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Research and Academics

Action Sports

Examining the Relationships Among Antecedents of Behavioural Intentions in Adventure Sports Context

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Abstract: Introduction. This study aims to examine the structural relationships between value, satisfaction, and behavioural intentions among adventure sports trainees through Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM). The constructs of service value and satisfaction have been examined as antecedents of behavioural intentions. Material and methods. The con-ceptual model was tested with primary data which were collected – through multistage sampling – from 230 participants of adventure sports training in Himachal Pradesh, India using Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM). Re-sults. Functional value, emotional value, and novelty value were found to significantly influence satisfaction, as hypothesised, while social value and value for money had an insignificant influence on the satisfaction of adventure trainees. Satisfaction was shown to have a significant influence on the intention to revisit, the search for alternatives, and word-of-mouth referral as behavioural intentions of adventure trainees. Conclusions. This study has confirmed the significant positive influence of functional value, emotional value, and novelty value on adventure trainees’ satisfaction. Satisfaction has a direct positive influ-ence on the intention to revisit and word-of-mouth referrals, while it has a negative influence on the search for alternatives. Satisfaction has been found to have a partial mediation effect on the relationships between the five dimensions of service value and behavioural intentions.

Personality traits of high-risk sport participants: A meta-analysis

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Abstract: The purpose of this meta-analysis was to examine the relationships between personality traits and par-ticipation in high-risk sport. A total of 149 effect sizes from 39 eligible articles were obtained wherein the personality traits of high-risk sport participants were compared with either low-risk sport participants or individuals not engaged in any sport. Results revealed significant effect sizes in favor of the high-risk par-ticipants for sensation seeking, extraversion, and impulsivity. Significant effect sizes in favor of the com-parator groups were found for neuroticism, telic dominance, and sensitivity to punishment. No significant differences were observed in psychoticism, sensitivity to reward, socialization, agreeableness, conscien-tiousness, or openness. The implications of these results and potential avenues of future research are highlighted.

The ‘‘authenticitude’’ battle in action sports: A case-based industry perspective

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Abstract: The expanding and often unregulated status of the action sports setting has resulted in mainstream athletic companies diversifying their products in order to portray an authentic image and establish their market presence. The influx of mainstream brands has created a new paradigm in the industry and further pressure on core action sports brands regarding their competitiveness in a highly antagonistic environment. Through a descriptive case study, 13 in-person interviews were performed with a private action sports company’s employees in order to examine their perceptions relative to the organization being authentic while expanding to mainstream markets. This occurred through identification of the enterprise’s true identity and deconstruction of its authenticity based on participants’ responses, which were categorized in five properties (i.e., essence of enterprise, nature of offerings, effects of heritage, sense of purpose, and body of values). Varying perspectives on each of the five elements were uncovered and discussed. Outcomes illustrated the need for a new management imperative, where action sports organizations should not only comprehend the essence of originality within their identity, but also how to render consumer’s perception of authenticity.

Multiple motives for participating in adventure sports

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Abstract: Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to explore possible multiple motives for participation in different adventure sports.
Design: Qualitative design, specifically an inductive-deductive approach informed by reversal theory, was used to analyze participation motivation data.
Method: Data was collected using the Scanlan Collaborative Interview Method (SCIM; Scanlan, Russell, Wilson, & Scanlan, 2003). Participants were very experienced adventure sport participants involved in riversurfing, mountain biking, kayaking, mountain climbing and hang gliding.
Results: The results indicated that the participants’ motivation was multifaceted. While some participants shared common motives, these were often described in different orders of importance by different participants. The range of motives for adventure sport participation found included: goal achievement, risk taking, social motivation, escape from boredom, pushing personal boundaries and overcoming fear, as well as connecting with the natural environment, and pleasurable kinaesthetic bodily sensations from moving in water or air.
Conclusions: The authors argue for a continuation of a recent trend to provide a more comprehensive picture of the complexities of human motivation for participation in adventure sports which go beyond excitement- or thrill-seeking behaviour.

Youth, action sports and political agency in the Middle East: Lessons from a grassroots parkour group in Gaza

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Abstract: In this paper we build upon recent scholarship on the globalization of youth culture and sport to examine the growing popularity of action sports in the Middle East. We focus on the development of the urban physical practice of parkour (also known as free running)—the act of running, jumping, leaping through an urban environment as fluidly, efficiently and creatively as possible—among Middle Eastern youth. Drawing upon interviews and media analysis of various print, digital and social media, we reveal how youth (particularly young men) in Gaza developed their own unique parkour group, despite various social, cultural, economic, physical and psychological obstacles. We explain the proactive approaches adopted by these young men to find appropriate training spaces, to develop the skills of local children and youth, and to support their peer groups. In particular, we describe how these young men are creatively engaging social media (e.g., YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) to gain inspiration from the transnational parkour community, and also for opening new dialogue and establishing informal cultural exchanges with parkour enthusiasts around the world. We conclude by offering some broader comments for the Sport for Development and Peace Building (SDP) movement, encouraging youth-focused SDP initiatives to move beyond the ‘deficit model’ and toward more collaborative projects that provide space for local voices and acknowledge youth agency.

Action Sports, Social Media, and New Technologies: Towards a Research Agenda

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Abstract: Action sport participants have always been actively involved in the consumption and production of niche cultural media. However, the proliferation of new media technologies is playing an evermore important role in the ongoing progression of skills among athletes and committed recreational participants, and building a sense of community among enthusiasts and audiences across local, national, and global contexts. More than repeating previous patterns, such media technologies are contributing to new relationships between corporations, action sporting bodies, and communities. This article sets out a research agenda for understanding new media developments in action sports. In the first part of this article, I detail how new digital media are being used by corporations, athletes, and everyday participants, and in so doing, are transforming the networks and connections within and across action sport communities. In the second, I describe how new media technologies such as GoPros™, camera drones, and GPS tracking devices are changing action sport experiences and the relationship between ‘‘human’’ and ‘‘nonhuman’’ sporting bodies. As well as revealing emerging issues, this article also poses a series of critical questions and challenges to researchers interested in contributing to new under-standings of the latest media technologies in action sport cultures.

Industry Insider: Action Sports Execs

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Abstract: Interviews conducted by Steve McKelvey, an associate professor and graduate program director in the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and vice president for industry relations for the Sport Marketing Association.

Examining the effects of fan loyalty and goodwill on consumer perceptions of brands at an action sports event

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Abstract: Despite the continued growth in corporate spon-sorship spending and the corresponding atten-tion from academic researchers, there remains a dearth of literature regarding relationships among the sponsorship-related constructs of fan loyalty and goodwill, and their respective impact on consumer attitudes and purchase intentions. The specific purpose of this study was to explore the effects of fan loyalty, goodwill and brand attitude on the purchase intentions of fans at a professional action sports tour event. Data were collected (n = 273) over a four-day period at an action sports event located in south-east USA. Structural equation modelling (SEM) supported the hypotheses that fan loyalty and goodwill have a positive influence on the development of positive brand attitudes and purchase intentions.

Going pro: Point of view cameras in adventure sports research

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Abstract: The role of the adventure sports coach was first identified by Collins and Collins (2012) who suggested that the sports coaching process is significantly different in an adventurous context. Whilst there is a growing body of literature surrounding coaching pedagogy (Hay, Dickens, Crudginton, & Engstrom, 2012), investigation of coaching pedagogy within adventure sports is less common. Video ethnography is a well-documented field, with a broad base in the literature across many fields of study, and as technology progresses, new applications of that technology become apparent and require investigation. This paper details the development of a new method of data capture for qualitative analysis in the field of adventure sports research/adventure sports coaching pedagogy, using point of view (POV) video cameras as the primary means of data capture. Ethical and philosophical concerns are considered with a brief evaluation of the technique and suggestions for future use and development.

