Rugby News (10)

Concussion management boosted by ground-breaking new system

Ahead of the new Premiership rugby season, further enhancements have been made to the way concussion will be managed in the professional club game in England.

Building on learnings from the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which had the highest and most effective player welfare standards operation for any rugby event to date and where 50% of concussion cases were identified by real-time video review of the head injury event by medical staff, Aviva Premiership Rugby will become the first Rugby league in the world to trial real-time pitch-side concussion video review to help team medical staff better identify players who have been exposed to head injury events.

Funded by the 12 Premiership Rugby clubs, delivered by Premiership Rugby and supported by the Rugby Football Union, the innovative myplayXplay system will be used in all 135 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this season plus all other senior Premiership club  home fixtures in domestic competitions, starting tomorrow night at Kingston Park and Kingsholm.

“We have made huge progress on concussion management in the last few years but we know we have to continue to innovate and develop our systems as player welfare is our No 1 priority,” said Corin Palmer, Head of Rugby Operations at Premiership Rugby.

“Premiership Rugby have sourced and funded the myplayXplay real time concussion surveillance solution for Premiership players in England to ensure that players receive the best possible support from the sidelines.”

“The myplayXplay system is ground-breaking and allows our clubs’ medical staff to review and analyse injuries on an iPad moments after they occur; this addition to the sideline toolkit improves their ability to diagnose injuries correctly during a match.

“I can only applaud our clubs for the way they have embraced this new system. They are committed to improving player welfare and this is another example of this.

“myplayXplay is destined to become a vital tool to support proactive medical efforts. In its inaugural season of use, using myplayXplay’s technology will add significant value in ensuring player safety and welfare.”

A Pitchside Video Reviewer (PVR) will be provided by each Premiership team. The PVR, a member of the club’s medical team will monitor game footage in real-time and will be responsible for referring any suspicious head injuries to the team doctor for his/her review.

Video footage of any suspicious head injury events in real time will be captured and clipped by the PVR and reviewed by the team doctor to assess if a player should be immediately removed on a permanent basis or temporarily replaced for an assessment using the HIA process.

In addition to this initiative designed to improve the recognition of concussed players, the RFU and the English professional club game is investigating the value of the King Devick (KD) test, an eye scanning test in the identification of concussed players. The King-Devick test, developed in conjunction with the Mayo clinic in America, tests the speed and accuracy of an individual’s eye movements as they track and read out a sequence of numbers presented to them on an iPad. A player’s speed and accuracy are then compared to their performance recorded in the pre-season.

The test will be conducted on all players undergoing a Head Injury Assessment in all Aviva Premiership Rugby, and Green King IPA Championship matches this season. The King-Devick test has shown real potential in identifying concussed athletes in a number of other studies but has not been investigated to date in professional rugby.

World Rugby, who are supportive of the research project, have approved an extension of the current 10-minute HIA to 13 minutes in these two competitions to allow the King-Devick test to be performed at the end of the standard HIA process. For this season the King-Devick test will be conducted alongside the HIA solely for research purposes and will not influence the result of the HIA assessment. If it is shown to be an appropriately sensitive and specific test there is the potential for it to be added to the HIA assessment in the future. Because the test does not need to be supervised by a medical practitioner it has significant potential to improve concussion assessment in the future in both the professional and community games.

For the third successive season, a mandatory concussion education programme is again being delivered to around 1500 England representative men’s and women’s players, Premiership and Championship players, coaches and support staff and Premiership and Championship referees. This year the programme includes face to face sessions led by club doctors as well as completion of the on-line concussion awareness module for new joiners.

Dr Simon Kemp, chief medical officer for the RFU, commented: “These projects show English professional rugby’s strategic commitment to concussion education, identification and research. All three projects have been developed as a result of collaboration between PRL, RPA and the RFU and a wide range of external independent medical professionals and scientists. They will provide an enhanced and streamlined process for delivering the 4R’s (recognise, remove, recover and return) in professional rugby union.

Ivan Reel, CTO of myplayXplay said: “Combining the world of sports with the newest technology of streaming video to mobile iPad devices is a great combination. We stylised our innovative iOS APP for Premiership Rugby and they will benefit from being able to capture, record and take advantage of video live for the purposes of player welfare. Simple yet effective technology can be used in addressing key and critical video review/replay needs.”

