Capitals test on-ice player tracking at developmental camp – Tyler Monk

As technology evolves and teams strive to compete, the two can be brought together to benefit a sports organization.  The Washington Capitals are trying out some new player tracking devices during their developmental camp.  The experiment almost went unnoticed, but some of the players undressed with the media around, who then saw the technology.  The piece of technology is a sports-bra kind of top and a belt-like device strapped around the midsection and it mainly monitors heart rate.  The NHL has played around with technology like this, and they announced a device that can track the whereabouts of each player and can actually determine how much time they have spent on the ice and in each particular zone of the ice.

What the Capitals are doing right now is mainly monitoring heart rate to try and determine the true impact and results from their practice sessions.  Riley Barber, who is participating in the Capitals developmental camp had this to say about the tracking devices, “I think technology’s really taken off, they’re definitely finding ways to monitor us more often.  I think it’s good if the trainer here likes the data, if he can use it in any way to help the team, I think he’ll do that.”  While it definitely has its benefits, Chandler Stephenson, a defenseman participating in the developmental camp, mentioned this about the fitting of the sports-bra, “You wear a heart-rate monitor then this little…it almost looks like a sports bra with the thing in the back, it’s tight so it’s a little awkward, but the more you practice, the more and more you get used to it.”  Although it may not be the most comfortable piece of equipment, the heart-rate trackers will not only explain more about each player’s performance and health, but it truthfully could be game or even life changing.  Washington is certainly not the first, nor the last team to begin tracking their players to some level, the question is, what’s next?


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