Four years ago, the German football team wore small devices during World Cup training to monitor their speed, distance, and heart rate. Darcy Norman, a performance data analyst with the German national team utilized Adidas’ micoach wearable technology and software to help the team improve its decision-making. The data was analyzed after training sessions to see how each specific athlete performed to plan effective future workouts and make better personnel decisions. These actions were considered to be a key factor of their World Cup win and now, FIFA 2018 World Cup teams will be embracing the powers of wearable technology to maximize their chances of success.
FIFA’s International Match Standard (IMS) for Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS) have confirmed that Catapult Sports’ OptimEye EVO, HPU and its PlayerTek device have passed the necessary safety tests and have been approved for players to wear it underneath their shirts during competitive matches. These shirts designed by Catapult will allow teams to track their players’ movement and vitals during games. FIFA has permitted two members of staff from each team to access and analyze this data. With the limited time between games, these trackers will help to avoid overexertion and lower the risk of injury.
Referees will also be sporting wearables at the tournament. Their Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup smartwatches will incorporate goal-line technology to notify officials of when a goal is scored. A similar watch will also be sold for mainstream use, featuring a countdown display to the World Cup, notifications of match start times and live match stats. It will also vibrate and show the word “GOAL” whenever a goal is scored.