Professional judgement and decision-making in adventure sports coaching: the role of interaction

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Abstract: This qualitative study presents the view that coaching practice places demands on the coach’s adaptability and flexibility. These requirements for being adaptive and flexible are met through a careful process of professional judgement and decision-making based on context-appropriate bodies of knowledge. Adventure sports coaches were selected for study on the basis that adventure sports create a hyper-dynamic environment in which these features can be examined. Thematic analysis revealed that coaches were generally well informed and practised with respect to the technical aspects of their sporting disciplines. Less positively, however, they often relied on ad hoc contextualisation of generalised theories of coaching practice to respond to the hyper-dynamic environments encountered in adventure sports. We propose that coaching practice reflects the demands of the environment, individual learning needs of the students and the task at hand. Together, these factors outwardly resemble a constraints-led approach but, we suggest, actually reflect manipulation of these parameters from a cognitive rather than an ecological perspective. This process is facilitated by a refined judgement and decision-making process, sophisticated epistemology and an explicit interaction of coaching components.

The Rise and Fall of a Regulator: Adventure Sports in the United Kingdom

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Abstract: Following a tragic accident in 1993 involving the deaths of teenagers while kayaking a new regulatory regime was imposed upon some adventure sports providers in the United King-dom. In particular, a new regulatory body, the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA), was established to oversee the sector. Yet in 2010, a government-sponsored re-view recommended that AALA be abolished and this recommendation has been quickly ac-cepted by government. This article explores the background to these developments through documentation, interviews with those affected by the AALA regime, and court cases. Evi-dence reported here, perhaps surprising, is that AALA itself is seen in a very positive light by many, even those it regulates. What may have happened is that AALA became caught up in a wider debate about the place and management of risk in life beyond the workplace, which has been simmering in the United Kingdom for a decade or more, and of which it fell foul. It may also be that adventure sports, because they entail voluntary engagement with high consequence hazards, starkly expose serious questions about the application of conventional, factory-originated risk assessment approaches to life in general.

NATURE SPORTS

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Abstract: Sports such as surfing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing are often grouped together. But what exactly it is that they share, and the implications of their com-mon characteristics, have not been explained clearly. I refer to such sports as ‘nature sports’ and argue that they share a fundamental structure in which human beings and features of the natural world are brought together. The principal claim I make is that nature sports are those sports in which a particular natural feature, or combination of natural features, plays at least one of the primary roles that human competitors or partners play in traditional or standard sports. This article is a detailed explanation of that claim.

The Rise and Fall of a Regulator: Adventure Sports in the United Kingdom

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Abstract: Following a tragic accident in 1993 involving the deaths of teenagers while kayaking a new regulatory regime was imposed upon some adventure sports providers in the United King-dom. In particular, a new regulatory body, the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA), was established to oversee the sector. Yet in 2010, a government-sponsored re-view recommended that AALA be abolished and this recommendation has been quickly ac-cepted by government. This article explores the background to these developments through documentation, interviews with those affected by the AALA regime, and court cases. Evi-dence reported here, perhaps surprising, is that AALA itself is seen in a very positive light by many, even those it regulates. What may have happened is that AALA became caught up in a wider debate about the place and management of risk in life beyond the workplace, which has been simmering in the United Kingdom for a decade or more, and of which it fell foul. It may also be that adventure sports, because they entail voluntary engagement with high consequence hazards, starkly expose serious questions about the application of conventional, factory-originated risk assessment approaches to life in general.

ACTION SPORTS

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Abstract: Action sports, or extreme sports, include inline skating, skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and surfing, among other activities. Action sports, arguably, have no more ‘action’ nor are they any more ‘extreme’ than many other sports or recreational activities – the distinction between action sports and conventional sports has more to do with marketing.
Interest in action sports for sports marketers centers around promotions associated with sponsorship and broadcasts of events and tours. These events offer a vehicle to reach prime youth and young adult demographics.
This chapter assesses participation in extreme sports and the two largest action sports tours: Dew Tour and X Games. Supercross, assessed in Chapter 38 of this handbook, is also generally classified in the action sport category.
According to a 2013 ESPN Sports Poll, 37% of adults who follow sports are fans of action sports; 10% say they are avid fans.

To Analyze Thrill, Define Extreme Sports

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Abstract: Emotions are a signaling system, evolved by providing selective advantage through enhanced survival and reproduction. The selective advantage conferred by thrill or exhilaration, however, remains unknown. Hypotheses, as yet untested, include overcoming phobias or honing physical skills as juveniles, or exhibiting desirability during mate selection. Extreme sports can provide an ethically and experimentally feasible tool to analyze thrill. To use this tool, extreme sports must first be defined in a non-circular way, independent of participant psychology. Existing concepts, from different disciplines, focus, respectively, on drama, activity types, or consequences of error. Here, I draw upon academic and popular literature, and autoethnographic experience, to distinguish extreme from adventurous levels for a range of different outdoor sports. I conclude that extreme outdoor adventure sports can be defined objectively as those activities, conditions, and levels, where participant survival relies on moment-by-moment skill, and any error is likely to prove fatal. This allows us to examine the motivations, experiences, and transformations of individuals who undertake these activities. In particular, it will allow us to examine the emotional experience of thrill, previously studied principally as an aspect of personality, from new neurophysiological and evolutionary perspectives.

Fantasy Sports

Development and Assessment of a Scale to Measure Daily Fantasy Sport Motives

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Abstract: Fantasy sport has rapidly developed into a multi-billion dollar industry in recent years, with daily fantasy sport (DFS) responsible for $18.9 billion in annual fantasy sport consumption revenue (Fantasy Sports Trade Association, 2017). Eff orts to examine the drivers of DFS-specifi c participation remain scarce, with scholars having reported on the motives of traditional fantasy sport (TFS) consumers and hybrid consumers (i.e., those who consume both TFS and DFS) (Billings, Ruihley, & Yang, 2016; Ruihley, Billings, & Rae, 2014). Th e authors conducted three studies to develop the Daily Fantasy Sport Motives Scale (DFSMS). Development of the DFSMS allows for a more thorough investigation into the motives and underlying drivers of DFS partic-ipation. Specifi cally, the authors discuss the unique nature of the DFSMS, provide suggestions for marketers and academics, and outline future research opportunities.

To Play or Not to Play? An Analysis of Dispositions, Gambling, and Daily Fantasy Sport

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Abstract: Following a mega-advertising blitz in the late summer of 2015, daily fantasy sports (DFSs) entered a maturing fantasy sports market as a new, highly accessible, and potentially lucrative alternative to traditional, season-long fantasy sports. The two activities share a name but represent substantially different business models. In the view of some policy makers and state legislatures, DFS appeared to resemble a new form of sports wagering and as a result, several U.S. states banned the activity. The current study examined the consumption behavior differences and gambling-related dispositions of those fantasy participants who play DFS and those who do not. A total of 314 fantasy football participants were surveyed, and the results contribute to what we know about gambling and DFS participation. Although distinct differences were found between the two groups, the overall assessment of the findings suggest DFS participation appears to align more with highly involved traditional, season-long fantasy sports participation than other forms of gambling.

Sports Technology

INNOVATIVE SPORT TECHNOLOGY THROUGH CROSS-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH: FUTURE OF SPORT SCIENCE

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Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of innovative sport technology brought about by cross-disciplinary research in sport, engineering, medical and material sciences. Sport technology has subsequently contributed greatly to the enhancement of epidemiology, prevention and management of injuries, management of non-communicable diseases, physical activity and sport performance. The debate raging between sport scientists and academics pertaining to the greater amount of attention paid to sport technology and cross-disciplinary research in sport and the diminished quality and quantity of subject matter is highlighted. The paper also raises the following ethical question: Should only affluent elite athletes have the opportunity to capitalise on this technology? Is this jeopardising the success of less affluent athletes?

Motion Capture Technology in Sports Science: 3D Virtual Sports Platform with Kinect

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Abstract: Regular sports activity is considered to be beneficial for life quality and health. On the other hand, regular sporting opportunities are not widespread, especially in developing countries. It may be possible to provide an alternative solution for physical activity in the control of a virtual instructor, without being physically in the same place, thanks to the facilities provided by technologies such as Internet and Kinect. In this respect, the three dimensional virtual sports platform Kinect was designed and developed. The different features of the platform are described, and the advantages of new technology achievement and possibilities of alternative sports practice are given.

