By means of tiny GPSes, the movement patterns of the players of the SHL team HV71 are currently being analyzed. This is part of a research project to improve the movement patterns and to optimize the players’ skate blades.
- The idea is to understand how the SHL players move on the ice, says Glenn Björklund, Mid Sweden University, who is one of the researchers behind the project.
By using antennas under the roof of the HV71 home arena and GPS chips in the shoulder pads of the players, data about the players’ direction and movement patterns can be collected. This is part of a research project which is also about optimizing the skates and the skate blades.
- The blade and the skates are key to the player. The players cannot tell whether the blade is slow or fast. The material is important and this is why we need objective data, says Glenn Björklund.
A basic aim is to assess the skate blades and find out which ones are the fastest and the best. Based on the movement patterns of the players, the material can be optimized – which blades are best suited for a defenceman or a forward, for example. The project has innovation funding from Mid Sweden University and a close cooperation with interested actors, which means that the results could be commercialized in the long run.
- The project provides us with a lot of data the team can profit from. It is like a performance analysis. We can see, for example, if the players do what the coaches tell them and whether or not their movement pattern changes between the periods, says Björklund.
The team HV71 hopes that the results will give the team an advantage in the SHL and they want to use this system throughout the season and thereafter assess it and decide whether or not to continue.