Article from
Friday, September 2, 2016

Live streaming app gives IRFU and FA coaches a real-time edge during games

In the unforgiving world of coaching, the live streaming of video content to mobile devices is changing the face of video analysis by giving coaches and analysts in the fields of rugby and football a competitive edge, making them more mobile, nimble and responsive whether the teams are playing on home ground or abroad.

First out of the gate was the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), which started using a live streaming and mobile tagging application called myplayXplay (‘my-play-by-play’) for live game analysis during the 2013 Guinness Series and the 2014 RBS 6 Nations Championship, to circumvent the challenges presented by more conventional broadcast-based video solutions.

MyplayXplay is housed in a plug-and-play rugged road case that takes live-streaming video from games as they are being played and sends it to mobile devices over WiFi, using HLS H.264 encoding, so that coaches and their teams can analyse game developments in real-time.

The prospect of not being tied down to the traditional broadcast infrastructure and Ethernet connections connecting key video points across the venue to the broadcast truck and to the pitch was one of the reasons that made a mobile streaming app an attractive alternative for the IRFU.

Previously, the technology required to support live game analysis included Macbook Pros, Blackmagic encoders and SDI converters, according to Vinny Hammond, high performance analyst at the IRFU, who outlined that this was neither cost effective nor replicable whilst abroad. “With traditional broadcast equipment, you can’t cart all of that equipment around every time you go to a different stadium. It means that on the other side, coaches get a lesser coaching box experience,” said Hammond.

“When we first encountered this technology in 2013, myplayXplay was addressing an area where we were having difficulty. When we set up on match day the coach is usually emotional, there’s a lot of adrenaline going around and then we have all this equipment and it’s not performing the way we want it to. We took a leap of faith and jumped straight in, dropping myplayXplay into a live environment during the November Series of 2013 when we played Samoa, New Zealand and Australia. The pressure was on, it had to work and it did!”

A unique feature of rugby is that fibre runs right to the coach box, delivering four contractually agreed HD SDI broadcast feeds for every game. The myplayXplay kit sits alongside the coaches, with additional aerials placed across the venue that create a WiFi network to cover the space all the way down to the pitch side. The myplayXplay video streaming solution provides the coaches with a tailored live feed and makes them independent from each other, allowing four different coaches to watch four different moments in the game.

“This technology lets key users move around the venue and talk about the video as the live performance takes place, explained Ivan Reel, CTO of myplayXplay. “All eyes are on the field. If something happens, eyes drop to the app, where video can be replayed and tagged on an iPad or even on a phone located in an arm band.”

The compression hits a happy medium between wirelessly distributing content across the venue and high quality HD, according to Reel. “It’s a huge leap forward in terms of how many users we can have online at any given time and how we can stylise the video to suit a specific user using the replay function, whether it’s an analyst, coach, player or doctor reviewing the content. When dealing with HD-SDI video or fibre video, it’s going to a dumb monitor so control remains at source whereas with streaming tech and wireless, the control sits with the user.”

Better coaching experience

Ease of use was a huge requirement for Hammond: “These top end coaches have no patience when it comes to complicated technology. As an analyst, you don’t want to be the guy that has muddied the water in the coaching box, it’s got to be precise. The idea was to get them what they need in terms of making them a better coach. The answer is: a simpler approach in how we review video.”

Another advantage of streaming technology over more traditional timeline-based broadcast products is that users don’t have to cut and edit video under pressure, they can just place a marker at a point in time and refer back to it.

“Before this, we were cutting video live in game with Final Cut Pro and trying to push it back to the coach to generate our stats,” said Hammond. “Now that the video is coming up in HD on an iPad screen, it’s easily tagged and completely portable. Anything we tag is also loaded to other people’s devices during the game, while each person can focus the content that’s of interest, be it scrum or instant replay.

“At half time, we can bring video into the changing room to show players specific clips, maybe three segments of 8 seconds each. This is an environment where guys’ heart rates are peaking at 5% of their max at times — trying to get that information through to them is crucial.”

The IRFU now uses myplayXplay for all its games, both home and away and has expanded its use to head injury assessment. “In Argentina, we had no water but we had our WiFi,” jokes Hammond, who concludes that the ability to replicate a home set-up at an away game is priceless. “Statistically, away records are shocking, so we try to do everything we can to make it feel like we’re not away from home.”

