Predictive modelling of football injuries

by   Stylianos Kampakis, et al.

The goal of this thesis is to investigate the potential of predictive modelling for football injuries. This work was conducted in close collaboration with Tottenham Hotspurs FC (THFC), the PGA European tour and the participation of Wolverhampton Wanderers (WW). Three investigations were conducted: 1. Predicting the recovery time of football injuries using the UEFA injury recordings: The UEFA recordings is a common standard for recording injuries in professional football. For this investigation, three datasets of UEFA injury recordings were available. Different machine learning algorithms were used in order to build a predictive model. The performance of the machine learning models is then improved by using feature selection conducted through correlation-based subset feature selection and random forests. 2. Predicting injuries in professional football using exposure records: The relationship between exposure (in training hours and match hours) in professional football athletes and injury incidence was studied. A common problem in football is understanding how the training schedule of an athlete can affect the chance of him getting injured. The task was to predict the number of days a player can train before he gets injured. 3. Predicting intrinsic injury incidence using in-training GPS measurements: A significant percentage of football injuries can be attributed to overtraining and fatigue. GPS data collected during training sessions might provide indicators of fatigue, or might be used to detect very intense training sessions which can lead to overtraining. This research used GPS data gathered during training sessions of the first team of THFC, in order to predict whether an injury would take place during a week.


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