HomeBroadcastSuper Rugby Pacific To Introduce Ball-Tracking Technology

Super Rugby Pacific To Introduce Ball-Tracking Technology

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Super Rugby Pacific To Introduce Ball-Tracking Technology

As part of a new partnership between Rugby Australia and UK-based sports technology company, Sportable, the ongoing Super Rugby Pacific competition will feature the Gilbert and Sportable Smart Rugby Ball.

The ball, which uses a combination of microchips and a series of beacons set up around the field, delivers 3D, real-time ball-tracking insights on athlete skill including key aspects such as hang time, distance, spin, and speed.

The ball will be used in all Australian derbies on the east coast across the remainder of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season through the partnership with Rugby Australia, with the focus on opening new perspectives for broadcast, fans, and performance analysis.

Discussing the new partnership with Sportable, Rugby Australia CEO, Andy Marinos, said: “We’re pleased to be able to partner with Sportable to bring this world-first innovation to Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific.”

“Whilst the primary driver has been the high-performance data and information this produces, combining technology with live sport opens up many more opportunities down the line for a fully aligned and integrated data and analysis play that we are excited to explore with all our key stakeholders.

“What we have seen in the trial phase, this ball provides rich and valuable information that both coaches and players can utilise to drive improved outcomes.

“While this technology has been in development and testing for five years, this is the first time it will be used to its full potential in an elite, tier-one competition.

“For rugby to be first to market with this product was important as we continue to work towards our goal in delivering the most engaging club competition in the world and this technology is another opportunity to bring fans closer to the action,” Marinos said.

Sportable founder and CEO, Dugald Macdonald, said the Super Rugby Pacific competition is perfectly suited to integrate the new technology.

“Super Rugby has always been a showcase of some of the best rugby in the world,” Macdonald said.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring this exciting brand of rugby to life through new data and insights using the Gilbert x Sportable Smart Ball.

“The Smart Ball will provide fans and teams with a new understanding and appreciation of the skill of their favourite players and teams,” he said.

Discussing how the broadcaster will integrate the insights from the ball-tracking technology, Stan Sport director of sport, Ben Kimber, said: “Stan is always looking to bring more value and insight to our Stan Sport viewers and this partnership with Sportable’s technology is going to bring never before seen analytics, data and insights to rugby broadcasting in Australia.”

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