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New Zealand Football confirms 2020/21 season details

New Zealand Football has confirmed the details and starting dates of its national competitions for the 2020/21 season, during October and November.

New Zealand Football has confirmed the details and starting dates of its national competitions for the 2020/21 season.

The national men’s football league, the ISPS Handa Premiership will start in November, while the National Women’s League will commence from the weekend of October 31.

COVID-19 has also forced some structural changes to be made to both the men’s and women’s competitions.

In the ISPS Handa Premiership, the competition will feature eight club instead of the usual 10 teams. The South Island teams, Southern United, Tasman United and Canterbury United Dragons, will merge for the upcoming season. They will play under the Canterbury United Dragons name.

The competition will retain its usual format of a regular season with each team playing each other twice before a finals series including semi-finals and a grand final – the latter is expected to be held in March 2021.

Plans for a promotion and relegation framework have been postponed and will be reviewed before the 2021/22 season.

The National Women’s League will be played as a single round robin competition for this season. A grand final will be held on the weekend of December 19. The competition will feature all seven women’s teams.

“It has taken a lot of work with our clubs and federations to get to this stage but we are excited to now be able to confirm initial details of our national competitions for the upcoming season,” Daniel Farrow, General Manager of Football for New Zealand Football said in a statement.

“While Covid-19 and the knock-on effect of shifting community football dates has had an impact on the length of competitions and, in the case of the ISPS Handa Premiership, the number of teams able to take part, running men’s, women’s and futsal national league competitions this year was a key priority and we are very pleased to be able to make that happen.

“We also want to acknowledge the support of Sport NZ and our on-going partnership with Trillian Trust as key contributors to staging competitions this season.”

The 2019/20 ISPS Handa Premiership was called off early in March due to COVID-19. Auckland City, who were leading the competition at the time, were declared champions.

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Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Football Queensland launches new futsal competition

Football Queensland is welcoming expressions of interest from futsal clubs across the sunshine state, for the launch of a new competition for the small-sided game, titled the F-League.

The league will be run for both men and women in a conference style, with kick off set for March of this year.

“In the 2020-2022 Futsal Strategy, Football Queensland outlined its plan to launch the F-League as part of our clear vision for futsal in Queensland,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“This new competition connects and integrates our futsal and football clubs while serving as the highest level of competitive futsal in Queensland.

“It opens up new opportunities for affiliated football clubs who meet certain criteria, to improve their club offering, increase their membership and get more kids playing futsal by establishing a futsal program with futsal-focused players.

“With Northern, Central and SEQ competition conferences planned, FQ is committed to unlocking the opportunity futsal presents to deliver participation growth throughout the state.”

The F-League is set to replace the SEQ Futsal Premier League for men and women, running throughout the year in an annual two-season structure.

“This is an important step in the development of futsal in Queensland,” FQ Futsal Participation Officer Trevor Edwards said.

“The F-League enables futsal to flourish all year long as we build a stronger and more sustainable competition framework.”

Football Queensland advises clubs who are interested to complete the online EOI form here by this Friday.

ChyronHego: Delivering sport performance technology worldwide

ChyronHego is renowned as a worldwide leader for sport performance technology, working with professional teams, leagues, coaches and stadia.

ChyronHego is renowned as a global leader for sport performance technology, working with professional teams, leagues, coaches and stadia worldwide. 

Their massive client list features some of the biggest names in football, including league-wide deals with the Premier League, and the top two divisions of German Bundesliga.  

ChyronHego have proven themselves to be the number one choice as a tracking provider for technological advancement. They’ve been collaborating with both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, as well as being the preferred supplier for the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships. 

All this major success is largely due to ChyronHego’s award winning solution, TRACAB Optical Tracking. This data capturing offers quality, accurate and reliable data. The essence of this system is to determine the positions of every player on the pitch, along with referees and even the ball. The data will then be outputted live, giving real-time X, Y and Z positional coordinates.  

TRACAB data has been a go-to source for clubs, federations and broadcasters across the world who are looking at ways to access new detailed metrics related to players and teams. The open streamed format of the data is key to making it a real success and offers a more detailed interpretation for finding out what contributes to elite performance in professional football. 

