Dutch Sporttech Test Optical Player and Ball Tracking at RKC Waalwijk




Enschede, 13 January 2020 – The football industry is changing fast and many football clubs have the urge to integrate both video and data in their decision making process. We are proud to announce that Usportfor and BallJames, two fast-growing Dutch sportstech companies, started a partnership to enhance the match performance of professional football organizations. Dutch Eredivisie club RKC Waalwijk will be the first pilot customer of this innovative solution, with the goal to improve match and player performance.

Usportfor is specialised in software for automated recording of team sports for performance improvement and streaming. Usportfor is available for football, field hockey, rugby, handball and basketball. BallJames is the first fully-autonomous 3D optical tracking solution that is able to transform video into data in real-time. Their new BallJames Smart solution is able to ingest any analyst camera feed and use advanced deep learning algorithms to generate data directly from those video streams.

RKC Waalwijk is a premier league football club in the Netherlands. RKC Waalwijk has a dedicated data analyst for performance improvement and RKC Waalwijk played an important role in the early development of Frenkie de Jong.

FIFA EPTS

Data is becoming more and more influential in the world of football. The FIFA recognises the importance of digitalisation of football and is stimulating and facilitating innovations by setting up quality and certification programs. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has set the standards for Electronic Performance and Tracking System (EPTS) for official matches under the auspices of the FIFA. One of the goals of this pilot is to ensure that the output data generated is according to the quality standards set by FIFA. This would enable a future application for official certification of an optical tracking system, based on the Elite Camera System from Usportfor.

The pilot will cover three areas

  1. Generate tracking data (x,y positions of players, referees and balls, 25 times per second throughout the game) based on generated analyst video footage.
  2. Collect fitness data of individual players and referees.
  3. Validate quality of the data expressed in completeness, correctness and timeliness.

Unique partnership

This collaboration of two Dutch sportstech companies is unique and both companies with benefit from the synergetic opportunities. Usportfor is growing fast and helps (professional) football organizations in the automated recording and streaming of match and training situations.

Kevin Vink, CEO of Usportfor: 'We are working on this partnership for months and I am proud to announce that we will add tracking to our video streams. This will enrich our product and will enable us to serve our clients in an even better way.'

Maarten Koster, Product delivery manager of BallJames, is proud on this collaboration: 'From the first talks with Usportfor, we noticed their technical capabilities and opportunity to scale which make them an ideal partner for our BallJames Smart solution. Usportfor understands the needs of the football industry and help their clients to improve their performance by combining the strengths of both video and data.'

Frank van Mosselveld, General Manager RKC Waalwijk: 'Data will play a more and more important in role in football. RKC have been innovating more in the recent years and the addition of data will be the next step to improve the overall performance. We see the possibility to integrate video analysis and data. The pilot of Usportfor and BallJames in our stadium is a big step in the right direction and we are very curious about the first results.'


The pilot of Usportfor and BallJames in our stadium is a big step in the right direction and we are very curious about the first results.Frank van Mosselveld, General Manager RKC Waalwijk


The partnership between RKC Waalwijk, Usportfor and BallJames will start during the 2019-2020 season.

About BallJames

BallJames is the first truly autonomous optical tracking solution in the world. Up to 14 4K cameras located around the pitch capture everything that is happening on the pitch, 25 frames per second. BallJames tracks all players, referees and the ball in 3D and real-time, with unparalleled accuracy.


Get in touch if you want to know more about BallJames