Real-Time Analysis with Nacsport: All the Options

By Duncan Ritchie

23-February-2021 on Tips

16 minute read

Real-time analysis is becoming increasingly widespread in the world of sports video analysis. Because of that, in this article, we’re going to summarise some methods for collecting and analysing video and data with Nacsport.


Firstly we need to consider how strategic decision making can be improved during a match. The answer would probably be to have more pertinent information, right? After all, information is power and quality information can lead to better decisions.


There are several ways to obtain quality information. The typical way to do this would be a post-match analysis, and this is the method which invariably allows us to collect the greatest amount of data of the highest quality. 


Unfortunately, this takes time and, while being supremely useful to inform future strategy, it’s not very useful for helping coaches make decisions in a game that is being played RIGHT NOW.


And this is where real-time analysis comes into play. This is a quick analysis which, whilst perhaps not necessarily being particularly in-depth, can have a direct impact on live games.

Real time analysis Ste Mills Castleford Tigers


What Is Real-Time?


We’re well aware that these types of buzzword can sometimes cause confusion for the uninitiated. Time is always real, surely!


Well, of course it (although there may be some philosophers and physicists that disagree with this!). But when we’re talking about real-time in terms of analysis, we’re basically talking about all the tasks an analyst performs live, while the match is still in progress.

real time analysis equipment

An analyst can register actions (or tag, mark code...whatever you call it), capture video (that is, take images from a source, whether that be a video camera or a live stream) and analyze (filter and study the collected data) during the course of a game.


During a match, the analyst may perform some or all of these actions, depending on his needs, in order to obtain live information or save time in their later analysis.


The Evolution of Real-Time Analysis


A sporting event can generate a huge amount of data in the form of information or video. 


Until a short time ago, the only alternative for the analyst on duty was to gather up all this data, take it home, review the images, and begin to document and filter what had happened on the pitch in order to have it ready the next day. 


This task of constantly reviewing information would take hours and hours, time that maybe could be better spent on other tasks.


With the evolution of video analysis, many professional analysts began to register their matches live and direct. This meant that, at the final whistle, they already had half the job done.


Some went a step further and decided that, technology allowing, why not register and analyze at the same time. This would allow them to pass important data about the game directly into the locker room at half-time, informing the coaching staff and directly influencing the team’s strategy.

real time analysis in the locker room


One thing led to another and the tools were developed for up-to-the-second analysis in real-time. Now, instead of waiting for a break in the game, communication between analyst and coaching staff could be carried out instantaneously, meaning that the bench could be fully informed at every point of the game.


As you can imagine, there are many different scenarios within the real-time context and there are two fundamental things which will affect the needs of the analyst. These are:


1. The version of Nacsport being used.


2. The resources at the analysts disposal. The work of an analyst at a big club, in huge stadiums with many resources will be very different to that of an analyst working with a lower league or amatuer club.


For this reason, we’ve split the options for real-time analysis workflows into three distinct groups, which we’ll explain in further detail below.


Option 1: Film and Register Live, Analyze Later


You’ll need two fundamental elements for this option: Nacsport (with which to register actions. This could either be on a laptop or our Tag&view app) and a video source (from a camcorder, IP camera, streamed or from any TV source).


Video Analysis

Video Analysis


The video source must be linked to your analysis data in Nacsport. If you’re doing this through a camera, you’ll need a video capture device which is used to connect the camera to your computer.

winning with real time analysis

This option for working in real-time is available in all Nacsport programs, including Basic.


Register from iPad with Nacsport Tag&view

You can also tag actions from an iPad or iPhone through our Tag&view app.


With this application, you can log your data and even use the camera on the device to film the game.


Whatever the case, at the end of the game, you can send both information and images to your desktop computer and continue working on it from there. So, Tag&view really can help during the registration phase.

real-time analysis with nacsport tag&view


Joint Analysis


Although in many cases, the image of the solitary analyst alone in a booth surrounded by his equipment may ring true, the truth of the matter is that in many top-flight teams there will be a team of analysts registering the match at the same time. For example, there may be a separate analyst for defense, attack and individual analyses.



