Rugby Teams Scores with GPS Tracking

22 Oct 2013

The British and Irish Lions rugby team improves their performance and minimizes player injuries with GPS tracking technology.

Fans of the Lions rugby team have begun noticing a strange bump on the back of players jerseys.  No, it’s not a microphone pack as some thought;  it happens to be a GPS tracking device.

The GPS tracking devices are being used to track player performance. Everything from the player’s speed to how intense they play during the game is being carefully analyzed and calculated.

GPS tracking has been used all over the world, at least some version of it. It provides tracking benefits for everything finding your stolen car to analyzing the behavior of wild animals. Now, the sports industry is beginning to recognize the benefits of GPS tracking technology, from the British and Irish Lions rugby team to the Dallas Mavericks here in the U.S.

The small GPS tracking device is fitted inside the Lions players jerseys. It is in a pouch between players shoulder blades, called a “Bro.” (The team tried placing it in a pouch in their rugby shorts, but it got in the way of the game, so the coach decided to switch the trackers to the back of their jerseys.)

The GPS tracking devices help the coach see what each player’s strengths and weaknesses are. The real-time data collected helps the coaching team see what each player’s average and fastest speed is, along with at what point their intensity levels start to wane. They can also determine whether a particular player is performing better or worse than what is average for that player.

During the game, the coaching staff watches and evaluates data from their laptops. It helps them figure out which player needs to be replaced for optimum performance. Aside from the benefit of helping to win games, GPS tracking provides health benefits to the players, as it helps them avoid potential illness and injury, like a shoulder dislocation, hamstring strain, or knee ligament damage from being overtired or overplayed.

While in the U.S., the sport of football doesn’t allow GPS during live games currently, it is often used during training to measure the performance of their players.

But for rugby players throughout Europe and Australia, GPS is encouraged to help prevent injuries with such a competitive and physical sport. So far, it has been a huge success in helping reduce the amount of injuries players experience, while increasing the amount of wins teams like the Lions are receiving.



1 Response to Rugby Teams Scores with GPS Tracking


Wearable Technology and its Impact on the World of Sport - Tech Reviewer

June 16th, 2015 at 9:26 am

[…] excellent product for those who play rugby and has been utilised in the past on the jerseys of the British and Irish Lions players in 2013. With this technology, the risk of injury was reduced and players were able to work on […]

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