Handball is keeping up with the digital era, as new breakthroughs help referees, coaches and delegates to prepare and analyse different aspects of the game on the fly.
After the successful use of the Observer system, which was in place at the EHF EUROs in 2012 and 2014, the Digital Scoresheet was introduced at the EHF EURO 2016 and tweaked for the current event in Croatia.
Two years ago, the tool displayed information such as goals, two-minute suspensions, yellow and red card, goals, penalties and goalkeeper saves. For 2018, new features have been added. Now, coaches can better prepare for games, as they can access precious statistical numbers, like steals, blocks or even technical faults with the click of a button.
“Two years ago, the tool was only serving for testing purposes. It was something really new, out of the box. I met casually with one coach, and his feedback was very important. That was the moment we started thinking about altering it to help coaches better prepare for games,” says Antonio Ojeda, one of the creators.
But the major development from two years ago is an update that unlocks a live-time analysis for coaches with a simple click. Match circumstances can be filtered, and actions can be replayed during half-time in the players’ dressing room.
The ideal tool for modern handball
Feedback is the key word when talking to Ojeda about his project, as the Spanish analyst is in constant communication with referees, delegates and coaches.
“Every coach wants to study different things, wants to innovate, so we created a specific tool for them for the EHF EURO 2018, which is an application for mobile that they can use during the game.
“The tool is faster than the one we used before, and that means that even during the game, coaches or assistants can take advantage of it. Its versatility means that the coach can correct the mistakes at half-time, by tablet or even a bigger screen in the dressing room,” added Ojeda.
Video analysis has been growing more important in modern handball, and the hectic schedule of the EHF EURO means there is little time to lose. The Digital Scoresheet helps teams reduce the time spent preparing videos.
“In the mobile app, if you create your own tags for the situations you need to analyse, you are only a few clicks away from having it ready. Once the game is finished, you can watch the video on your mobile phone, tablet or laptop in a matter of seconds. This online tool immediately generates and display the required information in the simplest way,” explains Ojeda.
The continual development of the Digital Scoresheet tool is there to be seen after several successful EHF EUROs, and Ojeda remains positive about the tool’s future.
“The most important thing for us is that people use it and find this tool helpful. They must decide that it is important for them, so their feedback is not only important to us, but crucial to develop the tool according to needs. People are using it a lot and it grows on a day-by-day basis.
“We are really amazed by the numbers and have started to receive some feedback,” concludes the Spanish analyst.