BISp funds three projects on top-level sports research by PD Dr. Daniel Link in 2021

As part of the current round of applications for research projects from the German Federal Institute for Sport Science (BISp), Dr. Daniel Link, a private lecturer at the Chair of Performance Analysis and Sports Informatics, was successful with two funding applications in beach volleyball and one in badminton. The three projects are funded with a TUM share of around 120,000 euros and promise insights into the performance structure of these sports. The results should already benefit the German Olympic squads for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo/Japan.

The subject of the first project "Match progress analysis beach volleyball" is the further development of an analysis software for beach volleyball, which was already used for the Olympic victories in London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 and also plays a central role in the match preparation of the German national teams for Tokyo 2021. In the new project, the software will be expanded to include the possibility of progress analyses. "With the next stage of development, it will be possible to search for and visualize temporal patterns in the course of a match," explains Steffen Lang, a Research Associate at the Chair of Performance Analysis and Sports Informatics, who helped conceptualize large parts of the software as a member of the project team. "This allows us, for example, to provide clues as to how players behave in specific situations and to use this strategically," Lang continues.

The second research project in beach volleyball, entitled "Sequence decisions in beach volleyball: an integrative approach to psychological research and match observation," is being conducted in cooperation with the Psychological Institute of the German Sport University Cologne (Prof. Dr. Dr. Markus Raab) and is scheduled to run for two years. "We are investigating which strategies beach volleyball players use when making selection decisions," explains PD Dr. Daniel Link. "With the help of a large database of more than 2,000 matches of the world's top players, we can thus empirically test questions of game theory and so-called 'hot-hand' research." In addition, experimental studies are being conducted with top athletes of the German Volleyball Federation (DVV), which should help to optimize sequence decisions in the serve.

The third project is an innovation project of the German Badminton Association (DBV) and aims to research so-called "keyplays" in badminton. Project member Fabian Hammes, Research Associate at the chair and himself a former national badminton player, explains: "Keyplays are actions that change the dominance within a ball change in favor of one player. These have paramount importance in the practice of badminton, as strength and weakness profiles can be derived from them." The research is also particularly interesting against the background of sports science theory building, as "keyplays" can be understood as perturbations of a state of equilibrium, following the theory of dynamic systems. "On a methodological level, the characteristics of badminton as a sport allow us to develop and empirically test new modeling paradigms for sports games," Link adds.

To the video clip about the support of the national teams in beach volleyball

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PD Dr. Daniel Link
Chair of Performance Analysis and Sports Informatics
Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60/62
80992 München

phone: 089 289 24498
e-mail: Daniel.Link(at)

Text: Romy Schwaiger
Photos: Pixabay/private