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An Investigation into the Application of Artificial Neural Networks to the Prediction of Injuries in Sport

Authors: J. McCullagh, T. Whitfort


Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) have been used successfully in many scientific, industrial and business domains as a method for extracting knowledge from vast amounts of data. However the use of ANN techniques in the sporting domain has been limited. In professional sport, data is stored on many aspects of teams, games, training and players. Sporting organisations have begun to realise that there is a wealth of untapped knowledge contained in the data and there is great interest in techniques to utilise this data. This study will use player data from the elite Australian Football League (AFL) competition to train and test ANNs with the aim to predict the onset of injuries. The results demonstrate that an accuracy of 82.9% was achieved by the ANNs’ predictions across all examples with 94.5% of all injuries correctly predicted. These initial findings suggest that ANNs may have the potential to assist sporting clubs in the prediction of injuries.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Networks, Sport, Data, injuries

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