If this is the case at your club or you’re considering something similar, Nacsport allows you to connect all the analysts together, with multiple analysis feeding into one central computer together.


This is what we call real-time joint analysis and can be done from different computers or Tag&view.



Real-time joint analysis can only be done through Nacsport Elite licenses (and corresponding Tag&view licenses).

real time analysis at centurions

Registration Without Video Source


If you have a Scout license or higher, you don’t need a video source in order to register actions in a game. You simply have to tag while watching live and then synchronise the images afterwards. This is what we call registering without a video source.



Option 2: Register Live, Present at Half-Time

In terms of equipment needed, the process for this option is practically identical to the previous one. This is more about making decisions about infrastructure.


The biggest difference in that the analyst not only registers the action, but also analyses the most important plays to present them at half-time. This means that the coach can apply this information to the game.


In general, and according to our experience, the analyst usually picks up his computer 5 minutes before the break and goes to the dressing room, where he will show the coaching staff the clips he has registered to give feedback on the period that has just ended.

real time analysis half time castleford tigers


The downside of this option is that, on occasion, the analyst may miss a few minutes of the game at either side of the break and these can sometimes be game changing moments where a lot of action happens.


Another downside is that the analyst may have to collect all their gear if there is nobody to keep an eye on it and keep it secure. This especially true away from home and can be a time consuming task to pack up before the break and set up again afterwards.


Dedicated Template for Live Analysis


There is no way for an analyst to do a live analysis that is as detailed as a full post-game breakdown, especially if they have to analyze specific plays during the match too.


So, what can they do to get the most out of live analysis? Well, generally, they will create a much more basic template with fewer buttons for real-time analysis. Perhaps they will have a dedicated button for those plays they want to present during the break.


Again, this process can be done in any program in the Nacsport range.


Furthermore, Tag&view can be used as a device to review actions at half-time if it is also being used as a camera to film the game, as it allows for the option to review tagged actions.


Take Control of Time


If you have an Elite license, you will also have access to some truly professional features:


Review Actions Without Stopping Filming 


You will be able to go back to previous parts of the game and watch them again while the recording continues.



Delayed Video Feed


You can set a delay of X seconds to the action displayed on screen. By doing this you give yourself more time to tag actions, e.g., you see an important play on the field with your own eyes and have a few extra seconds to tag it on the computer thanks to the delayed feed.



Dual Capture


You can capture and register actions using two different video sources concurrently. A live TV feed plus an IP camera capture feed is one of the most common setups we’ve seen for this. 



Option 3: Send Live Information to the Bench


Using this option, you can share up-to-the-second analysis with the bench by using Nacsport Coach Station.


Coach Station is a product which allows you to temporarily transform any device with Nacsport installed (any level) into a data receiving device. Information can be sent via Nacsport Pro+ or Elite.

live analysis at gloucester rugby


To clarify, the analyst’s computer, with Pro+ or Elite installed, can send live information to another computer on the bench. With Pro+ you can only send videos, with Elite you can send both video and data.


On the bench, they will be able to view registers, data matrixes and dashboards live and direct.


Important: Consider the Necessary Hardware Requirements


In addition to the minimum recommended computer requirements, to analyse live with Coach Station, you will also need a LAN network, which is basically a network which allows you to connect the two computers.


When playing at home, this task is much less complicated as a hardwired infrastructure can be created easily. The difficulty lies when playing at another team’s ground as you will need to set up a wireless network.


In this case, we recommend the NanoStation Loco M5 antenna which can be used to send and receive signals over a huge range.


Share in Real-Time, an Alternative


Another option for sending information live to the bench is the Live Review tool, which allows you to send different types of information, such as dashboards and videos, to another device.



Again, you’ll need to connect both receiving and emitting devices to the same LAN network. This video of the Spanish field hockey team sharing information in real-time might give you a better understanding of how this is done.



Which Option Do You Prefer?


As you can see, there are multiple possibilities for working in real-time with Nacsport. Not only when it comes to registering and capturing video but also when analysing and sharing conclusions minute-to-minute.


Which option do you use? Or do you have another method that we’ve missed in this article?


Please get in contact with us at to let us know or if you have any questions about the topics covered here.


In the meantime, thanks for reading!

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