Player Monitoring in Indoor Team Sports: Concurrent Validity of Inertial Measurement Units to Quantify Average and Peak Acceleration Values

Roell M., Roecker K., Gehring D., Mahler H., Gollhofer A.

The aim of the current study was to validate an IMU measuring by determining average and peak human acceleration under indoor conditions in team sport-specific movements. Data of a single wearable tracking device including an IMU (Optimeye S5, Catapult Sports, Melbourne, Australia) were compared to the results of a 3D motion analysis (MA) system (Vicon Motion Systems, Oxford, UK) during selected standardized movement simulations in an indoor laboratory (n = 56).

A low-pass filtering method for gravity correction (LF) and two sensor fusion algorithms for orientation estimation [Complementary Filter (CF), Kalman-Filter (KF)] were implemented and compared with MA system data. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were found between LF and MA data but not between sensor fusion algorithms and MA. Higher precision and lower relative errors were found for CF (RMSE = 0.05; CV = 2.6%) and KF (RMSE = 0.15; CV = 3.8%) both compared to the LF method (RMSE = 1.14; CV = 47.6%) regarding the magnitude of the resulting vector and strongly emphasize the implementation of orientation estimation to accurately describe human acceleration. Comparing both sensor fusion algorithms, CF revealed slightly lower errors than KF and additionally provided valuable information about positive and negative acceleration values in all three movement planes with moderate to good validity (CV = 3.9 – 17.8%). Compared to x- and y-axis superior results were found for the z-axis. These findings demonstrate that IMU-based wearable tracking devices can successfully be applied for athlete monitoring in indoor team sports and provide potential to accurately quantify accelerations and decelerations in all three orthogonal axes with acceptable validity. An increase in accuracy taking magnetometers into account should be specifically pursued by future research.

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