Methodological Considerations When Quantifying High-Intensity Efforts in Team Sport Using Global Positioning System Technology

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Abstract: Sprints and accelerations are popular performance indicators in applied sport. The methods used to define these efforts using athlete-tracking technology could affect the number of efforts reported. This study aimed to determine the influence of different techniques and settings for detecting high-intensity efforts using global positioning system (GPS) data. Methods: Velocity and acceleration data from a professional soccer match were recorded via 10-Hz GPS. Velocity data were filtered using either a median or an exponential filter. Acceleration data were derived from velocity data over a 0.2-s time interval (with and without an exponential filter applied) and a 0.3-second time interval. High-speed-running (≥4.17 m/s2), sprint (≥7.00 m/s2), and acceleration (≥2.78 m/s2) efforts were then identified using minimum-effort durations (0.1–0.9 s) to assess differences in the total number of efforts reported. Results: Different velocity-filtering methods resulted in small to moderate differences (effect size [ES] 0.28–1.09) in the number of high-speed-running and sprint efforts detected when minimum duration was <0.5 s and small to very large differences (ES –5.69 to 0.26) in the number of accelerations when minimum duration was <0.7 s. There was an exponential decline in the number of all efforts as minimum duration increased, regardless of filtering method, with the largest declines in acceleration efforts. Conclusions: Filtering techniques and minimum durations substantially affect the number of high-speed-running, sprint, and acceleration efforts detected with GPS. Changes to how high-intensity efforts are defined affect reported data. Therefore, consistency in data processing is advised.

Application of motion capture technology for sport performance analysis

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Abstract: In sport performance, motion capture aims at tracking and recording athletes’ human motion in real time to analyze physical condition, athletic performance, technical expertise and injury mechanism, prevention and rehabilitation. The aim of this paper is to systematically review the latest developments of motion capture systems for the analysis of sport performance. To that end, selected keywords were searched on studies published in the last four years in the electronic databases ISI Web of Knowledge, Scopus, PubMed and SPORTDiscus, which resulted in 892 potential records. After duplicate removal and screening of the remaining records, 81 journal papers were retained for inclusion in this review, distributed as 53 records for optical systems, 15 records for non-optical systems and 13 records for markerless systems. Resultant records were screened to distribute them according to the following analysis categories: biomechanical motion analysis, validation of new systems and performance enhancement. Although optical systems are regarded as golden standard with accurate results, the cost of equipment and time needed to capture and postprocess data have led researchers to test other technologies. First, non-optical systems rely on attaching sensors to body parts to send their spatial information to computer wirelessly by means of different technologies, such as electromagnetic and inertial (accelerometry). Finally, markerless systems are adequate for free, unobstructive motion analysis since no attachment is carried by athletes. However, more sensors and sophisticated signal processing must be used to increase the expected level of accuracy.

THE METRICS SYSTEM

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Abstract: Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo is among MLB’s leaders in exit velocity, and thanks to Statcast, we have more info than ever on just how he’s hit a league-leading 34 home runs. The next challenge is for players and teams to figure out how to use these numbers.

Enhancing sports performance through knowledge, technology and data

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Abstract: The age of ‘big data’ is upon us, but are we ready for this in applied sport science and medicine? In a field of growing professionalism, how can information and knowledge be managed to deliver wisdom that truly impacts on sports performance? In this article Dr Scott Drawer explains the fundamental process of performance planning in high performance sport and the opportunities that technology provides. Dr Peter Brown highlights how the strategic management of the collective knowledge of a system may be the secret weapon in high performance sport.

REPLAY REVOLUTION

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Abstract: A new technology is taking viewers inside the action like never before and could change everything about how we play, watch and officiate games. Will we run out of things to complain about?

New video applications are changing athletics

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Abstract: It used to be that when football coaches wanted to see how a play broke down, they’d look at still images: pre-snap, during the snap, post-snap. Some old-school coaches still prefer it this way, according to Justin Rudd, executive vice president for sales and marketing at DV Sport, but new applications for video technology have made such tactics seem antiquated.
Innovations, such as streaming video and mobile technology from video providers like DV Sport, Hudl and XOS Digital are changing the game both on the fi eld and off .

Sport Science

An interactive tool for conditioning inertial sensor data for sports applications

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Abstract: Measurements with inertial sensors have been used in many sports applications through the last decades. The data extracted from the sensors are used by coaches, players and sports scientists to monitor athletes’ performance; this often requires graphical user interfaces for viewing and processing of data. An interactive user interface is presented in this paper for the basic analysis of sensor data (accelerometer). The tool allows for the analysis and understanding of basic data processing including different types of filtering and threshold-based activity classifiers. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the tool, an application for human gait analysis is presented.

Injury surveillance in community sport: Can we obtain valid data from sports trainers?

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Abstract: A lack of available injury data on community sports par-ticipants has hampered the development of informed preventive strategies for the broad-base of sports partici-pation. In community sports settings, sports trainers or first-aiders are well-placed to carry out injury surveil-lance, but few studies have evaluated their ability to do so. The aim of this study was to investigate the reporting rate and completeness of sports trainers’ injury records and agreement between sports trainers’ and players’ reports of injury in community Australian football. Throughout the football season, one sports trainer from each of four clubs recorded players’ injuries. To validate these data, we collected self-reported injury data from players via short message service (SMS). In total, 210 discrete inju-ries were recorded for 139 players, 21% by sports train-ers only, 59% by players via SMS only, and 21% by both. Completeness of injury records ranged from 95% to 100%. Agreement between sports trainers and players ranged from K = 0.32 (95% confidence interval: 0.27, 0.37) for date of return to football to K = 1.00 for activity when injured. Injury data collected by sports trainers may be of adequate quality for providing an understand-ing of the profile of injuries. However, data are likely to underestimate injury rates and should be interpreted with caution.

Critical Appraisal and Hazards of Surface Electromyography Data Acquisition in Sport and Exercise

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Abstract: The aim of this critical appraisal and hazards of surface electromyography (SEMG) is to enhance the data acquisition quality in voluntary but complex movements, sport and exercise in particular. The methodological and technical registration strategies deal with telemetry and online data acquisition, the placement of the detection electrodes and the choice of the most adequate normalization mode.
Findings compared with the literature suggest detection quality differences between registration methods and between water and air data acquisition allowing for output differences up to 30% between registration methods and up to 25% decrease in water, considering identical measures in air and in water. Various hazards deal with erroneous choices of muscles or electrode placement and the continuous confusion created by static normalization for dynamic motion. Peak dynamic intensities ranged from 111 % (in archery) to 283% (in giant slalom) of a static 100% reference. In addition, the linear relationship between integrated EMG (IEMG) as a reference for muscle intensity and muscle force is not likely to exist in dynamic conditions since it is muscle – joint angle – and fatigue dependent. Contrary to expectations, the literature shows 30% of non linear relations in isometric conditions also.
SEMG in sport and exercise is highly variable and different from clinical (e.g. neurological) EMG. Choices of electrodes, registration methods, muscles, joint angles and normalization techniques may lead to confusing and erroneous or incomparable results.

Business Intelligence: How Sport Scientists Can Support Organization Decision Making in Professional Sport

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Abstract: The application of scientific principles to inform practice has become increasingly common in professional sports, with increasing numbers of sport scientists operating in this area. The authors believe that in addition to domain-specific expertise, effective sport scientists working in professional sport should be able to develop systematic analysis frameworks to enhance performance in their organization. Although statistical analysis is critical to this process, it depends on proper data collection, integration, and storage. The purpose of this commentary is to discuss the opportunity for sport-science professionals to contribute beyond their domain-specific expertise and apply these principles in a business-intelligence function to support decision makers across the organization. The decision-support model aims to improve both the efficiency and the effectiveness of decisions and comprises 3 areas: data collection and organization, analytic models to drive insight, and interface and communication of information. In addition to developing frameworks for managing data systems, the authors suggest that sport scientists’ grounding in scientific thinking and statistics positions them to assist in the development of robust decision-making processes across the organization. Furthermore, sport scientists can audit the outcomes of decisions made by the organization. By tracking outcomes, a feedback loop can be established to identify the types of decisions that are being made well and the situations where poor decisions persist. The authors have proposed that sport scientists can contribute to the broader success of professional sporting organizations by promoting decision-support services that incorporate data collection, analysis, and communication.

