Using Video Analysis Software to Measure Ball Possession in Football (Or Any Other Sport)

By Nacsport

05-September-2018 on Tips

5 minute read

When you watch a football match (or indeed any sport) on television, you’ll be blinded by stats. Corners, throw-ins, fouls and, of course possession are all accounted for.

 

Many detractors say that this constant procession of statistics is detrimental to the purity of the beautiful game and all you really need is the score and the time. Others embrace it and delight in pouring over the numbers.

 

We’re not here to judge or argue. All we’ll say on the matter is that, nowadays, all these stats are calculated with analysis software such as Nacsport, and we’ll show you how to do it, specifically for possession.

Get Organised

 

Firstly, we need to clarify that this feature is available in all Nacsport programs, from Basic to Elite but, since there are limitations on the number of buttons you can create in the Basic levels (25 in Basic, 50 in Basic+) it’s possible that you have already reached your limit, you may have to reorganise your button template in order to pull this off. The good news is that you’ll only need two, possibly three, buttons depending on how accurate you need to be.

 

If you’ve reached your limits perhaps it’s time to upgrade your software to the next level. Something which is easy and cheap to do.

 

How to Measure Possession in 4 Easy Steps

 

 

So, without further ado, here are the steps you must follow in order to do this:

1. Create Your Buttons.

 

Edit your Template to include the buttons needed to pull this off. A button for “Team A” and “Team B” are the absolute minimum for doing this, but, to get real accuracy, you will need to create a “No Possession” button which will show you when the ball is loose and neither team has possession. It’s your choice whether to include this or not and will largely depend on your limitations.

 

2. Assign Manual Behaviour.

 

Change the behaviour of these button so they are in “Manual Mode”. Do this in the "Behaviour" tab of the button template window (see screenshot below).

 

3. Set Exclusions

 

In "Exclusion", check the other two buttons (see below). This means is that when one button is activated, the other two will be deactivated.

 


4. Create Charts on the Dashboard.

 

Create a graph or chart on the Dashboard to show you the statistical data. This can be shown in time (minutes and seconds) or as a percentage of possession.

 

And that’s how easy it is. Check out the following video for a more visual tutorial, if needed:

 

 

Can This Be Used to Measure Possession in Other Sports?

 

Yes, of course. We’ve labelled this as a football post simply because that is the sport you see in the video. But charting possession in a game can be done in exactly the same way for any team sport: basketball, hockey, rugby, handball, water polo, etc.

 

Do I Really Need the “No-Possession” Button?



That entirely depends on you and the data you need to get from your analysis. In some sports where there are clear phases of attack or defence (in American Football analysis, for example), you may not need to measure “No Possession”, but generally speaking, in sports where the ball can run loose, it’s needed to get a true picture of the game.


Do I Need to Create A New, Dedicated Template?

 

Not at all. You can set up these buttons in any template you already have (if you have not reached your limits of available buttons, of course). We’ve created a new template in the tutorial for the sake of clarity, but you can add them to an existing template with no problems.

And that's how easy it is to measure ball possession in football or any other sport. If you aren't yet a Nacsport user, why not download a FREE 30-day trial today and try it for yourself.

 

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