With key information on hand, it allows club sport scientists, conditioning staff and performance analysts to make more informed decisions on the following: 

  • Player recovery protocols and training/match loads. 
  • Benchmark against previous performances. 
  • Benchmark against fellow league performers. 
  • Benchmark against league averages. 
  • Positional awareness evaluation. 
  • Tactical team assessment. 
  • Player pressure values. 
  • Physical metrics in and out of possession. 
  • Interrogate data in ways that suit clients’ needs. 

In 2019, ChyronHego introduced TRACAB Gen5, further enhancing the quality of data collection. Significant improvements were made in tracking quality and accuracy, driven by completely redesigned algorithms, a richer array of camera angles, and powerful new AI features for player, number, and colour recognition. 

“TRACAB has always been the most accurate sports tracking system in the world, but with TRACAB Gen5 we’ve made it exponentially better,” president of sports at ChyronHego, Rickard Öhrn said 

“We’ve overhauled and improved our AI-based image detection tracking algorithms from the ground up to ensure maximum accuracy and the lowest latency. 

“We’re combining these advanced algorithms with multiple high-resolution camera angles, which means we can deliver the highest quality data feed on the market ­— in real-time — and provide an even greater value for leagues, federations and teams, betting companies, broadcasters, and OTT rights holders producing virtual graphics and enhancements for better fan engagement.” 

TRACAB Gen5 has a distributed camera architecture where cameras can be deployed on both sides of the field and behind each goal to capture action from four different angles.  

The flexibility that is offered from the system of multiple camera views allows Gen5 to track every object on the field at a much higher resolution. By stitching and utilising these camera views within TRACAB’s industry-leading computer vision algorithms, Gen5 is able to deliver the highest accuracy of ball and player tracking data in the global sports market.  

The accuracy of player identities is increased through TRACAB Gen5’s AI capabilities, that enables the system to recognise and distinguish player numbers and jersey colours from any angle. Where preferred by clients, this capability also allows for the removal of operators from on-site operations. 

Coach Paint plays a massive part in displaying the data that comes from TRACAB. It supports teams, coaches, pundits, and producers in creating world-class video assets using live, pre and post-game footage. You would see it in sports broadcasts such as Monday Night Football from the UK. 

The use of Coach Paint has revolutionised the way clubs can present video to players. Coach Paint clients have included Premier League’s Chelsea and Arsenal, Serie A’s Juventus and a variety of clubs in England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Turkey, Israel, Qatar, America, Brazil, Argentina and Thailand, to showcase the worldwide reach.  

Coach Paint is also highly adaptable, having been adopted in Rugby Union, Rugby League, NHL, NFL and MLB. 

The graphics presented by Coach Paint will give insights to coaching staff and managers who can then communicate it with players, whether it be live or pre-recorded. This is essential for any coaches looking to implement game plans and develop a players’ positional awareness.

For professional sport clubs, having access to this information on a regular basis is vital for the training ground or on game day. 

To see more on ChyronHego including their latest news and innovations, you can find it here. 

Western United partner with City of Greater Geelong

Western United has announced they have signed a partnership with the City of Greater Geelong to promote A-League football in the city, as well as bringing tourism to the region.

“We are extremely excited to partner with the City Of Greater Geelong to grow the game of football in the region,” said WUFC Director of Football Steve Horvat.

“Geelong will go down in history as the place where Western United played its first-ever home game and we want to continue to have an ongoing relationship.

“We have created a real home ground feel at GMHBA and this partnership will continue to develop that for both the players and fans.

“Even though we will have a home stadium up the highway in the Western suburbs, Geelong will always play an important part of our identity and as a key talent catchment area.

“There are thousands of registered players in Greater Geelong, and by having an elite A-League and eventually a W-League team in the region, it will continue the sports growth and create a pathway for girls and boys to follow their dreams,” concluded Horvat.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said Western United had quickly become a significant part of the local sporting landscape.

“Western United is our home A-League team and they’ve done a great job engaging with the local community during their short history so far,” she said.

“Every Western United game in Geelong attracts visitors to our city and brings national TV exposure, while helping to build local participation in the sport of football.

“This partnership cements the club’s relationship with the city and will bring benefits for the club and our local economy.”

The club opened their season at GMHBA Stadium against Adelaide United, with the match finishing 0-0.

They will face Perth Glory tomorrow in Geelong.

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