The FA gets in on the game

Most recently, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed that it is planning to implement myplayXplay throughout its men’s and women’s structure as an analysis tool to support training at St George’s Park, the English Football Association’s national football centre, as well as for certain games. The FA has already trialled the streaming technology around the UEFA 2016 football championship.

Rhys Long, head of performance analysis and insight at the FA Group, explained that streaming video would bring great benefits to the football training sessions. “You want the flow of training to be maintained, especially in terms of international sport where you get a limited amount of time with players,” he said. “Training only lasts 40 minutes to an hour, so every session counts in terms of making sure that you can extrapolate data, that you don’t have to interrupt sessions to convey thoughts back to a coach or player.”

He concluded: “MyplayXplay is one of the only solutions that’s portable enough to take anywhere in the world and that’s able to influence directly on a training session without halting it or pulling players off the pitch. Technology has to complement your environment rather than detract from it.”

Article from By: Monica Heck
Monday, August 29, 2016 

The Experiential Screen. Combining #iPad Pro and #myplayXplay - A turning point for Coaching, Video Analysis and Medical Review.

On New Years Eve I traveled through the night to Dublin Ireland to size up using iPad Pro with a myplayXplay install. The question was ... Does the iPad Pro and its size usher in the advent of iPads surpassing the notebook as a users main computing device? Our customer was playing on New Years Day. Connacht Rugby's use of myplayXplay has always been exceptional and are without a doubt a team representative of how we envisioned our kit being put into live game. How they took on the iPad Pro was even further encouraging. And, as I had anticipated, Apple's latest iteration of a tablet computer possesses the ability to change everything.

The Experiential Screen. Combining #iPad Pro and #myplayXplay

It is the new "smaller but bigger screen"! Huh, you say? I agree, that statement is a contradiction. But as experiences go the iPad Pro is shifting the idea of what we use day to day in a new bigger but highly portable screen size. The iPad is a very large, completely enveloped, brilliant immersive vivid picture involvement. And, even with its obvious displacement being on the larger scale, it becomes a feather-light giant screen presentation display for a coach, analyst or doctor that rests easily in their hands. myplayXplay of course is a video replay and instant review solution for players, coaches, analysts and doctors live in game.

The Experiential Screen. Combining #iPad Pro and #myplayXplay

When we combine the myplayXplay App with iPad Pro the view of the game changes dramatically. At this screen size, untethered, with unrivaled HD quality myplayXplay allows for high value decisions to be made live in game. Dene Hills of World Cup winners Australia Cricket puts it this way.


 " ... with myplayXplay there is just something special and compelling about the game presentation in HD video made to coaches and allowing contextualized control of replay on an Air2, or a giant screen in hand with an iPad Pro."


The Experiential Screen. Combining #iPad Pro and #myplayXplay When you have this of kind of video fidelity combined with an App like myplayXplay it compels coaches to interact to say the least! (listen here at 53:00" to one players recounting during rugby world Cup 2015) . It is so powerful that we have witnessed coaches become so engrossed with the myplayXplay App continually looking at game play on iPads in conjunction to watching the field of play.

This was my aha moment during this New Years Day game. What is the reaction when users have iPad Pro in hand? Well, in fact, when we moved Connacht Rugby coaches to iPad Pro all other screens supplied by the OB Truck or Macbook running older generation video feeds were mostly ignored. Our theory holds true, that when using myplayXplay, when I can hold it like a book, yet it feels like a sheet of paper and it responds instantly to my requests while being big in presentation ... now ... I have transcended my current experience for a better, bigger and more responsive one.

The Experiential Screen. Combining #iPad Pro and #myplayXplay

What about our ever increasing medical player welfare agendas by pro teams? What can the experiential screen yield in this application?


#Injury and #Concussion are well understood at diagnosis but the opportunity to understand if a diagnosis is necessary at times is quite elusive in sport during game performance. Pace, speed and how quick the injury occurs means if your not watching you just can't see it. This is no longer the case when we point myplayXplay and iPad Pro at the problem. This is the true experience of contextualized control and massive video that we have been demonstrating and encouraging with teams for months. That is to say, it is an untethered wireless, huge in presentation and a finger tipped controlled video required contingency with myplayXplay. For many of our Doctors who use myplayXplay their stance on injury review dictates that they have at least one iPad at every game to do specialized review of incident. Once an incident on field is identified, it is replayed and reviewed and replayed exhaustively. This, then leads to the kicking off of various protocols to evaluate players health status. Can they play or are they removed from field.  Seen here, a UK Premier League Doctor on field doing exactly that protocol cited above with myplayXplay for one of his players.

