Rugby team uses predictive analytics

Data analysts examine factors that lead to player injuries

About one-fourth of professional rugby players typically are injured in a season, and the injuries can have a devastating impact not only on players but also on teams and fans. To get a better sense of why injuries happen and how they can be reduced, the U.K.-based Leicester Tigers are using predictive analytics software from IBM, reports Samuel Greengard at Baseline magazine.

Data analysts for the Tigers are looking for patterns in a number of variables that can lead to injuries, including fatigue and game intensity. They hope to get a better sense of who could be injured under different circumstance. By putting a number on a player's probability of being injured, the team can modify training programs or playing patterns.

Players' psychological data can also be examined, so the team can determine how factors like being on the road or playing in different environments affects performance. "Sport is no longer just a game; it's becoming more and more a scientific undertaking that is driven by data and numbers," Jeremy Shaw, business analytics lead for media and entertainment at IBM (NYSE: IBM), told Baseline. "Gone are the days of relying on raw talent and gut instinct to succeed."

For more:
- see Samuel Greengard's article at Baseline

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