A Guide to Nacsport Categories and Descriptors

By Duncan Ritchie

31-August-2021 on Tips

9 minute read

As we always say, designing a good tagging window is absolutely essential to your analysis work. And the key to designing a good tagging window is understanding how each different button works and their place within the hierarchy.


There are two main types of button that can be used in Nacsport: Categories (for main actions) and Descriptors (to describe how the main action was done). In this article, we’ll look at both types of button and explain how they each work.

The Basics


Before we get deep into the topic of Categories and Descriptors, let’s first get right back to basics and explain what our buttons do. 


In essence, clicking buttons allows you to tag the action that happens during a game. This can be done when watching live and syncing to a video at a later time, or through video playback. By doing this, short video clips of that specific action are created, meaning that at the end of the game, you have a library of relevant clips for analysis. Tagging also logs the game information in a database which can then be used to obtain quantitative game data.


Tagging window creation is not the main thrust of this article, but if you’d like more information on what to include in your own tagging window, we recommend checking out this great guide which will give you plenty of ideas. We can also recommend enrolling on an Official Nacsport Course, which will go into much more detail on this topic.


Different Types of Button


Moving on, it’s important to remember that not all buttons are the same. In fact, there are two completely distinct types of buttons used in Nacsport. These are Categories and Descriptors.


If we think of these in terms of language, we could say that Category buttons are like nouns, the definite object. Descriptors are like adjectives, which describe the object. For example, in the phrase “The big red car”, “car” would be our Category and “big red” our Descriptors, they describe the noun.


If we move this to sport, football in particular, we might see a “Shot” taken by the “Centre Forward” which ends in a “Goal”. In this case, “Shot” is our main action, the one we want to make a video clip about, and this is our Category. “Centre Forward” and “Goal” describe who took the “Shot” and it’s result. These are our Descriptors.


This is just one example of a combination of Categories and Descriptors. Nacsport is extremely versatile and can be adapted to any situation you might find on the football field, basketball court or any other sport. Categories can be created for any aspect of defense, midfield or attack in any game and Descriptors can be customised to tag exactly the information you need.


We realise that a blank canvas with infinite possibilities can be daunting, so we recommend that you check out this article where we’ve compiled dozens of template examples from Nacsport users. We also recommend checking out this video in which we show you how to create categories and descriptors and how to identify them on your template:



So, why are Categories and Descriptors so important? Well, it makes the subsequent analysis much more precise and makes it easier to filter all the information from a game.


For example, if you want to see all the shots on goal taken by the centre forward, you can easily find this information by using the Nacsport Data Matrix. Likewise, if you want to see all the saves by the opposition goalkeeper, you can filter this information too, as long as your tagging window is set up for this, of course.


And you can get even more precise. Want to see all the shots taken by the centre forward from outside the penalty area which went wide of the target? No problem! If these buttons are on your original tagging window and the game has been tagged correctly, you can filter this information to see exactly these video clips. In addition, all this information can be used in conjunction with the Nacsport Dashboard to create numerical graphs and charts, or even exported to Excel for additional analysis. Quality quantitative data at your fingertips!



How Many Categories Descriptors Can Be Included in Your Tagging Window?


The answer to this will depend on which version of Nacsport you are using. Here’s the lowdown:


•    Basic. A maximum of 25 buttons. Only Categories.

•    Basic+. A maximum of 50 buttons. A mix of Categories and Descriptors.

•    Scout / Pro / Elite. Unlimited buttons. Categories and Descriptors.


Click the button below to see a full side-by-side comparison of all our software packages.



Faster, More Detailed Analysis


nacsport template basketball


The distinction between Categories and Descriptors allows for a much deeper level of sports analysis.


With Nacsport Basic, where you cannot create Descriptor buttons, you’ll be able to get a certain depth of analysis, one which is much more profound than a traditional video editor can provide, but one that is still fairly superficial.


This is fine for many analysts, especially amateurs or hobbyists, but to dig deeper into the data, Basic+, with its combination of Categories and Descriptors is going to provide much more pertinent data. Obviously, this goes even further with the unlimited capabilities of Scout, Pro and Elite.


In short, the more Categories and Descriptors you have on your initial tagging window, the more detailed and thorough your analysis will be and the more effective and actionable the information will be for your team.


How to Recognise Each Button Type


On an aesthetic level, all Nacsport buttons are fully customisable, regardless of type. The colour, shape, size and font of your buttons can all be changed to suit your needs. You can also add images to make them more visually arresting. This article will show you how to make great looking templates.


However, there is one thing that visually marks the difference between Categories and Descriptors. Descriptors are marked with a red circle in the upper left corner of the button.


nacsport football template for basic plus


This mark can be hidden if you wish, but we recommend that, at least in the beginning, you keep this in your template so you can easily tell the difference between each type of button.


As we have said, in addition to this visual distinction, there are multiple possibilities, both aesthetic and functional, when using combinations of Categories and Descriptors. To get more in depth about these button types, we recommend that you enroll on the Official Nacsport Course which goes into much more detail about button templates than we can cover here.


So, that’s it for our explanation of Categories and Descriptors. If you have any questions about this article, we’d be happy to assist you. Contact us through our website or on any of our social media channels.


Until then, thanks for reading!

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