Synchronization of passes in event and spatiotemporal soccer data Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractThe majority of soccer analysis studies investigates specific scenarios through the implementation of computational techniques, which involve the examination of either spatiotemporal position data (movement of players and the ball on the pitch) or event data (relating to significant situations during a match). Yet, only a few applications perform a joint analysis of both data sources despite the various involved advantages emerging from such an approach. One possible reason for this is a non-systematic error in the event data, causing a temporal misalignment of the two data sources. To address this problem, we propose a solution that combines the SwiftEvent online algorithm (Gensler and Sick in Pattern Anal Appl 21:543–562, 2018) with a subsequent refinement step that corrects pass timestamps by exploiting the statistical properties of passes in the position data. We evaluate our proposed algorithm on ground-truth pass labels of four top-flight soccer matches from the 2014/15 season. Results show that the percentage of passes within half a second to ground truth increases from 14 to 70%, while our algorithm also detects localization errors (noise) in the position data. A comparison with other models shows that our algorithm is superior to baseline models and comparable to a deep learning pass detection method (while requiring significantly less data). Hence, our proposed lightweight framework offers a viable solution that enables groups facing limited access to (recent) data sources to effectively synchronize passes in the event and position data.

publication date

  • 2023

start page

  • 15878


  • 13


  • 1