The aim of the project is to see if there is a way to quantify the crowd’s influence on player performance. Already, AFL players are tracked using micro wearable units that include GPS and accelerometers. The amount of data generated from these devices in a given game is huge. Every movement is tracked, stored and interpreted in an effort to understand performance and mitigate injury.
Anecdotally, anyone who has ever been to any major sports match would agree that the crowd creates intense and tangible atmospheres. Yet how can this be measured? Perhaps the compelling languages of creative practice, paired with the statistical analysis of player performance, can begin to answer this question.
Any sports fan will tell you that sport is a deeply emotional, cultural and aesthetic practice. The work of 19th Century psychologist William James and his ‘radical empiricism‘ will provide one of the philosophical frameworks for our research.
In short, he urges us to consider experience beyond a simple ‘stream of data’, but to consider relations as significantly as objects and perception. Sport is all about relations, affect and flow. In a word, it is about events.
Stay tuned for more updates!