The Experiential Screen. Combining #iPad Pro and #myplayXplay

The use of iPads and HD video with myplayXplay gives an instant understanding of what was needed for his player. The use of our tool in this situation was exemplary. Does the prognosis change without myplayXplay, likely not. However medics and doctors with video are now better informed to treat him. With bigger and better video that the iPad Pro will allow means even greater visuals for insight and understanding into the severity of injury as it happens.

Crystallized New Years day in my mind is this ... myplayXplay is not just the creation of an App for a sports user base. No, in fact, we are fundamentally changing the behaviour of coaches, analysts and sports medics. We do this in congruence with the next generation of computing devices. 

Whether you are coach, player, analyst or doctor combining iPad Pro and myplayXplay is a winning combination.

And, we have so much more to come.


A World Cup class victory for myplayXplay

The opening of Rugby World Cup has been a real spectacle. The performances and heart put into each game has been inspired. The scoreboards in many cases do not indicate the competitive action and fierce battles occurring on field. Many of us here at myplayXplay are keen to start our day with our product in this same manner. Fitting that we pursue rugby and its technology hungry analysts and their desires and needs in game.

For myself #RWC2015 is especially personal. Not only because it is our first but also because it is a story and vision that has been realised with the help of two great powerhouses. Ireland and Wales understood very early on the value in what we do in game and in performance. More importantly their action on a game by game basis prove our model of streaming video and wireless transmission, with context, as being a vital component and the future of how video will be deployed in game. When so many others told them, "can't be done" or worse "why would you want to do that?" then tried and failed, the team at myplayXplay moved head and just made it easy for all levels of user on teams. And of note ... The "whys" are yet to be discovered in many cases. Both these teams find new uses and continue to fill my feature funnel!

We continue to innovate around the core product bringing new workflows into the scope and the vision of the ever changing solution that is myplayXplay. Are we perfect ? Pretty close ! No, of course not. But that comes with the technology territory and venturing out past the comfort zone for you as analysts. We do however always get the ball over the line. Which is a big deal as we liken ourselves to being more a David and Goliath story - a theme not missed in the global game of rugby and also demonstrated in no small victory by Japan. Also of note ... many of the Goliath in our Analytics world state "No" and "Can't be done". Yet on daily basis this talented team disprove their conjecture and our customers bust their myths around what is good video and the comment, "that can never work". Ask them!

Continued success to all Rugby participants and a great RWC2015 to you.

Ivan Reel, CTO AASI myplayXplay

Connacht have won the opening three games of the season

Well done to our newest member of the family!
Connacht have won the opening three games of the season for the first time in the league's history.

Unbelievable atmosphere at a sold out Sportsground tonight. We're in Glasgow next Friday night but see most of you back here in Galway for the Connacht v Cardiff game on Fri October 3rd.

Full time: Connacht 10 - 9 Leinster

myplayXplay in action at Galway Sportsgrounds

At myplayXplay we were very proud to see our tool used so extensively for the Connacht home opening victory in Galway. The coach staff adopted myplayXplay with ease integrating into their coaching of the game. — at Galway Sportsgrounds.


myplayXplay was deployed with QPR at Wembley, MemorialCup for Officials and Conveners of CHL

It was a myplayXplay weekend in the sports world kids. Our iPad tagging application was deployed with QPR at Wembley, MemorialCup for Officials and Conveners of CHL and Welsh Rugby at Millennium Stadium during the ERC final between Toulon and Saracens for a demo in prep for World Tour. Most importantly Cardiff Metropolitan took delivery of their new system in a bid to utilize in higher education writing best practices along the way.

The image attached shows the ease with which we can send vision to iPads from any location in Venue. We were at minimum 400ft from the broadcaster booth (outlined in RED). That was just cool!

myplayXplay doing an exceptional job just at the Toulon bench. Demo and Field testing for Welsh Rugby. HD source ~ 400ft away!

Wales Vs Ireland Setups

The Irish had a truly inspired match day against Wales. myplayXplay proves again what is possible with innovation as the focus. — at Aviva Stadium.