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OpenTrack Community Group

This group aims to develop an open standard for interchange of data in Athletics (including Track and Field), running and related disciplines. Such a standard should allow the development of better software to manage the sport, resulting in major savings of time for volunteers; more efficient management of events and federations; and more enjoyment for participants and fans.

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AthTech Conference [October 5-6]

Track

The OpenTrack Community Group is pleased to announce AthTech (Athletics Technology), a conference aiming at standardising Athletics competition technical management, with a strong focus on data. This two-day conference will be held at the IAAF High-Performance Training Centre in Algarve (Portugal) on October 5-6 2017.

European Athletics is putting efforts on the homogenization of competition data structures, building a common infrastructure that guarantees data interoperability between all stakeholders: regional/national federations, sports clubs, associations, event organisers, media agencies, and the public in general. This conference will serve as the discussion forum to define requirements, look for use cases, and present existing solutions to solve this challenge in sports management.

Standards for Athletics

A standard infrastructure for Athletics data management would enable a common mechanism to gain effectiveness and efficiency in the process of collecting and sharing data on a global scale. Thus we would be able to: federate resources in an automatic way; establish universal identifiers for athletes, clubs, and other entities; access better reports; track competition issues, and records; have centralised up-to-date rankings; create and publish live results; create new services and products on top of the data.

We will discuss the European and global requirements of Athletics management systems to implement a standard to collect, process, publish and share Athletics information (athletes, teams, governing bodies, participation in competitions, results, issues and results, etc.). This event will serve as a forum to search for a common solution built on top of the existing local platforms to share Athletics information in a common way.

Register now

Anyone is welcome to AthTech. Athletics federations, clubs and event organisers, as well as open data experts, are invited to present their experiences on competition management (how information is collected during a competition, how entries are registered, how/where results are published, etc.).

Read more about AthTech, and register now on the website of the event.

 

Photo by Kolleen Gladden on Unsplash

OpenTrack Community Group Launch

Athletics is maybe the most global sport, being the flagship events of the Olympic games in terms of both participation and popularity. Due to this universal interest, information about these events — athletes’ bio and performance, timing, competition, venues, etc. — is considered as of great value for an international audience. Statisticians and journalists find it immensely useful.

In addition to professional athletics, amateur running competitions are increasing year after year with a direct, multi-billion impact on the markets. In this case, where business is between private corporations and runners, there is a similar competition process (registration, timing, results) but there are no common standards to represent and share the information among stakeholders. Most of these companies collect and manage information in their systems without any potential integration with external systems. Thus, open standards in the amateur running industry would enable opportunities, such as international partnerships, to enhance the services for runners (athletic history, complex reporting, social network integration, etc.) and new business models behind this trend-setting pastime.

This kind of information, published (and reused) as open data, could bring us opportunities in terms of business and new services to organizers and supporters.  Most of this information is non-sensitive and extremely valuable. Companies such as ReportLab and Tilastopaja have been using athletics data to create tools and services to process and analyze the information, so all of this is already a reality.

Now, with the support of European Athletics, we launch this OpenTrack Community Group in order to evolve the technology in this sport. Within this group we will discuss standards for representing and sharing athletics information. The main objective is to define the basic schemas and vocabularies to describe the world of athletics.

As part of the final specifications we would like to produce, we will have:

  • an abstract vocabulary to model athletics competitions;
  • specific schemas and taxonomies ready to be used as reference;
  • making it compatible with schema.org (or proposing an extension).  

Hard work but good news! We won’t start from scratch. Reportlab has already defined a first approach to represent results (see a sample of results in Rio 2016 as JSON), also tools to manage this information.

If you are either a sports or open data enthusiast, join the group and take part in our discussions to create this specification that hopefully will become standard. We are defining the charter and scope of works so now it’s time to join us!

Call for Participation in OpenTrack Community Group

The OpenTrack Community Group has been launched:


This group aims to develop an open standard for interchange of data in Athletics (including Track and Field), running and related disciplines. Such a standard should allow the development of better software to manage the sport, resulting in major savings of time for volunteers; more efficient management of events and federations; and more enjoyment for participants and fans.


In order to join the group, you will need a W3C account. Please note, however, that W3C Membership is not required to join a Community Group.

This is a community initiative. This group was originally proposed on 2017-01-28 by Andy Robinson. The following people supported its creation: Andy Robinson, Stian Soiland-Reyes, Peter Kennedy, Tom Conlon, Martín Álvarez, chiheb Kaibi, Nicolas Launois, Nicholas Gould. W3C’s hosting of this group does not imply endorsement of the activities.

The group must now choose a chair. Read more about how to get started in a new group and good practice for running a group.

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If you believe that there is an issue with this group that requires the attention of the W3C staff, please email us at site-comments@w3.org

Thank you,
W3C Community Development Team