World Congress of Performance Analysis in Sport

ISPAS (International Society of Performance Analysis in Sport) – World Congress Review – Andy Elleray

The World Congress of Performance Analysis of Sport takes place every 4 years – and it can be anywhere in the World! Luckily my 1st congress took place at my old stomping ground of Worcester University so I knew my way around!

I was fortunate enough to be able to present 2 pieces of research for podium presentations – the tiles of which are below.

‘The evaluation of goalkeeping performance analysis support used in senior professional and elite level youth football: An applied perspective’ & ‘An analysis of English professional goalkeeper match actions over two competitive seasons: Implications for the coaching process’.

It was quite daunting presenting in front of a large and knowledgeable audience! Many of who were professors and experts in their chosen fields – but I was very pleased with how they went and the feedback was positive. Combine this with the contacts I’ve made the experience was extremely worthwhile. The networking alone at these kinds of events is priceless so I would encourage anyone in the field of PA to attend congresses or conferences of this nature.

More on my abstracts and presentations will be available in the next few months – amongst other pieces of literature.

There was a variety of different sports and countries on show. The research came in the form of podium presentations and posters. 38 different counties were represented so the depth of research was evident. Football was the most popular but I tried to vary the type of research I saw – volleyball, golf, rugby and wheelchair sports were areas I wanted to investigate more.

There was a sport or research area for everyone, with so many people in attendance you couldn’t help but been engaged and infused by discussions and the opportunity to quiz people about their methods – not in a malicious but inquisitive way!

Here is a brief summary of 3 of the keynote speakers which I saw. I’m not certain if the keynote presentations are available but if they are hopefully they can be shared.

Dr Barry Drust & Andy Scoulding: Performance analysis in elite soccer – English FA Premier League

Probably my most eagerly anticipated for obvious reasons. Having met Andy during my time at Liverpool I was keen to see a bit more about how he operated at the club along with his time with the England squad at Euro 2012. Barry Drust provided a scientific section focusing on how GPS is used within professional football which was much applied and thought provoking.

Andy looked at how analysis is used at each level of football and how the discipline fits within the whole framework of a club. He also talked about his experiences providing feedback to players and talked about some pros, cons and suggestions within the process. A great presentation by both.

Dr Wynford Leyshon: Performance analysis in the management of high performance sport – international 400m hurdles

This presentation was fantastic as it showed how Di Greene and Rhys Williams’s performances are recorded and measured. He looks into split times between each hurdle and stride patterns in each different race. The videos he showed were great as it focused solely on the runner – much like my work in goalkeeping he was able to look into performance in detail due to the low numbers of players he was working with.

Prof. Jaime Sampaio: Performance analysis in basketball

Jamie talked about his experiences in Basketball in Spain. He has devised various different analysis procedures and looks at Basketball from a different perspective. He uses physical as well as positional movement data to really dissect performances. If you’re interested in Basketball analysis I suggest you look for his work.

Overall the congress was fantastic. Well organised by the University of Worcester and ISPAS. Further details of the congress will no doubt be available on the ISPAS website ( and information about how to become a member is also on the site.

They run an accreditation process where as an analyst you can apply to become registered to the society. It’s done on a level basis 1-7 with 7 being the highest. You need to fill out forms and meet certain criteria within the analyst World – things along the lines of what level you work at along with your previous experiences are amongst what they look for. Great for CVs and personal development.

A brief insight into the event – keep your eyes peeled for more events of this nature on the!



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