Effects of the Pitch Surface on Displacement of Youth Players During Soccer Match-Play

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Abstract: The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of different pitch surfaces (artificial turf, natural turf and dirt field) on positioning and displacement of young soccer players (age: 13.4 ± 0.5 yrs; body height: 161.82 ± 7.52 cm; body mass: 50.79 ± 7.22 kg and playing experience: 3.5 ± 1.4 yrs). Data were collected using GPS units which allowed to calculate spatial distribution variability, assessed by measuring entropy of individual distribution maps (ShannEn). Ellipsoidal areas (m2) representing players’ displacement on the pitch, centred on the average players’ positional coordinates, were also calculated, with axes corresponding to the standard deviations of the displacement in the longitudinal and lateral directions. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate differences between pitch surfaces and across players’ positions. There was significant effect in positioning (η2 = 0.146; p < 0.001) and displacement (η2 = 0.063; p < 0.05) by the players between pitch surfaces. A dirt field condition induced an increase in the players’ movement variability, while players’ displacement was more restricted when playing on artificial turf. Also, there were significant effects on positioning (η2 = 0.496; p < 0.001) and displacement (η2 = 0.339; p < 0.001) across players’ positions. Central midfielders presented the greatest movement variability and displacement while fullbacks showed the lowest variability. Subsequently, the results may contribute to implement strategies that optimise players’ performance in different surface conditions.

Elite hit ball performance profile: technical, tactical and heart rate aspects, and effects of competition on jump and strength performance

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Abstract: This study aimed to define a performance profile of elite hit ball matches. Eighty-six male Italian Serie A hit ball players (29.3±5.0 yrs) participated in the study. A technical and tactical analysis (18 indicators) was perfor-med on eleven matches; heart rate (HR) was monitored during matches on 25 players; countermovement jump (CMJ) and maximal grip strength (GS) were measured on all participants before and after match. Differences (P<0.05) between winning (W) and losing (L) teams for technical and tactical analysis (Chi-square), and bet-ween match phases for HR, CMJ, and GS (ANOVA for repeated measurements) were tested. Hit ball teams meanly performed 297±10 rallies per match (W: 41±6 goals; L: 23±3 goals, P=0.042). No differences betwe-en quarters emerged for HR (171-190 bpm for 57±21 % of match duration). Opposite trends emerged for CMJ (after: 36.2±6.3 cm; before: 33.1±4.8 cm; P=0.001) and GS (after: 433±102 N; before: 463±98 N; P=0.018) performances. Findings show that hit ball is performed at high HR intensity, and that CMJ improves and GS declines after matches. This could be determined by a neuromuscular activation of lower limbs and repeated harm concussions due to shots.

Ankle Sprain Has Higher Occurrence During the Latter Parts of Matches: Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis

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Abstract: Ankle sprains are common injuries in sports, but it is unclear whether they are more likely to occur in a specific period of a sporting game. Objective: To systematically review the literature investigating when in a match ankle sprains most likely occurred. Evidence Acquisition: The databases CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and SPORTDiscus were searched up to August 2016, with no restriction of date or language. The search targeted studies that presented data on the time of occurrence of ankle sprains during sports matches. Data from included studies were analyzed as a percentage of ankle sprain occurrence by halftime and by quarters. Meta-analyses were run using a random effects model. The quality assessment tool for quantitative studies was used to assess the article’s quality. Evidence Synthesis: The searches identified 1142 studies, and 8 were included in this review. A total of 500 ankle sprains were reported during follow-up time, which ranged from 1 to 15 years, in 5 different sports (soccer, rugby, futsal, American football, and Gaelic football). The meta-analyses, including all 8 studies, showed that the proportion of ankle sprains during the first half (0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.38–0.50) was smaller than the second half (0.56; 95% CI, 0.50–0.62). For the analyses by quarters, the proportion of ankle sprains in the first quarter (0.14; 95% CI, 0.09–0.19) was considerably smaller than the second (0.28; 95% CI, 0.24–0.32), third (0.25; 95% CI, 0.17–0.34), and fourth (0.29; 95% CI, 0.22–0.36) quarters. Conclusion: The results of this review indicate that ankle sprains are more likely to occur later in the game during the second half or during the latter minutes of the first half.

Incidence and severity of reported acute sports injuries in 35 sports using insurance registry data

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Abstract: Acute injuries in sport are still a problem where limited knowledge of incidence and severity in different sports at national level exists. In Sweden, 80% of the sports fed-erations have their mandatory injury insurance for all athletes in the same insurance company and injury data are systematically kept in a national database. The aim of the study was to identify high-risk sports with respect to incidence of acute and severe injuries in 35 sports reported to the database. The number and incidences of injuries as well as injuries leading to permanent medical impairment (PMI) were calculated during 2008–2011. Each year approximately 12 000 injuries and 1 162 660 licensed athletes were eligible for analysis. Eighty-five percent of the injuries were reported in football, ice hockey, floorball, and handball. The highest injury inci-dence as well as PMI was in motorcycle, handball, skating, and ice hockey. Females had higher risk of a PMI compared with males in automobile sport, handball, floorball, and football. High-risk sports with numerous injuries and high incidence of PMI injuries were motor-cycle, handball, ice hockey, football, floorball, and auto-mobile sports. Thus, these sports ought to be the target of preventive actions at national level.

Business Intelligence: How Sport Scientists Can Support Organization Decision Making in Professional Sport

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Abstract: The application of scientific principles to inform practice has become increasingly common in professional sports, with increasing numbers of sport scientists operating in this area. The authors believe that in addition to domain-specific expertise, effective sport scientists working in professional sport should be able to develop systematic analysis frameworks to enhance performance in their organization. Although statistical analysis is critical to this process, it depends on proper data collection, integration, and storage. The purpose of this commentary is to discuss the opportunity for sport-science professionals to contribute beyond their domain-specific expertise and apply these principles in a business-intelligence function to support decision makers across the organization. The decision-support model aims to improve both the efficiency and the effectiveness of decisions and comprises 3 areas: data collection and organization, analytic models to drive insight, and interface and communication of information. In addition to developing frameworks for managing data systems, the authors suggest that sport scientists’ grounding in scientific thinking and statistics positions them to assist in the development of robust decision-making processes across the organization. Furthermore, sport scientists can audit the outcomes of decisions made by the organization. By tracking outcomes, a feedback loop can be established to identify the types of decisions that are being made well and the situations where poor decisions persist. The authors have proposed that sport scientists can contribute to the broader success of professional sporting organizations by promoting decision-support services that incorporate data collection, analysis, and communication.

Multi-Level Modeling of Dyadic Data in Sport Sciences: Conceptual, Statistical, and Practical Issues

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Abstract: The goal of this article is to present a series of conceptual, statistical, and practical issues in the model-ing of multi-level dyadic data. Distinctions are made between distinguishable and undistinguishable dyads and several types of independent variables modeled at the dyadic level of analysis. Multi-level modeling equations are explained in a non-technical manner. A database of 66 athletes regrouped in 33 undistinguishable dyads is used to illustrate the steps from initial preparation of multi-level data-bases to the interpretations of output files. The data are used to examine null, intercept-as-outcome, and slope-as-outcome models, as well as to present a formula to calculate percentage of variance explained at different levels of analysis. A simple slopes procedure is showed to probe significant cross-level interactions (slope-as-outcome model) in a manner consistent with the approach generally used in ordinary least square regression. Potential extensions and limitations of this multi-level approach are presented in the discussion.

