A Comparison of a Smartphone App with Other GPS Tracking Type Devices Employed in Football

Peter Tierney, Neil Clarke

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OBJECTIVES The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of a smartphone application in comparison against current GPS tracking type devices that are used to track players during football training and match play. Football involves repeated multi directional movements of the whole body at varying speeds and varying distances from walking to high speed running. Therefore, to evaluate validity and reliability of smartphones and elite tracker devices both were assessed and compared against each other for common metrics employed in football player activity tracking.METHODS  These being, walking ≤6km/hr, jogging 6.1-12km/hr, running 12.1-18km/hr, high speed running ≥18km/hr, total distance (m), max speed (km/hr) and positional heat map. Post analysis values obtained showed that there were no significant differences between smartphones employed in the study p<0.001 95%. Furthermore, values with both the smartphone app and the GPS tracking device showed a high degree of correlation (r = 0.94-0.99, p<0.001)RESULTS The results of this study show that a smartphone application can be used for capturing data in football environments. However, caution should be taken over what data to collect and use.CONCLUSIONS That said, having the ability to easily capture such data with a smartphone can provide a practical and inexpensive tool to measure and easily visualise physical activity in football participation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalExercise Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s). 2019 Open Access; licensee Sapientia Publishing Group. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • GPS
  • Mobile application
  • Smartphone


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