GAA Video Analysis with Nacsport

By Duncan Ritchie

05-May-2021 on Tips

18 minute read

Hurling, gaelic football and camogie are the national sports of Ireland, governed collectively by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).


All three sports are extremely fast paced. Hurling in particular is often called “the fastest game on grass” and, to the untrained eye, can appear to be quite chaotic. 


However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 


There is a huge amount of strategy in all GAA sports and each and every game can generate a wealth of data which, when handled correctly, can be used to analyse a team or their opponents to inform strategy and help win a match.


So, how can this data be collected and manipulated? With sports video analysis software such as Nacsport, of course!


There has already been a large uptake of Nacsport in the world of GAA and it has been embraced by analysts all over the Emerald Isle and we’ve seen a lot of innovation in the use of Nacsport over the years.


We’re extremely proud of our association with these old and noble games and, in this article, we’ll bring together all the resources we’ve already published on the analysis of GAA sports and show you how Nacsport can be used effectively for this.


As we go through the article, you’ll notice that many of these resources come from the good leprechauns at AnalysisPro and, before we start, we’d like to thank them for their hard work and dedication in this area.


Let’s go…!



1.    Basic Use: The Button Template and Dashboard

2.    Graphic Descriptors and Other Useful Tools

3.    Nacsport Users: Ben McGukin

4.    Nacsport Users: Tony Bambrick

5.    KlipDraw and Sharimg

6.    Official Nacsport Course for GAA

7.    Conclusion


Basic Use: The Button Template and Dashboard


Let’s kick off today with a quick look at two of the most fundamental aspects of video analysis with Nacsport…


Start by watching this great video tutorial by AnalysisPro, created specifically with GAA in mind and then read on for more info:



The Button Template


The Button Template is, in fact, the very basis of your analysis work. This is the tool which will allow you to tag your videos and collect analysis data through Nacsport.


And it’s fully customisable to your needs.


Create your template and click the buttons as you are watching the game live or on pre-recorded video to create video clips and collect data on the game. There are various types of button with different functions which we won’t get into in this article Instead, we suggest you check out this article to find out everything you’ll ever need to know about Nacsport Button Templates.


The Dashboard


analysispro gaa dashboard


After tagging your video with the button template, the Nacsport Dashboard can be used to display the collected data in easy-to-read charts, graphs and data labels.


Dashboards are easy to create in Nacsport and no coding is needed, unlike with some other video analysis software we could mention *cough Sportscode *cough!


All elements in the Dashboard are connected to the relevant videos, which can be accessed by simply clicking on them. Again, we won’t get too far into Dashboard creation as we’ve already covered it in this article.


If you click on the above link, you’ll notice that many of the highlighted Dashboards come from GAA, especially from the likes of Ben McGuckin and Tony Bambrick, who often go above and beyond in the creation of amazing data visualisation. We’ll be hearing more from these two later in the article!


For the moment, let’s move on…


Graphic Descriptors and Other Tools


Graphic Descriptors


Again, let’s begin this section with a quick video from AnalysisPro as they explain the use of Nacsport Graphic Descriptors as they relate to GAA…



Basically speaking, a Graphic Descriptor is a visual representation of the field of play which is added to your Button Template and allows you to collect XY data on the match that you’re watching by simply clicking on the area of the pitch where the action happens.


nacsport graphic descriptors


An XY coordinate will be added to your collected data which can then be used to add an extra layer to your analysis. The XY data can be manipulated on your Dashboard to display information such as movement maps, occupied area maps and heatmaps.


This is an extremely powerful analytical tool and is available from Scout onwards. Functionality of data visualisation will depend on the version of Nacsport you are using e.g. heatmaps are only available in Elite. Read this article for more details.


Other Tools


Nacsport puts a wealth of analytical tools at your disposal such as the Data Matrix, XML import and export, Presentations and many more.


We suggest that you head over to our YouTube channel where you can find in-depth tutorials on every Nacsport feature. You can also find additional information about many Nacsport tools in our blog (which you’re reading now!).


Nacsport Users Working in GAA


As we said in the introduction to this article, the use of Nacsport for GAA has thrown up a lot of innovation and, almost every week, we are treated to beautiful Templates and Dashboards that quite, quite frankly, astonish us.


