Player tracking (National Basketball Association)

Player tracking is a new technology being used in the NBA to increase basketball statistical data collection and enhance advanced metrics. It began use in the NBA at the start of the 2013–14 season, and it is now in use in all 29 arenas, following trials during the previous season in 15 arenas.[1] USA Today said that "for fans who want to understand the game on a deeper level, this is a huge development".[2]


Six cameras have been placed in the catwalks in all 29 NBA arenas. Between them, these cameras are able to track each and every player on the court at the same time throughout the game, including tracking individual players, player separation and ball possession.[3] The cameras receive and update data in real time at a rate of 25 frames per second.[4] The cameras feed the data into proprietary software, where the data is stored and processed for use by "team evaluation, broadcast enhancement, web & mobile gamecasts and in-venue displays".[5] The system (and software) allows analysts and coaches to evaluate team defensive and offensive plays, how to best utilize a player (in isolation or within the team structure) and how to effectively shape the team.[6]

The current season's data is available to view on the NBA website at

Statistics collected

Some of the statistics collected are already counted by officials, however the new system introduces many new statistical data sets (as well as automating the collection of data), and provides some precise data which would be impossible without the use of camera technology and tracking software.

Statistics collected, and available to view during the game and throughout the season include (all statistics are per player):[7]

Note: All of these categories are examples and they do contain far more detailed statistics. For example; as well as being able to view any of the stats listed above, you can also see "(stat) per 48 minutes" (this provides a fairer comparison, as players who play more minutes will amass more plays). All of these statistics (and more) can be seen on the NBA stat' webpage.


The proprietary software was developed by SportVU and the statistics can be viewed in-game and on and NBA TV.[8] The majority of the data collected can be viewed by the public, but some is reserved for use by NBA teams.[9]


  1. Hangtime Podcast (episode 133). Accessed 2 November 2013
  2. Highkin, Sean. "NBA's new tracking stats give fans a window to the future". Accessed 2 November 2013
  3. nba stats "A whole new View". Accessed 2 November 2013
  4. - "Player Tracking - A Whole New View". Accessed 2 November 2013
  5. sportsvu. "Basketabll". accessed 2 November 2013
  6. Hang Time Blog "SPORTVU ADDS TO THE CONVERSATION". Accessed 2 November 2013
  7. "Player Tracking", Accessed 2 November 2013
  8. - "Player Tracking - A Whole New View". Accessed 2 November 2013
  9. "NBA releases SportVU camera statistics". Accessed 2 November 2013
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