Smart sport equipment: reshaping the sports landscape

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Abstract: We are witnesses of “Industry 4.0”, the 4th industrial revolution. In just a few years, we became a highly analytical society where at any given time massive datasets are produced, collected and analysed. Cities and countries have the vision of becoming smart societies, optimising the performance and wellbeing of their citizens. One can easily track and log all daily activities. The biggest challenge, though, is the management of an overwhelming amount of data.

The impact of impairment on kinematic and kinetic variables in Va’a paddling: Towards a sport- specific evidence-based classification system for Para Va’a

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Abstract: Para Va’a is a new Paralympic sport in which athletes with trunk and/or leg impairment compete over 200 m. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of impairment on kinematic and kinetic variables during Va’a ergometer paddling. Ten able-bodied and 44 Para Va’a athletes with impairments affecting: trunk and legs (TL), legs bilaterally (BL) or leg unilaterally (UL) participated. Differences in stroke frequency, mean paddling force, and joint angles and correlation of the joint angles with paddling force were examined. Able-bodied demonstrated significantly greater paddling force as well as knee and ankle flexion ranges of move-ment (ROM) on the top hand paddling side compared to TL, BL and UL. Able-bodied, BL and UL demonstrated greater paddling force and trunk flexion compared to TL, and UL demonstrated larger bottom hand paddling side knee and ankle flexion ROM compared to BL. Significant positive correlations were observed for both male and female athletes between paddling force and all trunk flexion angles and ROM in the trunk and pelvis rotation and bottom hand paddling side hip, knee and ankle flexion. The results of this study are important for creating an evidence-based classification system for Para Va’a.

Sports Analytics

PUTTING MUSCLE INTO SPORTS ANALYTICS: STRENGTH,CONDITIONING, AND ICE HOCKEY PERFORMANCE

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Abstract: Kniffin, KM, Howley, T, and Bardreau, C. Putting muscle into sports analytics: strength, conditioning, and ice hockey perfor-mance. J Strength Cond Res 31(12): 3253–3259, 2017—Sports analytics is best known as the field of research that focuses on discovering slight but significant improvements within competitions; however, broader sets of athlete- and team-level data from outside competitions (e.g., strength and conditioning metrics) have been typically left out from such anal-yses. Given that strength and conditioning programs are per-haps the most common avenue through which people expect extra-competition progress to translate into within-competition performance, it is clear that strength and conditioning metrics warrant closer analytic attention. To illustrate this approach, we present a study of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey players that integrates both (a) strength and conditioning metrics and (b) in-game per-formance measurements. Bivariate analyses show a significant positive correlation between bench press performance and points scored (r = 0.15), although multivariate analyses point to positive relationships between strength and conditioning measures and playing time as the more important finding. Although within-competition data are increasingly accessible for analytics research, the basic approach that we develop high-lights the importance of considering extra-competition variables such as strength and conditioning metrics for understanding both coaching decisions regarding playing time and within-competition performance. We also discuss ways in which the integrated approach that we present offers potential applications for strength and conditioning professionals as well as players, coaches, and team managers.

Interactive Sports Analytics: An Intelligent Interface for Utilizing Trajectories for Interactive Sports Play Retrieval and Analytics

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Abstract: Analytics in professional sports has experienced a dramatic growth in the last decade due to the wide de-ployment of player and ball tracking systems in team sports, such as basketball and soccer. With the massive amount of fine-grained data being generated, new data-points are being generated, which can shed light on player and team performance. However, due to the complexity of plays in continuous sports, these data-points often lack the specificity and context to enable meaningful retrieval and analytics. In this article, we present an intelligent human–computer interface that utilizes trajectories instead of words, which enables specific play retrieval in sports. Various techniques of alignment, templating, and hashing were utilized by our system and they are tailored to multi-agent scenario so that interactive speeds can be achieved. We con-duct a user study to compare our method to the conventional keywords-based system and the results show that our method significantly improves the retrieval quality. We also show how our interface can be utilized for broadcast purposes, where a user can draw and interact with trajectories on a broadcast view using com-puter vision techniques. Additionally, we show that our method can also be used for interactive analytics of player performance, which enables the users to move players around and see how performance changes as a function of position and proximity to other players.

Guest editorial: Special issue on sports analytics

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Abstract: This special issue is dedicated to recent advances in sports analytics. The field got its start as a somewhat exotic area in the statistics community (MathSport International 2017) and eventually attracted interest from sports management professionals (as immortalized by the book “Moneyball”; Lewis 2004), culminating in the “MIT Sloan Sports Conference” (MIT Sloan School of Management 2017).

Guest Editorial ‘Statistical Modelling for Sports Analytics’

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Abstract: The use of statistical analysis and modelling techniques in sports has gained a rapidly growing interest over the last few decades, as documented by the extensive scientific production on this topic. In particular, in almost any sport the amount of available data is rapidly growing and data structures get more and more complicated, encouraging more sophisticated statistical models and more elaborate data analysis techniques.

Introduction to the Special Issue on Analytics in Sports, Part I: General Sports Applications

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Abstract: Sports is a rapidly growing application area for analytics. The use of analytics is pervasive in the professional sports community as evidenced by the increased role for those practicing sports analytics in front-office manage-ment and coaching. Part I of this Special Issue on Analytics in Sports is devoted to the application of a variety of methodologies to a broad range of sports. The papers analyze golf, hockey, baseball, motorcycle racing, and college football. The methodologies employed draw from many areas of analytics including optimization, probabilistic modeling, and choice models.

A Mine of Information: Can Sports Analytics Provide Wisdom From Your Data?

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Abstract: This paper explores the notion that the availability and analysis of large data sets have the capacity to improve practice and change the nature of science in the sport and exercise setting. The increasing use of data and information technology in sport is giving rise to this change. Web sites hold large data repositories, and the development of wearable technology, mobile phone applica-tions, and related instruments for monitoring physical activity, training, and competition provide large data sets of extensive and detailed measurements. Innovative approaches conceived to more fully exploit these large data sets could provide a basis for more objective evaluation of coaching strategies and new approaches to how science is conducted. An emerging discipline, sports analytics, could help overcome some of the challenges involved in obtaining knowledge and wisdom from these large data sets. Examples of where large data sets have been analyzed, to evaluate the career development of elite cyclists and to characterize and optimize the training load of well-trained runners, are discussed. Careful verification of large data sets is time consuming and imperative before useful conclusions can be drawn. Consequently, it is recommended that prospective studies be preferred over retrospective analyses of data. It is concluded that rigorous analysis of large data sets could enhance our knowledge in the sport and exercise sciences, inform competitive strategies, and allow innovative new research and findings.

Data’s Hidden Data: Qualitative Revelations of Sports Efficiency Analysis brought by Neural Network Performance Metrics

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Abstract: The study explores the technical optimization of an athlete through the use of intelligent system performance metrics that produce information obtained from inertial sensors associated to the coach’s technical qualifications in real time, using Mixed Methods and Machine Learning. The purpose of this study is to illustrate, from the confusion matrices, the different performance metrics that provide information of high pertinence for the sports training in context. 2000 technical fencing actions with two levels of complexity were performed, captured through a single sensor applied in the armed hand and, simultaneously, the gesture’s qualification through a dichotomous way by the coach. The signals were divided into segments through Dynamic Time Warping, with the resulting extracted characteristics and qualitative assessments being fed to a Neural Network to learn the patterns inherent to a good or poor execution. The performance analysis of the resulting models returned a prediction accuracy of 76.6% and 72.7% for each exercise, but other metrics indicate the existence of high bias in the data. The study demonstrates the potential of intelligent algorithms to uncover trends not captured by other statistical methods.

Identifying the “Players” in Sports Analytics Research

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Abstract: Despite a sports analytics research history that goes back more than 50 years and a recent dramatic rise in the level of scholarly interest in sports analytics, no prior research has attempted to identify its scope, scale, and growth in terms of the body of published refereed articles in the literature. Prior research has also not identified the “players” in the field: the journals and institutions that most commonly publish sports analytics research and are most commonly cited. To answer these questions, I examined 140 journals in operations research, statistics, applied mathematics, and applied economics, and identified 1,146 articles that address the application of analytics in sports. The results provide a picture of the size and nature of sports analytics research and its purveyors, and offer some perspective on the parameters of the field.

