Applying AI in sports and investigating how AI can support various sports are among our points of interest. As part of this, we earlier prepared a feasibility study on AI-based video motion analysis for Rhythmic Gymnastics. Now we have begun to study ice hockey.
Upon deep diving into ice hockey match rules and reading through expert analysis on matches, we have visited the match MAC Újbuda – Liptovský Mikuláš, which was quite an excitement as the Hungarian team won 4:2. More seriously, we gathered important intelligence and also gained inspiration for our further work. The coaches of MAC explained what tactical elements and moves carry important details for the coaching team and players, what statistics and analyses are prepared on the basis of them and what hands-on conclusions they draw from them.
It was especially useful to observe how the what is called video coach works. He records the most important actions on his computer which runs a real-time video stream of the match (puck passing, assist, failed assist, etc). This is called tagging.
Csaba Kovács, former national team member, currently technical expert at the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation, was with us in the stadium to help us see what was happening on the ice. He also helps us work out AI use cases for this sport.
Apparently, the video tagging is a good candidate for automation. Then AI-based advanced analytics could be run on this recorded data. Nevertheless, these are only our instant ideas. In the coming weeks, we will continue to investigate how in defining match tactics and coaching individual players AI can be utilised.
In the meantime, we wish MAC further wins. Last but not least we look forward to the successful participation of the Hungarian national ice hockey team in the Division 1A World Championship to be held in April, 2020.