|15 February 2011|
The cooperation between FIBA Europe and the European Handball Federation (EHF) has entered a new era as technology projects promise to draw the two organisations even closer in the near future.
|Antonio Ojeda with Helmut Höritsch|
On 9-11 February 2011 a workshop within the framework of that cooperation between the two Association of Team Sports (ETS) members took place in Vienna, Austria. The goal was to continue working on mutual projects, to strengthen the relationship and to introduce a new product to the EHF.
At the workshop the "Digital ScoreSheet" was presented for future use in Handball. It handles game data according to the rules of the game, which is connected to videos from the match. For instance, goals scored are clickable and viewable in real-time.
Thus the match officials are not only supported but can also double-check their remarks instantly. After the final whistle, a DVD is produced by the "Digital ScoreSheet", including a video of the full match, the match report as well as a digital score sheet.
The DigitalScoresheet data can easily be filtered and supports efficient searches for specific details.
The introduction of DigitalScoresheet for Handball's purposes follows a visit by Antonio Ojeda from the FIBA Europe Techno Centre (FETC) to the Women's EHF EURO 2010 in Norway and Sweden in December 2010.
In that tournament, two specific tools - already in use by FIBA Europe - were piloted for use in handball: "Observer" is a comprehensive analysis software (for refereeing, coaching and more) based on real-time video footage from the matches. The software is linked to an "Online Platform" in order to provide this data in a web interface.
As a result of the great success achieved at that pilot project, the EHF will have "Observer" software in use for all of their handball events in 2011.
The "Online Platform" will be further tested at several specific events as the M17 EHF EURO in the Czech Republic and the W19 EHF EURO in the Netherlands.
As a future project, the EHF and the FIBA Europe Techno Centre will research a software product that links videos to all match statistics and can be displayed at any place in real-time.
"If strength comes in numbers then the coming together of Basketball and Handball is a great example of this," commented FIBA Europe President, Olafur Rafnsson.
For FIBA Europe Secretary General, Nar Zanolin this is just one milestone in a long and lasting relationship. "Both organisations represent a school of thought which, among other things, vies for continuous technological advances, in order to make our sports look and perform better," he commented.
According to Helmut Höritsch of the EHF Competence Academy & Network "technology and experience from Basketball could be introduced in the fields of handball in an adapted version to bring great benefits.
"For instance, IT support for officiating is incorporated into game administration in Basketball. In order to find new, innovative solutions, a comparing view to other sports might bring ideas for a broad discussion in handball as well."
After the EHF Executive Committee have already approved the cooperation based on the successful pilot projects, the Technical Delegation of the EHF will now decide on further steps in the cooperation, including the set-up of a schedule for project coordination.
In December 2009 the Association of European Team Sports (ETS) was created with the main objective to represent and promote the interests of European team sports and to discuss questions concerning team sport on political and technical level in Europe.
The members of ETS are FIBA Europe (basketball), CEV (volleyball), EHF (handball), FIRA-AER (rugby), IIHF (ice hockey) and UEFA (football). ETS also allows its members to maintain friendly relations and to foster cooperation, exchange of experience and information between them.