Capture, analyse, visualise: An exemplar of performance analysis in practice in field hockey

Felicity Lord, David B Pyne, Marijke Welvaert, Jocelyn K Mara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


The goal of performance analysis is to capture the multitude of factors that affect sports strategy, and present them in an informative, interpretable, and accessible format. The aim of this study was to outline a performance analysis process in field hockey that captures, analyses and visualises strategy in layers of detail culminating in the creation of an RStudio Shiny application. Computerised notational analysis systems were developed to capture in-game events and ball tracking data of 74 matches from the Women's Pro League 2019. Game styles were developed using k-means cluster analysis to reduce detailed in-game events into practical profiles to identify the attack types, game actions and tempo of a team's strategy. Ball movement profiles were developed to identify the predictability (entropy) and direction (progression rates) of ball movements, and consequent distribution of possession in different attacking zones. The Shiny application, an interactive web-platform, links the information from simple game profiles with detailed game variables to understand each teams' holistic game plan, how they are different, and how to exploit these differences. The process outlined can be applied to any team invasion sport to understand, develop and communicate successful strategies under different match situations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0268171
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5 May
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2022


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