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Commentary on The 2012 World Congress on Performance Analysis in Sport

Peter G O'Donoghue

Sportscience 16, 38, 2012 (
Cardiff School of Sport, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff CF23 6BN, UK. Email.
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One important issue in this conference report I would like to address is the traditional nature of performance analysis of sport. Studies have typically been empirical observational studies of actual sports performance rather than controlled experiments. Indeed, when some experimental studies have been submitted to the International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, I as editor have asked authors to justify use of an experimental designs rather than an analysis of actual competition performance. This typically involves an author making the case that the dependent variable of interest represents a critical part of the sport which cannot be measured during actual competition. There was one such paper recently on handball throwing speed. Even where conditions are manipulated to examine the effectiveness of different forms of feedback provided by performance analysis support, the studies are impossible to completely control. I see performance analysis remaining as a discipline with high ecological validity and low experimental control, although some experimental studies are being done now–a welcome development, especially when the setting is actual competitions.

Having chaired several poster sessions, I realized that some posters were clearly of higher quality than some podium presentations. Unfortunately we can't always get everything right when we allocate presentations to poster and podium sessions on the basis of the submitted abstract.

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Published October 2012