AI in Competition Management

One of the primary barriers to growth in grassroots sport participation is the availability of facilities.

A report published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health* in early 2017 reviewed participation rates in sport and their positive association with facility availability. A key finding of this report was that regardless of socio-economic status and geographical area, better provision of sporting facilities would lead to increased participation.

In this study, a measurement of fields/courts per 1000 residents was taken across 4 different sports in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan regions. When comparing participation rates of each sport with facility provision rates, a clear correlation between the two factors was identified.

Venue utilisation is directly influenced by a variety of factors including competition fixturing, information on venue availability and accurate usage analytics. As the overall administration of grassroots sport continues to move to online systems, the electronic management of venues will deliver a number of benefits to administrators, players, parents and fans.

SportsTG, having recognised the shortcomings of the current management approach, has developed a new technology platform that will allow for optimum venue utilisation in addition to other benefits such as effective talent identification and increased participant engagement.

SportsTG’s new “Smart Fixturing” solution will be delivered as part of its next generation TG Platform.

Smart Fixtures© follows in the footsteps of other industry redefining software such as AirBnB and Uber who have redefined the way in which the resources managed and accessed. Not unlike what AirBnB and Uber have done for accommodation and transport, Smart Fixtures© will do for grassroots sport. Smart Fixtures©, through the ground-breaking integration of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, will redefine the way competition management is administered and delivered.

Smart Fixtures© provides venue information in a user-friendly format, presented alongside player performance data. Fixtures can be scheduled in a way that maximises venue utilisation. Administrators gain greater visibility of the skill levels of each team member, enabling evenly matched teams to be selected. In turn, this leads to improvements in player retention and enjoyment and furthers the skill development of players. Player performance can be monitored throughout their seasons so that high performing players can be recognised and nurtured to maximise their potential.

At its simplest level, traditional fixturing aimed to ensure that two matches were not rostered on to the same field, oval, court, or pitch at the same time. Smart Fixtures© will ensure this never happens. It will also, through the use of smart business rules, enable things never before available to sports administrators such as multi-sport commitment management, participant preference consideration, and travel time optimisation.

Smart Fixtures© will deliver the next generation of grassroots sports administration, and in doing so contribute to the ultimate aim of growing participation in sport.

*The relationship of sport participation to provision of sports facilities and socioeconomic status: a geographical analysis; Rochelle M Eime, Jack Harvey et al.

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