Following the successful use of the Observer system, launched by the EHF in 2010 before being used for all matches at the EHF EUROs in 2012 and 2014, another analysis tool has been introduced at the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland.
Where Observer is a platform designed for referees and technical delegates to undergo detailed match analysis, the 'Digital Scoresheet' is more user-friendly to ensure easy use for various groups, including coaches and team officials, referees, delegates and, in the future its creator Antonio Ojeda hopes, medical personnel, strength and conditioning coaches and even fans.
The aptly-named Digital Scoresheet is just that – a visual representation of the paper scoresheet available at the end of each match. Only information from the official scoresheet, such as goals, two-minute suspensions, penalties and goalkeeper saves, is included.
Ojeda, the EHF analyst and creator of Digital Scoresheet and Observer, says the goal of Digital Scoresheet in particular is to translate the complex technology for users at different levels.
"This is to try and help the sport and to help the people – this is my philosophy," said Ojeda.
When users sign in to the Digital Scoresheet system they see a list of all EHF EURO 2016 matches, then can simply click for detailed information on a specific match.
This information includes the official match data (names of referees and delegates, match number, playing time and venue) and the start list for each team.
The play-by-play report of the match then follows, and users can view any situation in the game with the click of a button. Game situations can be filtered to view different categories, for example a particular half, two-minute suspensions, or even all the actions of a particular player.
At previous tournaments teams would receive a USB with the same information, but the major development with the Digital Scoresheet system is that all of the data is now accessible online, from any device.
The data is entered during the match, with a dedicated analyst for each game – who can work either from the arena or remotely by streaming the match. Once the official score sheet is available after the final whistle, the data for that game is published on Digital Scoresheet, allowing near-live access to all of the clips.
Digital Scoresheet, which was developed specifically for the EHF, has been even more successful at the EHF EURO 2016 than Ojeda hoped.
"Everybody wants to use it. I never imagined it would be so useful," said Ojeda.
"By the eighth day of matches, there had been 4.2 Terabytes used. That’s eight times more than I thought. That’s a lot! That means that people are using it a lot."