BIG DATA HELPING IN REAL-TIME PERFORMANCE EVALUATION IN NHL

It took almost 24 years to believe in the concept, analyze it, scrutinize it, strategize it and finally finalize it to implement the concept of bringing Big Data to the NHL (National Hockey League). As per the statistics shared by Betway, it took 6 years to develop the trackable puck technology and now irrevocably it is all set up for the big game.

As per the latest updates, now the hockey game is going to be quantified. Yeah, you are thinking right that how a game can be quantified, especially when the game speed is exceptionally high. The players in ice hockey skate through the ice at 35 miles per hour, which is way faster to quantify. But nothing is impossible in the world of technology, so believe it or not, the time has come to up the game of ice hockey.

TIME TO ANALYZE EACH MOVE OF THE PLAYER IN HOCKEY

Since ever, the NHL statisticians used in Hockey Information Tracking System in which they manually collected the information such as the time the player spent on the ice, face-offs, etc. This manual work was prone to human errors and there was a great margin of manipulative calculation.

But now with the help of Big Data, the players, managers, and coaches can get access to information quickly. It will be 2000 data points per second across all the tracking devices. Now in an instant the information of puck speed, distance skated, player possession and other metrics can be live-streamed throughout the game.

Regardless of the speed on the ice, the sensors and the chips will be able to capture every sensation in a blink of an eye. Finally, hockey is becoming measurable and the performance evaluation of the players is going to become easier and faster than ever.

COMBINATION OF BIG DATA WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)

The data collection is itself an achievement but it is incomplete without proper analysis. To make things more interesting, the NHL has included AI that would be able to identify the data quickly. For example, if the goalie was out of position or was there some minor delay in hitting the stroke. Every single moment will be quickly captured and analyzed in the live-streaming session for the coaches and managers.

These analytical sensors can also give rink-side management access to the data, where every information can be used to control the players during the game. For instance, if any player is feeling exhausted or is flagging, the coach can get instant notification, allowing him to substitute the player without disturbing the flow of the game.

CONCLUSION

The data collected during a single NHL game would be around 9.3 million logged events. This is a humungous amount of data that will surely bring a revolutionary change to the game of ice hockey. It is just the beginning of a new tomorrow for NHL games and with the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, the game will become more exciting than ever.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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