So, in celebration of the innovative Irish, here’s a couple of  analysts that we’d like to highlight. We’ll keep adding to this list as time goes on.


Ben McGuckin


Ben McGuckin is the Head of Performance Analysis at Derry GAA and his work, especially with Dashboards is superlative, here he is being interviewed by AnalysisPro…



Here’s a gallery of some of his Dashboards, created using Nacsport and PowerPoint . We suggest that you follow him on Twitter for more amazing video analysis content.


Ben McGuckin Nacsport Dashboard for GAA


GAA Nacsport Dashboard Mayo



Tony Bambrick


Tony Bambrick is another Irish analyst who’s working apparent miracles with the Nacsport tools at his disposal.


Like Ben, Tony uses Nacsport data with PowerPoint to jaw-dropping effect. Check out this article Tony wrote in conjunction with AnalysisPro where he shares the process of creating these amazing Dashboards.


Although it’s based on soccer as opposed to GAA, Tony also wrote this great article for Nacsport where he shares some more of his wisdom. Check them both out and follow Tony on Twitter where he often posts about his work.


Here’s a visual selection of some of Tony’s creations:


Tony Bambrick GAA Football Dashboard


Tony Bambrick Retro Analysis


Tony Bambrick GAA dashboard


KlipDraw and Sharimg


Check out this AnalysisPro interview with Donegal coach, Karl Lacey, where he talks about some of his GAA analysis processes. 



During the interview he mentions two other pieces of software, both of which are fully compatible with Nacsport - KlipDraw and Sharimg - which we like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about now.




KlipDraw is a telestrator which allows you to draw on top of your videos. This is especially useful when you want to highlight specific movement in the video. 


You remember the old saying “a picture paints a thousand words”? Well, that’s exactly what KlipDraw convey your message and improve communication with your team.


KlipDraw comes in three flavours:


•    Basic. Allows you to create static images on still frames.

•    Animate. Allows you to create animated images on still frames.

•    Motion. Allows for full motion tracking on moving videos. Motion is not yet fully compatible with Nacsport, although we will be releasing an update soon which will bring full synergy.


To learn more about the differences between each KlipDraw product and to get a free 30-day trial of any of their products, head over to their website now.





Sharimg is an online file sharing app designed specifically for sharing sports analysis and fully compatible with Nacsport.


Not only can you upload video clips to the cloud, but you can also share your data. The user will have access to the analysis Data Matrix meaning that they can find the information which is most relevant to them very quickly.


Sharimg have various payment plans which you can check out on their website, as well as starting a 15-day free trial.


Both of these programs are thoroughly recommended by us here at Nacsport.


sharimg and nacsport


Official Nacsport Starter Course for Gaelic Games


At Nacsport, we’re always trying to find the best way to teach new users the fundamentals of video analysis so they can get the most out of their software. We have a library of tutorial videos on our YouTube channel, hundreds of articles on our blog page, a comprehensive user manual and, of course, our popular Official Courses, the newest of which is for GAA.


The fact that this course even exists speaks volumes about the popularity of Nacsport within the GAA community. Afterall, although we are all huge fans of Hurling, it would be fair to say that it is quite niche outside of Ireland...but here we are!


In this course, you will learn how to use the powerful analytical tools in Nacsport Basic+ and learn workflows which are similar to pro analysts around the world. Especially suited to Hurling, Camogie and Football, the course is 100% online and can be completed in 21 days. 


Of course, as a beginner, we don’t expect you to own a copy of Nacsport yet and that’s why we include a 3-month license for you in the price...perfect for you to complete the course then practice what we preach. If you do happen to be a Nacsport user before registering for the course, we’ll give you a discount on the price of the course.


On successful completion, you’ll get an Official Nacsport Certificate to prove that you’ve done it! What more could you want? the way, the tutors for the course are those guys at AnalysisPro. Yeah, them again. Absolute experts, so they are!


New courses start every Wednesday, click the banner below for more info and to register.



That’s All Folks


So, that brings us to the end of this GAA article. Over time, we’ll keep adding to this page so that it remains the ultimate Nacsport page for information about gaelic games.


In the meantime, if you’ve got any question or comments about this article, please get in touch with us through TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn and we’ll be happy to answer them.


Alternatively, get in touch with those top lads at AnalysisPro.


Thanks for reading!

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