Specialty Markets

Tackling Injury Risks Before They Even Happen

March 4, 2014

LONDON, UK -- "If we have a fully fit squad, we'll rival any team in Europe," says Andrew Shelton, Head of Sport Science at Leicester Tigers[1]. With a heritage that includes ten English champion records and several cup wins, the rugby club is the most successful in England. They've never been relegated from the top flight. The pressure is on for the team to avoid injuries.

Rugby is an intensive contact sport with collisions aplenty. Research has shown that one in four rugby players will be injured during a season[2]. A hamstring injury can mean an average of 14 missed playing days[3]. For professional clubs, this can affect the bottom line, with risks of decreased ticket sales and TV coverage.

Leicester Tigers enjoys an annual turnover in the region of £20 million and has the largest ground in the Aviva Premiership, with a 24,000 capacity that's planned to expand to 30,000. From a business perspective, a healthy squad is vital.

This is why IBM's Predictive Analytics platform was introduced to make use of the biometric data collected from sensors attached to players during all pitch activity.

Together with IBM partner EDGE10's sports analysis software, Leicester Tigers can now generate predictive models that warn of specific injury risks, based on several years of historical data. The information and visuals generated by IBM's SPSS® software helps identify patterns and trends in player behaviour and performance.

Results are designed to be easy to understand by coaches and trainers, who are ultimately responsible for adjusting individual training programmes.

"Our results suggest that we may be able to predict around 50 percent of our injuries," says Andrew Shelton.

This is one of many examples of how IBM's Predictive Analytics software is used to identify and visualise trends and patterns in data. It delivers benefits to organisations basing future decisions from predictive models.

Recent studies have shown organisations, which apply analytics, outperform their peers, with up to 1.6 times revenue growth and 2.5 times stock price appreciation being among potential rewards in financial results.

Read the Leicester Tigers case study at http://bitly.com/1gnJnET

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