Memories and Overcoming Live Skype Problems

I was up early this morning hoping to have a Skype link up with some friends in North Wales at a Reunion dinner. Synchronising time after a clock change made some fascinating maths!

I had two Macs running and had tested cameras and microphones a number of times. A test run earlier in the day with my host at the dinner had worked well although there was some latency.


Given the live nature of the event I was keen to have an alternative plan. Once we started testing the link for the live feed it was clear we had a number of problems.


I had not prepared a message in advance but as soon as the difficulties occurred I started looking for alternatives. Given I live in rural New South Wales some of the bandwidth available to me limited the options I had.

1. On one of my computers I had the old iMovie version.

2. I used the iSight camera to record the picture and a USB microphone for sound.

3. I exported the video as a .mov file to CD format for a file size of 5Mb. (A one minute message)

4. I tried to share the file via Skype (the first time I had tried this) but the file share failed.

5. My host recommended but I was unsure about the sign up requirements.

6. I decided to use my Google video account to share the file and despite the bandwidth problems I have the upload and processing occurred very quickly.

7. I posted the link on our Skype chat and my hosts at the Reunion had the option of playing the video.

I am delighted that I found a way around the difficulties we experienced. The Reunion was very important to me. I have never attended a reunion of any kind but the opportunities to meet friends from 35 years ago made me think about flying from Australia to attend.

My video indicates why this was important.

Ironically the game the Reunion was celebrating was the start of my professional involvement in sport and I have spent the last thirty years working with educational technology in sport. It was fascinating that an early morning in Mongarlowe could trigger such memories.


On 12 March I presented a keynote address at the IASI World Congress in Canberra. I posted a draft of my presentation in Slideshare. Gavin Reynolds has alerted me that:

video recordings of the Congress presentations are now available here.  Click on the Proceedings tab in the left navigation menu and follow the links.

To access the videos, you will need to logon using your Congress secure web username and password – originally issued when you completed your online registration. If you do not have a secure web account, it is not too late to complete the online registration form (ignoring the special requirements and payment sections) here.  An account will be automatically generated for you. If you experience any difficulties, please email us.

My presentation is on Day 2 of the Proceedings. Given the conference theme (Building and Sustaining Sport Information Communities – through connectivity, collaboration and sharing), and that my experience of the CCK08 course was so profound, I am keen to share these links.

This video segment introduces my talk.

In the minute I mention Gavin (Gavin Reynolds), Wayne (Wayne Goldsmith) and Flynny (Michael Flynn). I was delighted that each of them was in the audience as they have had a significant impact on my thinking and practice in sport.

These are the slides I used in the presentation iasi09-part-1 iasi-part-2 All the acknowledgements for the images used in the presentation are at the end of Part 2.

I used a Twitter Tag #IASI (and realised I needed to distinguish it from the Romanian #IASI post-event) for the conference and ran Tweet Deck throughout as my message centre.

IASI Canberra 2009: Days 1 and 2

The opportunities to chat and discuss ideas at the IASI Congress overtook blogging about the Congress! I was not able to attend Day 3 but hope to write more about events. This post is a wrap of some of the other events at the Congress on Day 1 and 2.

Wayne Goldsmith concluded Day 1 of the Congress with his workshop Creating Effective Online Learning Communities in High Performance Sport He started Day 2 with his plenary session Sport Information Blogging – Getting Your Message Out There Fast!

wayne Photo credit: Moregold Consulting

Both of Wayne’s presentations drew on his career-long interest in and fascination with innovative ideas and practice in high performance sport. He is the author of a much-read blog sportscoachingbrain and the principal in Moregold Consulting

Wayne introduced his talk on Day 1 with the suggestion that “Knowledge is power … only when it is hard to get!” Wayne discussed the geographical isolation of Australia in late 1980s and how hard it was then to get material about high performance sport innovation. Twenty years later it is a digitally rich time when successful coaches and teams are able to accelerate their change in performance faster than their competitors. This accelerated changed is linked closely to the ability to learn.

