FIFA publishes first performance reports on EPTS

With the list of applications for player tracking data growing, the accuracy and reliability of this data is more important than ever.

In response to this, FIFA launched a global standard for Electronic Performance Tracking Systems (EPTS) and has now published the first FIFA Quality Performance Reports for EPTS.

The certification event consisted of a testing protocol which requires providers to have the accuracy of their systems assessed against a gold standard motion capture system (Vicon). The testing consists of 10 participants performing football specific movements in a 30x30m area. The gold standard data and the provider data are then compared and the levels of agreement are accessed and described in a test report. The first published reports describe the results of manufacturers present at the 2018 testing event at the Mini Estadi in Barcelona. The reports are made up of 5 sections which are described below:

Product details & Test Details

In this section information is provided on the product name, the type of system and which stadium the testing took place at. As well as this, information is given on satellite availability for GPS providers, the number of antennas for LPS systems and the number of cameras used for the Optical Tracking Systems (OTS). For the submission deadline providers are given two choices of when they can submit the data, 1 hour or 24 hours after the testing is completed. The reason for having two submission periods is that some systems are built around providing data very quickly to their clients whereas others require more processing time.

Fulfillment of test requirements

Providers are required to submit tracking data for 10 players for the duration of the testing this includes:

  • Walk, jog, sprint circuits
  • 2 vs 2 games
  • 3 vs 3 games
  • 5 vs 5 games
  • Full field coverage

This information is portrayed in a table which gives an overview of the submitted information and the number of data points used to conduct the comparison between the provider and Vicon data to formulate the results.

Data processing

Additional information is provided on the data export, time stamp, file matching and whether the system achieved full field coverage. The full field coverage is measured through the use of an additional optical system managed by the test institute, which confirms that players on the perimeter of the pitch were also tracked and not only those in the Vicon testing area. This is an additional step used to ensure that match day conditions are replicated.

Analysis interpretation

Here definitions are given for key measures and an illustration describes how the rating system was developed, below you can see a more in depth description:

Rating standard developed based on RMSD values obtained from a large sample of GPS, LPS & Optical manufacturer comparisons with Vicon data. Interpretation is as follows:

  • Well-above industry standard:      Values below Quartile 1 - 1.5 x the Interquartile Range
  • Above industry standard:              Values between Quartile 1 and the Median
  • At industry standard:                      Values between the Median and Quartile 3
  • Below industry standard:               Values above Q3 + 1.5 x the Interquartile Range
  • Well-below industry standard:       All values higher than 'Below industry standard'

Results

FIFA and TRACK (Victoria University), the FIFA accredited test institute for EPTS, devised a method to illustrate the accuracy of different systems in the form of a coloured ranking system.

The thresholds were generated using the root mean square differences (RMSD) between the two systems based on the instantaneous position and velocity values. These thresholds are illustrated in the following graphic:

Graphical representations, such as histograms and area plots, are also provided to give further information.

FIFA hopes that with the published results end users such as teams, member associations or competition organisers will be able to make more informed decisions about the systems they want to use. This fits into FIFA’s overarching goal of improving the football experience for referees, teams and fans and sees collaboration on such projects as well as publically sharing the results as vital to this process.