Sports analytics for professional speed skating

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Abstract: In elite sports, training schedules are becoming increasingly complex, and a large number of parameters of such schedules need to be tuned to the specific physique of a given athlete. In this paper, we describe how extensive analysis of historical data can help optimise these parameters, and how possible pitfalls of under- and overtraining in the past can be avoided in future schedules. We treat the series of exercises an athlete undergoes as a discrete sequence of attributed events, that can be aggregated in various ways, to capture the many ways in which an athlete can prepare for an important test event. We report on a cooperation with the elite speed skating team LottoNL-Jumbo, who have recorded detailed training data over the last 15 years. The aim of the project was to analyse this potential source of knowledge, and extract actionable and interpretable patterns that can provide input to future improvements in training. We present two alternative techniques to aggregate sequences of exercises into a combined, long-term training effect, one of which based on a sliding window, and one based on a physiological model of how the body responds to exercise. Next, we use both linear modelling and Subgroup Discovery to extract meaningful models of the data.

Archetypoid analysis for sports analytics

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Abstract: We intend to understand the growing amount of sports performance data by finding extreme data points, which makes human interpretation easier. In archetypoid analysis each datum is expressed as a mixture of actual observations (archetypoids). Therefore, it allows us to identify not only extreme athletes and teams, but also the composition of other athletes (or teams) according to the archetypoid athletes, and to establish a ranking. The utility of archetypoids in sports is illustrated with basketball and soccer data in three scenarios. Firstly, with multivariate data, where they are com-pared with other alternatives, showing their best results. Secondly, despite the fact that functional data are common in sports (time series or trajectories), functional data anal-ysis has not been exploited until now, due to the sparseness of functions. In the second scenario, we extend archetypoid analysis for sparse functional data, furthermore show-ing the potential of functional data analysis in sports analytics. Finally, in the third scenario, features are not available, so we use proximities. We extend archetypoid analysis when asymmetric relations are present in data. This study provides informa-tion that will provide valuable knowledge about player/team/league performance so that we can analyze athlete’s careers.

Paralympics

The Future of Classification in Wheelchair Sports: Can Data Science and Technological Advancement Offer an Alternative Point of View?

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Abstract: Classification is a defining factor for competition in wheelchair sports, but it is a delicate and time-consuming process with often questionable validity. New inertial sensor-based measurement methods applied in match play and field tests allow for more precise and objective estimates of the impairment effect on wheelchair-mobility performance. The aim of the present research was to evaluate whether these measures could offer an alternative point of view for classification. Methods: Six standard wheelchair-mobility performance outcomes of different classification groups were measured in match play (n = 29), as well as best possible performance in a field test (n = 47). Results: In match results, a clear relationship between classification and performance level is shown, with increased performance outcomes in each adjacent higher-classification group. Three outcomes differed significantly between the low- and mid-classified groups, and 1, between the mid- and high-classified groups. In best performance (field test), there was a split between the low- and mid-classified groups (5 out of 6 outcomes differed significantly) but hardly any difference between the mid- and high-classified groups. This observed split was confirmed by cluster analysis, revealing the existence of only 2 performance-based clusters. Conclusions: The use of inertial sensor technology to obtain objective measures of wheelchair-mobility performance, combined with a standardized field test, produced alternative views for evidence-based classification. The results of this approach provide arguments for a reduced number of classes in wheelchair basketball. Future use of inertial sensors in match play and field testing could enhance evaluation of classification guidelines, as well as individual athlete performance.

The cyborgification of paralympic sport

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Abstract: Since the turn of the century, the Paralympic movement has gained a high public profile. We will argue that this new high profile is a direct result of the focus of media attention upon new technologies of prosthetic medicine that have helped to create a legion of cyborg bodies that is manifest in the image of the contemporary sporting supercrip. This paper highlights the development of a technocentric ideology that has been embraced within the Paralympic movement. In embracing this ideology, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) began to celebrate the cyborgification of Paralympic bodies. Ultimately, this paper questions whether the advances in technology are actually empowering all disabled athletes or simply those who have the potential to be cyborgs.

Through the Lens of a Camera Exploring the Meaning of Competitive Sport Participation Among Youth Athletes with Disabilities

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Abstract: This study explores the meaning of competitive sports participation among youth athletes with disabilities who are members of a sled hockey team affiliated with
a community-based therapeutic recreation (TR) and adaptive sports organization. The study draws upon theories of Social Role Valorization and Perceived Freedom in Leisure, and employs the Socio-Ecological Model to (a) examine the role of adaptive sports programs as bridging organizations, mediating the space between individual capacities, collective identities, and valued social roles for youth with disabilities; and (b) identify barriers and enablers of participation. Photovoice
was employed utilizing the template analytic method. Findings suggest that competitive sports participation: (1) facilitates identification with valued social roles, (2) supports outcomes associated with Perceived Freedom in Leisure, and (3) empowers youth with disabilities to discuss barriers and enablers to social inclusion. This study highlights the role of Photovoice as a tool for informing TR and adaptive sport practice, and facilitating transdisciplinary partnerships that work toward developing more inclusive sports opportunities for youth with disabilities.

General Sports

Big Data, Sport, and the Digital Divide: Theorizing How Athletes Might Respond to Big Data Monitoring

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Abstract: This article considers the relationship between Big Data and the athlete. Where Beer and Hutchins have focused on Big Data and sport, this article concentrates on the athlete’s potential response to Big Data monitoring. Drawing on the work of Andrejevic, and Kennedy and Moss, the project speaks to the Big Data–athlete relation through the theoretical framework of the digital divide. It describes Big Data and its relation to the digital divide before tracing out how athletes might respond to Big Data monitoring by presenting concerns about privacy and/or embracing a quantified self. Considering these responses provides a starting point for further work on how athletes should treat Big Data and its implications for sport.

LEGAL AND ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF ATHLETES’ BIOMETRIC DATA COLLECTION IN PROFESSIONAL SPORT

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Abstract: “Big data” has existed in some form for decades, but it has finally arrived in the public’s consciousness in a proportionately “big” way. This new awareness of big data is partially attributed to an exponential increase in the volume of data collection, and partially to the nature of how it is stored and accessed—primarily on cloud servers, in addition to or as a substitute for traditional servers. This awareness is also precipitated by a recent series of high profile data breaches. In some cases, the breaches compromised personal information of millions of consumers, email subscribers, and patients; in others, national security.

UPPERCUT BY UPPERCUT, A BAND OF SLUGGERS

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Abstract: THE DELIVERY FROM Angels righthander Garrett Richards was most likely to be a slider: He used that pitch 75 of 178 times with two strikes last season, giving up just two singles. Behind him, the shortstop crouched near second base, the second baseman in short right-field and the first baseman far in back of the bag. To crack this analytics-crafted cordon with an opposite field ground ball would require the exactitude of Tom Cruise in the vault scene from Mission: Impossible, especially for Gallo, a 6′ 5″ lefthanded, launch-happy first base-man. In 2017 he swung at 1,056 pitches. Only once—a certifiable mistake—did he ground a single to left.

ESTIMATING THE ANNUAL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF SPORTS TOURISM PROGRAMS USING SECONDARY DATA

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Abstract: Sports tourism increasingly serves as a tool to spur local economic development. Yet sports tourism programs commonly span numerous events and event types each year. Thus, estimating annual economic impact using traditional event-specific surveying and local economic multiplier modeling is expensive, particularly for small communities having limited budgets. Rather than relying solely on surveys and models, communities would benefit be being able to estimate economic impact of annual sports tourism programs by using existing event studies alongside relevant, available, free economic data. Formal steps are presented for estimating the annual economic impact generated by a comprehensive sports tourism program without requiring expensive event-specific surveys and without a local input-output model. The procedure, which allows for estimation of economic impact on any host community using minimal primary information in combination with extant secondary data, is presented. Also, we apply the procedure here as a case study on the amateur sports tourism program, located in Columbus, Indiana. Adhering to commonly accepted practices in the field of economic impact analysis, a general framework is outlined for small or mid-sized cities wishing to replicate the process.

