Real Time Colour Based Player Tracking in Indoor Sports

  • Catarina B. SantiagoEmail author
  • Armando Sousa
  • Luís Paulo Reis
  • Maria Luísa Estriga
Part of the Computational Methods in Applied Sciences book series (COMPUTMETHODS, volume 19)


In recent years there has been a growing interest by the sport’s experts (teachers and coaches) in developing automatic systems for detecting, tracking and identifying player’s movements with the purpose of improving the players’ performance and accomplishing a consistent and standard analysis of the game metrics. A challenge like this requires sophisticated techniques from the areas of image processing and artificial intelligence. The objective of our work is to study and develop hardware and software techniques in order to build an automatic visual system for detecting and tracking players in indoor sports games that can aid coaches to analyse and improve the players’ performance. Our methodology is based on colour features and therefore several colour image processing techniques such as background subtraction, blob colour definition (RGB and HSL colour spaces) and colour blob manipulation are employed in order to detect the players. Past information and players’ velocity allow the tracking algorithm to define probable areas. Tests conducted with a single IP surveillance camera on the sports hall of the Faculty of Sports from the University of Porto showed detection rates from 72.2% to 93.3%.


Colour image processing Object tracking Game analysis 



The authors would like to thank Sony Portugal for the cost free usage of the camera used for the tests. The presented work was also partially funded by Fundação Gulbenkian through a PhD scholarship and by Portuguese FCT, under project PTDC/EIA/70695/2006 – ACORD – Adaptative Coordination of Robotic Teams.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catarina B. Santiago
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Armando Sousa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luís Paulo Reis
    • 1
    • 3
  • Maria Luísa Estriga
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.FEUP – Faculty of Engineering of the University of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.INESC – Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto, Campus da FEUPPortoPortugal
  3. 3.LIACC – Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science LabUniversity of Porto,PortugalPortoPortugal
  4. 4.FADEUP – Faculty of Sports of the University of PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.CIFI2D – Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Sports FacultyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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