University of Victoria, were specifically focused on the positioning and speed of players.

The tests saw researchers set out a 30 by 30 metre area on the Nou Camp pitch and position ten cameras on each side. Sensors were then attached to the bodies of 30 participating students from the Barcelona Campus of the National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), whose movements were tracked as they walked, jogged, sprinted and changed direction within the area.

Similar experiments had been held several months ago at the LaLiga outfit’s Miniestadi, which until recently served as the home for the club’s women’s side and reserve team, but were moved to the Nou Camp to validate the tracking systems from larger stands.

The collaboration is being led by the LaLiga giants’ Barca Innovation Hub, which was formed in 2017 to help incubate innovations that will have influence soccer from both a sporting and commercial perspective in the future.

Barcelona said the trials form part of their plans to transform the Nou Camp into a ‘sports experimentation and innovation laboratory’, with the stadium set to undergo a major revamp as part of the club’s Espai Barça renovation project.

It was also reported in March that Barca were looking to raise €100 million to start their own investment fund with a specific focus on trialling new technologies.

FIFA and Barca announced in November last year that they were teaming up to help clubs around the world better monitor their player data. Together they launched the Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS), which allows clubs to exchange and compare information in a unified and standardised fashion.

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