Expert Selection: Reinventing Sports

Nico Delleman - Reinventing Sports
Nico Delleman - Reinventing Sports

Nico Delleman

Nico Delleman completed a doctoral degree in Human Movement Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam. After his career at the independent organization for applied scientific research, TNO, he worked on the national sports innovation program at InnoSportNL. He is currently active for Orange Sports Forum and supports companies, sports organizations and local governments with the realization of sports innovation (education). He is also co-author of the book Sport Innovation (2015, ISBN: 978–90–5472–346–2).

“YOU.FO is a great new game product inspired by frisbee and lacrosse, which broadens the range of sports and recreational exercise possibilities. The game consists of an aerodynamic ring which is thrown and caught by a minimum of two players over a distance of 10 to 30 meters, with a specially designed stick. ‘Easy to play, hard to master’, for all ages starting at 10. It can be a leisure activity, at any location, of people throwing and catching without touching the ground, or one of various new forms of sport with opposing players or teams on a pitch, for instance trying to reach an end zone.”

“TUNE is a remarkable insole product which registers walking and running technique in detail without any hindrance under natural conditions, i.e. away from traditional laboratory analyses. With the arrival of smartphones and wearables, ambulant monitoring has become commonplace in sporting practice. So far only cadence could be monitored. Instrumented insoles offer more detail, such as ground contact times, degree and location of pressure load during ground contact, and left-right (a)symmetry. Changes in technique can be more accurately identified as a function of time, rehabilitation, training or fatigue. Several similar products are near to entering the market as well, e.g. ARION by ATO-gear, by evalu, and the insoles by FeetMe. The question is what share of the runners’ population will actually use the product providing additional insight, or will it be more a tool for health professionals?”

“Rajiv Maheswaran and his colleagues show in an impressive way how ‘big data’ is valuable for analyzing the movements behind key plays in basketball. The analysis software, based on position registration of players and ball, opens the way towards systematic information acquisition with limited time and effort about every second of every game. The crucial issue is to create algorithms for the machine to see the game with the eyes of a coach, i.e., making the coach trust the machine. The video elegantly describes this for instance for the pick & roll movement and its variations based on their spatio-temporal features. We see this great step forward not only in sports that have a long history with stats. The company Inmotio Object Tracking created similar software for soccer with parameters such as ‘pass options’ and ‘putting on pressure’, and for handball with parameters like ‘turnover’ and ‘defense of circle player’.”