Smart sport equipment: reshaping the sports landscape

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Abstract: We are witnesses of “Industry 4.0”, the 4th industrial revolution. In just a few years, we became a highly analytical society where at any given time massive datasets are produced, collected and analysed. Cities and countries have the vision of becoming smart societies, optimising the performance and wellbeing of their citizens. One can easily track and log all daily activities. The biggest challenge, though, is the management of an overwhelming amount of data.

THE VIABILITY OF BUSINESS DATA MINING IN THE SPORTS ENVIRONMENT: CRICKET MATCH ANALYSIS AS APPLICATION

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Abstract: Data mining can be viewed as the process of extracting previously unknown information from large databases and utilising this information to make crucial business decisions (Simoudis, 1996: 26). This paper considers the viability of using data mining tools and techniques in sports, particularly with regard to mining the sports match itself. An interpretive field study is conducted in which two research questions are answered. Firstly, can proven business data mining techniques be applied to sports games in order to discover hidden knowledge? Secondly, is such an analytical and time-consuming exercise suited to the sports world? An exploratory field study was conducted wherein match data for the South African cricket team was mined. The findings were presented to stakeholders in the South African team to determine whether such a data mining exercise is viable in the sports environment. While many data constraints exist, it was found that traditional data mining tools and techniques could be successful in highlighting unknown patterns in sports match data. However, it is questionable whether this type of data mining is viable in this industry. People in the sports world often do not have the time or the required expertise to acquire, interpret and use the results.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN THE EVALUATION OF TECHNICAL EFFICIENCY IN RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS GROUP EVENT

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Abstract: Problem statement. Planning training in rhythmic gymnastics is a complex process aimed at achieving optimal sports performance. If the training analysis for the group event is pursued, many problems arise due to the large number of variables involved. Information technology makes available to the coach an efficient means of controlling the activity in terms of programming and in-depth evaluation of training, by facilitating the processing of a significant amount of data, the quick and objective analysis of recorded parameters and the graph visualisation.
Purpose. To optimise the training in rhythmic gymnastics group event, we aimed to exploit the opportunities provided by computer programs and develop a training analysis method able to highlight at any moment the individual technical level of the gymnasts with reference to each element of the group exercise, the actual work performed during a technical training lesson and the number of errors for each difficulty element during the overall exercise.
Method. For recording, processing and listing the data, an IBM laptop, a Windows-Excel program and an Epson Stylus C64 printer were used. Information was collected in the computer through the indirect method, namely it was entered by the observer, as the subjects’ actions were being performed. This option allowed easy database manipulation and flexibility in combining, subdividing, rearranging and transforming the collected data. The measurement process included the recording of quantitative indicators, calculation of specific quantitative indicators and analysis of qualitative data.
Results. Their analysis reveals that: 1. gymnasts achieve the best performances after 10-11 full repetitions of the competition routines; 2. there is a lack of constancy in the evolution of average scores for execution over a week; 3. the individual efficiency recorded over a week shows oscillations, better values being recorded at the end of the week, when the competitions are also scheduled.
Conclusions. This method provides the opportunity to have a clear and objective vision of training, to monitor each gymnast, to compare her results with those of the group, to save much time, to intervene according to the situation.

PITCHING MECHANICS IN FEMALE YOUTH FASTPITCH SOFTBALL

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Abstract: Background: Fastpitch softball is a popular sport for young females. However, data are limited describing youth pitching mechanics. Normative data describing pitching mechanics in the two youngest player pitch leagues are criti-cal to gaining an improved understanding of proper mechanics in an attempt to establish injury prevention programs.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine pitching mechanics in Little League softball pitchers and examine the relationship of these mechanics and participant anthropometrics to ball velocity.
Study Design: Cross-sectional.
Methods: Twenty-three youth softball pitchers (11.4 ± 1.5 years; 154.6 ± 10.5 cm; 51.0 ± 8.0 kg) participated. An electromagnetic tracking system was used to collect kinematic data for three fastball trials for strikes over a regulation distance to a catcher. The pitching motion was divided into three events: top of back swing, stride foot contact, and ball release.
Results: Youth who were older (r=0.745, p < 0.001) and taller (r=0.591, p = 0.003) achieved greater ball velocity. Trunk kinematics revealed that greater trunk flexion throughout the three throwing events of top of back swing (r=0.429, p=0.041), stride foot contact (r=0.421, p=0.046), and ball release (r=0.475, p=0.022) yielded greater ball velocity. Additionally, greater trunk rotation to the throwing arm side (r=0.450, p=0.031) at top of back swing and greater trunk lateral flexion to the glove side at ball release (r=0.471, p=0.023) resulted in greater ball velocity. Conclusion: The significant relationships found between pitching mechanics and ball velocity only occurred at the trunk, which may highlight the importance of utilizing the trunk to propel the upper extremity in dynamic movements. Level of Evidence: Diagnosis, Level 4.

iTTVis: Interactive Visualization of Table Tennis Data

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Abstract: The rapid development of information technology paved the way for the recording of fine-grained data, such as stroke techniques and stroke placements, during a table tennis match. This data recording creates opportunities to analyze and evaluate matches from new perspectives. Nevertheless, the increasingly complex data poses a significant challenge to make sense of and gain insights into. Analysts usually employ tedious and cumbersome methods which are limited to watching videos and reading statistical tables. However, existing sports visualization methods cannot be applied to visualizing table tennis competitions due to different competition rules and particular data attributes. In this work, we collaborate with data analysts to understand and characterize the sophisticated domain problem of analysis of table tennis data. We propose iTTVis, a novel interactive table tennis visualization system, which to our knowledge, is the first visual analysis system for analyzing and exploring table tennis data. iTTVis provides a holistic visualization of an entire match from three main perspectives, namely, time-oriented, statistical, and tactical analyses. The proposed system with several well-coordinated views not only supports correlation identification through statistics and pattern detection of tactics with a score timeline but also allows cross analysis to gain insights. Data analysts have obtained several new insights by using iTTVis. The effectiveness and usability of the proposed system are demonstrated with four case studies.

A simple new method for identifying performance characteristics associated with success in elite tennis

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Abstract: Performance analysis and identifying performance characteristics associated with success are of great importance to players and coaches in any sport. However, while large amounts of data are available within elite tennis, very few players employ an analyst or attempt to exploit the data to enhance their performance; this is partly attributable to the considerable time and complex techniques required to interpret these large datasets. Using data from the 2016 and 2017 French Open tournaments, we tested the agreement between the results of a simple new method for identifying important performance characteristics (the Percentage of matches in which the Winner Outscored the Loser, PWOL) and the results of two standard statistical methods to establish the validity of the simple method. Spearman’s rank-order correlations between the results of the three methods demonstrated excellent agreement, with all methods identifying the same three performance characteristics (points won of 0–4 rally length, baseline points won and first serve points won)as strongly associated with success. Consequently, we propose that the PWOL method is valid for identifying performance characteristics associated with success in tennis, and is therefore a suitable alternative to more complex statistical methods, as it is simpler to calculate, interpret and contextualise.

Using technology in modern tennis: an insight into the practice of the world’s top tennis player

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Abstract: Investigating physical activity profiles of individual-sport practice and competition provides coaches with an understanding of the aspects of physical fitness that may influence match performance. In the present study, we tracked (1) the activity profiles in approximately a 30-minute period of practice of a top tennis player, and (2) the intensity of activity during predefined periods of practice match-play of the player. The player wore the GPS device (OptimEye S5, Catapult, Australia) during their on-court practice. It can be concluded that using technology in modern tennis could be of great help for coaches in order to avoid overtraining but also enables coaches to greatly improve the quality of feedback to their athletes.

