Skip to main content

SportVU is a software system that uses cameras to track the motion of play by recording the X, Y and Z co-ordinates of specific objects 25 times per second.

The system

NBA teams use six strategically placed cameras, installed in arena catwalks, to track the movements of the basketball and every player on the court.

The data

The data collected provide an innovative breakdown of speed, distance, player separation and ball possession. The resulting information goes far beyond the basic numbers of points, rebounds and assists.

SportVU and the Raptors

In one of the more interesting uses of the technology, the Raptors’ analytics team uses complex code that turns all of the co-ordinates into animations, recognizes all sorts of gameplay dynamics (e.g. pick and rolls), and factors in the skill set of each player. From there, the team is able to create ‘ghost players’ that show what players should have done on any given play.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