Gilbert and Sportable debut first smart rugby ball

07 Nov 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Gilbert and technology company Sportable have launched the world’s first ‘smart rugby ball’, which was debuted at the inaugural RugbyX tournament.

The technology captured data from the event in real-time, including fastest ball carriers, the longest and fastest passes as well as spin rate and hang-time. Throughout the tournament, the ball-tracking technology was also used to enforce RugbyX’s 10m kick height restriction without interruption by instantly alerting the referee.

Sportable say the technology is further able to include instant detection of forward passes, detect if a player is in front of the kicker or otherwise in an offside position.

Dugald Macdonald, CEO, Sportable said: “It was fantastic to be a part of the super-charged RugbyX tournament to see the innovations that we have honed over the past four years live in action at such a major event. With Sportable we want to revolutionize the way people engage with sport, both on and off the pitch- combining the athleticism of real life on field action with data driven insights. RugbyX was a perfect opportunity to see this come together.”

Harry Horsley from RugbyX said: “One of our aims in developing RugbyX was to push boundaries and take the sport to a new level and working with Sportable allowed us to do just that. The instant data feed from the live on-pitch-action not only allowed us to seamlessly officiate our new 10m kick height restriction but also enhanced the experience for fans. It will be exciting to see this technology throughout rugby and other sports.”

The inaugural RugbyX took place at London’s O2 Arena in October. Argentina won the men’s competition while England triumphed in the women’s event.