#abbotsthon17: some fledgling ideas

I have been invited to participate in the HPX 2017 Knowledge Exchange Conference in Dublin in October.

This is the first time the Sport Ireland Institute and Sport Ireland Coaching have joined together to co-host the HPX conference.

The conference web site has been launched with a link to the program. I have an opportunity to share some ideas in a presentation on the first morning of the conference (6 October) after the morning tea break. My working title is Performance Analysis and Data Analytics: Are We There Yet?

Thanks to Alan Swanton, I am also facilitating the #abbotsthon17 on the day before the conference. It is my take on a hackathon to explore how a community of practice of performance analysts might come together to share their experiences.

This is a fledgling idea at the moment but my aspirations are that the hackathon might be:

  • an open invitation
  • free
  • an opportunity to explore a different approach to sharing experiences

I trust the conversations will take us in directions participants agree are of interest.

My hope is that the day provides the psychological oxygen Lars Johannesen describes. As a group we might be “supported through recognition, the sense of belonging, of being a part of something bigger than yourself” … and “being pushed out of your comfort zone regularly and in an appropriate manner”.

I am going to be discussing open sharing so I hope the day is available to as many people as possible who have an interest in the observation and analysis of performance. I am hopeful too there is no fee for the workshop. Participants have to meet their own travel and accommodation costs and I am keen that they do not have an additional cost.

I aim to support the workshop and my presentation with resources shared in advance.

As I get older I hope to share with others the fallibility of practice and the possibilities that emerge from appreciative inquiry. I do feel confident about this approach … particularly as my experiences as a volunteer firefighter in Australia have encouraged me to think about agile responses to dynamic situations.

The #abbotsthon17 event will have this edge. I am excited where it might take us and how it might become a reflection on the way each person acts in their daily environment.

The starting idea for the day is What is so important we have to share it?

I have another three months to develop and share these fledgling ideas before they take flight.

Photo Credit

Real-time monitoring (Firstbeat)

Some Champions Trophy 2017 Performance Profiles

The 2017 Champions Trophy was won by Pakistan in a final against India on 18 June at The Oval.

During the tournament, there were nine games completed without reference to Duckworth-Lewis-Stern scores. My record of these nine games is:

From these data, my median profiles of winners and losers were:

I was interested to look at the performance of Pakistan and India against these profiles to reflect on where the final might have been won or lost.



Photo Credit

The Kia Oval (Gareth Williams, CC BY 2.0)

A graphical display of a football game played in Delft


Jurryt van de Vooren has unearthed a notation from a game of football played between Delfia Hollandia Combinatie (DHC) and Goudse Sportvereniging (GSV). The record indicates that this was a promotion game (promotie-wedstrijd).

The Delpher newspaper archive has a digital copy of the notation. This was published on 2 May 1932 in the Delftsche Courant. There is a match report too (Een narrow escape) for the game played on 1 May 1932.

In Dutch, the title of the notation is: De verplaasting van den bal is grafisch weergegeven in de lengterichting van het veld.

I wondered if this might be the appropriate translation: The ball displacement is graphically displayed in the longitudinal direction of the field.

The Notation

The displacement is notated with the help of nine symbols.

First half

Second half

The notation has a time reference for each possession in the game. The time is set in blocks of five minutes with single minutes marked within each five-minute block.

I wondered if the accuracy of timing used some of the chronographs available at that time. This is one from Longines in 1929:

I wondered too where the analyst sat during the game. There appeared to be a big crowd there.

Match Report

Both teams are listed in the report in their 2-3-5 formations. One of the DHC players, Joop van Nellen (1910-1992) played for the Netherlands in twenty-seven international fixtures. He made his debut in December 1928, aged 18, and played his last game (against Belgium) in February 1937. He won his first twelve caps while playing for Delft at the second level of Dutch football.

Gouda won the toss and chose to play with the sun and wind at their backs.

Gouda scored first in the 13th minute. It took forty minutes for Delft to equalise. One minute later Delft took the lead. A goal in the 89th minute gave Delft a 3v1 win.

Pattern of Play

Delft were the home team and appeared to control the game for large parts of the notation.

Gouda’s goal looks like a very efficient counterattack:

After losing the lead in the second half, Gouda have an intense five minutes working to get back into the game (and have one shot in this time):

Delft control the final quarter of the game. Their goalkeeper is involved only once in this time. The game ends with Gouda on the attack after conceding a third goal.

A Case Study

I think this notation, one of the earliest in association football, would make for a fascinating discussion in performance analysis classes that spend some time considering real-time and lapsed-time hand notation.

There is sufficient detail for us to construct a narrative of the game.

It would be a great project to annotate a present-day game in the same way. There is, for example, just one formally noted stoppage in play in the entire game (14th minute of the first half). Time added on by the referee is 2 minutes in the first half and approximately 90 seconds in the second half. What has changed in the game in nine decades?

Photo Credits

DHC in action (Delftsche Courant, 2 May 1932)

Notations (Delftsche Courant, 2 May 1932)