Wayne indicated that the on-line community offers opportunities to learn faster about WHAT is available. Since everyone can access the WHAT, Wayne suggests that it is the HOW knowledge that will transform learning and performance. Wayne explored how this HOW learning might move from an academic setting to the risk practiced high performance environment.

Wayne made a very strong case for future perspectives and argued passionately about the role high performance contexts will play in this approach. He concluded the Day 1 workshop with the exhortation to “get excited, interested, and do it differently.”
This requires the recognition that the past is a platform upon which to create knowledge and stimulate individuality.

On the afternoon of Day 2 there were a number of paper presentations in the Theme 4 strand of the Congress: Sport Performance Analysis Applications and Broadcast Technology Solutions.

The program included:

Fumito Yoshikawa, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan

Automated Video Indexing System for Badminton Game Analysis [abstract]

Fumito provided an account of the automated video indexing system he had developed using a single ceiling camera.
His methodology included: segmentation, detection of players, and detection of rally segments.
He demonstrated how in the segment process white court lines were extracted using Otsu’s (1979) automatic threshold selection method. He shared the detection formula used to track players and the process for detecting and tracking the shuttlecock

Fumito shared his experimental findings in relation to 344 rallies over 5 matches. Video was captured at 30fps. The computational speed of the process was 7msec/frame (144fps). The experiment yielded good results and Fumito gave examples of data visualisation that enables immediate feedback. He concluded that a rule based, player and shuttlecock, single camera system yielded promising results, fast processing time, and immediate feedback. He identified the potential of this work for other net games.

Keane Wheeler, University of Canberra and University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia


Notational Analysis of Agility Skill Execution in Rugby Union [abstract]

Keane presented findings from his use of lapsed-time notational analysis to examine agility skill execution in rugby union. He discussed Time Motion studies, Technical studies (Focus for today’s paper)and Tactical studies.  Keane’s work focussed on tackle outcome in rugby union. He identified the characteristics of agility and tackle outcome: 60% tackle win (15% includes a tackle break) and noted that in the top 4 teams in his study 19% of runs lead to tackle breaks. The middle 5 teams have 16%, and the bottom 5 teams have 12%. Keane then discussed what needs to happen in a tackle break. He suggested that the ball carrier should receive the ball two body lengths from the defence and execute a change of direction at 1-2 body lengths at 20/60 degrees and then straighten through the hole created. His study exemplified the coaching maxim “beat the defence, advance the ball, score tries.”

Claire Short, Australian Sports Commission

Digital Video Applications in High Performance Sport [abstract]

Claire provided a comprehensive overview of digital video in her presentation:

  • Why digital? (Fast, quality, performance analysis, communication, historical record)
  • Equipment (field and office): capturing, accessories, storing
  • Viewing. (Noted trade off between size of projection and illuminations. Smaller projectors have shorter run time.)
  • Editing and dubbing: copying towers and Blu-Ray developments
  • Storing and archiving: note the move to Blu-Ray

She encouarged the audience to consider:

  • Ease of operation
  • Upgradability
  • Maintenance
  • Training

Alexis Lebedew, Australian Institute of Sport

Hyperconnectivity [abstract]


Alexis introduced his talk on Hyperconnectivity with a discussion of the proliferation of connected and connectable devices. He provided a case study example of supporting coach in the field. He suggested that this quadrennium (2009-2012) will be characterised by: high speeed wireless, geotagging, semantic technologies, cloud computing. He identified Wireless availability as the key driver. He noted the role cloud computing will play and the increasing importance of Software as a Service (SaaS). Alexis concluded his presentation with a consideration of how hyperconnectivity might work: ensure ecologically valid, change habits, and personalise. He asserted that throughout this process a key maxim will be “Usability is more important than functionality”.

The Theme session ended with a panel discussion of Video and Digital Asset Repositories in Sport using case studies from Japan, Germany, and Australia.