How Data is Transforming Women's Football

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Sports have always been an exciting and entertaining way to bring people together across the globe. With the growing use of technology in football, both coaches and players can now collect a wealth of data during training and matches. And with this growing use, the technology and data being used is disrupting the game.

From tracking player movements to optimising training routines, data analysis is transforming the way the game is played and experienced around the world. These transformations will have a profound impact on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and today we’re exploring them in more detail ahead of the first game on July 20th.

Before we begin, let’s discuss the types of data collected in more detail:
Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
Goal-Line Technology (GLT)
Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS)
Virtual Reality (VR)
Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With all new tech, it is both loved and criticised by people; however, its capabilities are evolving daily with the aim to improve the accuracy of the game. First introduced to football in 2016, VAR is now used at every major tournament. VAR is used when there is a clear and obvious error with regards to goals, penalties, direct red cards, or mistaken player identity. It improves the accuracy of refereeing decisions, but it’s also argued that it slows down the game and takes away referee authority.

Football is one of the most physically demanding sports out there, which is why monitoring player workload is crucial. With the help of EPTS and wearables, tracking the amount of work players do has become more accurate than ever.

Football has always been a game of split-second decisions, and one of the most crucial is whether a goal has been scored or not. Enter GLT, which uses a network of cameras to determine with absolute precision whether a ball has crossed the goal line. While it was controversial at first, GLT has become a staple in every subsequent tournament. The data and accuracy provided by GLT have been instrumental in improving the game.

The data collected can be used to ensure that players are not overworking themselves, preventing injuries in the process. What's more, the information can be analysed to identify areas where players need to improve their performance, creating personalised training programs tailored to each individual's strengths and weaknesses.

The use of data-driven technology like EPTS and wearables has revolutionised the way teams approach football training, ensuring that players can stay healthy and perform their best. One team that tracks player performance more than most is the US Women’s National Team. Is this why they’ve won three out of four World Cup Tournaments? 

Two of the most exciting technologies being embraced by the football world are VR and AI. With VR, fans can now watch matches from the comfort of their own homes and feel as if they are right there on the field, experiencing the action as it unfolds. And with AI, coaches and scouts can use data-driven insights to identify weaknesses and strengths in players and teams, leading to smarter decision-making.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is approaching, and 32 teams from across the globe are now relying on data more than ever. Data analysis has become an integral part of the game for both coaches and players, allowing them to improve and enhance even further.

While the tech so far might not be perfect, it’s clear that technology-driven data has the power to revolutionise the game. Who knows what we’ll see over the next few years - all we can do is sit back, relax, and enjoy!

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