A Comprehensive Mapping of High-Level Men’s Volleyball Gameplay through Social Network Analysis: Analysing Serve, Side-Out, Side-Out Transition and Transition

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Abstract: A deeper understanding of the factors behind performance and their interactions is essential to promote better training practices. Notwithstanding, the focus often relies on the outcomes of players’ actions (e.g., effi cacy rates), whereas the nature and variations of particular classes of actions remain largely unexplored. Our purpose was to conduct a systemic analysis of categorical game variables and their interactions using Social Network Analysis. Game actions were counted as nodes and their interactions as edges. Eigenvector centrality values were calculated for each node. Eight matches of the Men’s World Cup 2015 were analysed, composing a total of 27 sets (1,209 rallies). Four game complexes were considered: Complex 0 (Serve), Complex I (Side-out), Complex II (Side-out transition) and Complex III (Transition). Results showed that teams frequently play in-system when in Complex I (i.e. under ideal conditions), but present reduced variation with regard to attack zones and tempos, whereas in Complex II teams most often play out-of-system. Based on these fi ndings, it was concluded that practicing with non-ideal conditions is paramount for good performance in Complex II. Furthermore, most literature combines Complex II and Complex III as a single unit (counter-attack); however, our results reinforce the notion that these two game complexes differ and should be analysed separately.

Effect of the rally length on performance according to the final action and the playing level in high-level men’s volleyball

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Abstract: The aim of this study was to analyze how rally length affected performance according to the final action of the rally and the playing level, as well as to identify potential critical rallies associated with rally length in high-level men’s volleyball. Thirty-one matches (5,438 rallies) of the top ranking national teams were sam-pled from two of the premier worldwide competitions: Men’s World Championship and Men’s World League. Rallies between eight and ten seconds emerged as critical incidents of the game, changing the general trend in performance according to the final action of the rally (attack point or attack error with or without opposite team’s contact). Rallies longer than ten seconds seemed to balance the chances of success bet-ween both teams, with the team in the side-out phase losing the initial advantage of being the first team to attack. Differences were found among teams of similar level, suggesting that the ability to efficiently manage some game situations might be attributed to team’s features. Coaches may deliver drills with var-ying playing styles and strategies depending on the length of the really, determining the degree of risk according to the length.

Business of Sport

COMMERCIALISATION OF SPORTS DATA: RIGHTS OF EVENT OWNERS OVER INFORMATION AND STATISTICS GENERATED ABOUT THEIR SPORTS EVENTS

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Abstract: Sports data has become an important factor in professional sports worldwide. Since the publication of Michael Lewis’s nonfiction book Moneyball—about the Oakland Athletics’ approach to assembling a competitive baseball team based on empirical analyses of players—the fundamental importance and influence of statistics on professional sports has become mainstream knowledge. Data on match events and player performance is gathered and analysed in professional sports leagues around the globe. Sports governing bodies have, in more recent years, sought to commercially exploit data collected in their respective sports. Centralized collection and effective marketing of sports data to betting or media organisations have emerged as integral parts of the business of sport. Major sport event owners, as well as federations, sports leagues, and clubs, have partnered with global brands such as International Business Machines (IBM) and Systems, Applications, and Products (SAP) to develop software solutions to facilitate the viable collection, management, and dissemination of sports data.

ONLINE PIRACY OF LIVE SPORTS TELECASTS IN INDIA

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Abstract: Online consumption of sports content is on the rise in India due to increasing smartphone penetration and falling data tariff. The last three seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has witnessed a 62% growth rate of IPL’s digital viewership. While a substantial number of these viewers watched the IPL on legitimate online services such as Star India’s Hotstar mobile streaming app and Time Internet’s platform Crickbuzz, many also resorted to unauthorized online streaming of live matches. For instance, at the recently concluded IPL season, it was discovered that more than 1, 700 unique URLs were telecasting IPL illegally via 211 unique servers, 122 pirate streams, 51 hosting sites, and 23 infrastructure providers. Further, the advent of live streaming apps have also led to rampant piracy of sports broadcasts worldwide, including India.

Sport Fans and Online Data Collection

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Abstract: The growth of online communities and social networking has provided opportu-nities to investigate sport fans from a wide range of perspectives. Motivations to consume online media and engage in interactive web functions are areas provid-ing new and innovative research opportunities. There are several ethical consider-ations when conducting research in an online environment. This article discusses four major ethical values of honesty, responsibility, justice, and beneficence and how each relates to online data collection. Specifically, these four values will guide the discussion focused on issues of intrusion, interaction, and invitation in online communication contexts. Researchers and administrators must consider fans and other stakeholders’ core moral and ethical values in the data collection process.

It’s a Numbers Game: Change in the Frequency, Type, and Presentation Form of Statistics Used in NFL Broadcasts

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Abstract: Although scholars have examined numerous facets of broadcast sports, limited research has explored the use of statistics in these broadcasts. Reference to statistical summaries of athlete or team performance have long been a component of sport broadcasts, and for some viewers the rise of fantasy sport has led to even greater interest in quantitative measures of athlete or team performance. To examine the presence and nature of statistical references in sport broadcasts, this study examines National Football League telecasts over time to identify changes in the frequency, type, and presentation form of statistics. Findings revealed an emphasis on individual player statistics over team statistics, as well as an increase in on-screen graphics over time. The study also revealed a simultaneous decrease in statistical references relayed orally by broadcasters. These findings illustrate the importance of statistics as a storytelling tool, as well as reflecting technological innovations in sports broadcasting. In addition, they suggest a possible evolution in audience consumption habits and desires.

Analytics in Sport Marketing

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Abstract: The use of analytics has been growing throughout the sport industry. Although the concepts of analytics and big data are frequently used in the sport industry and highlighted in numerous media outlets, sport management students often do not have a strong understanding of why and how analytics are important for their future career, especially as it relates to sport marketing. This case study describes a fictitious student’s desire to be an intern in the analytics department at Major League Soccer and the student’s interaction with an industry professional who is an expert on customer relationship management and marketing analytics in the sport industry. The study provides information on how and why analytics are used in sport marketing and how data can be used to make decisions.

‘The Datafication of Everything’: Toward a Sociology of Sport and Big Data

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Abstract: This paper explores the articulations of sport and ‘Big Data’—an important though to date understudied topic. That we have arrived at an ‘Age of Big Data’ is an increasingly accepted premise: the proliferation of tracking technologies, combined with the desire to record/monitor human activity, has radically ampli-fied the volume and variety of data in circulation, as well as the velocity at which data move. Herein, we take initial steps toward addressing the implications of Big Data for sport (and vice versa), first by historicizing the relationship between sport and quantification and second by charting its contemporary manifestations. We then present four overlapping postulates on sport in the Age of Big Data. These go toward both showing and questioning the logic of ‘progress’ said to lie at the core of sport’s nascent statistical turn. We conclude with reflections on how a robust sociology of sport and Big Data might be achieved.

Institutional Adaptation to Technological Innovation: Lessons From the NCAA’s Regulation of Football Television Broadcasts (1938–1984)

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Abstract: The effective management of innovation is important for sport organizations seeking to maintain dominance within their respective fields. However, innovation can be problematic as it threatens to alter institutional arrangements. This study examined how technological innovation impacted institutional arrangements within U.S. intercollegiate athletics. Adopting the institutional work framework, we studied the emergence of television and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) struggle to maintain centralized control of television regulations. We drew from historical data that discussed the NCAA’s regulation of television from the 1940s until the mid-1980s. We found that disparate perceptions of the impact of live televising of college football games and the NCAA’s protracted regulations resulted in tensions among its members. This led to large universities forming strategic alliances and openly defying NCAA regulations. The tensions culminated when universities sued the NCAA in a case that was ultimately ruled upon by the U.S. Supreme Court. This resulted in substantial institutional change that saw the NCAA losing regulative authority of college football television contracts. The findings of this study have implications beyond the context of U.S. intercollegiate athletics.