Placement of inertial measurement units in Racket Sports: Perceptions of coaches for IMU use during training and competition

Coaches’ perceptions of IMU use in training and competition

  • Matthew James Wylde National Youth Sports Institute, Singapore. Bournemouth University, Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • Nur Adilah Masismadi National Youth Sports Institute, Singapore. La Trobe University, College of Science, Health and Engineering, Melbourne, Australia
  • Low Chee Yong National Youth Sports Institute, Singapore
  • Andrew James Callaway Bournemouth University, Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • Jonathan Mark Williams Bournemouth University, Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences, Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Keywords: Badminton, Table Tennis, Tennis, Squash, Inertial Measurement Units


While inertial measurement units (IMU) have become an integral part of sports performance analysis, upper body-mounted IMUs have been found to exhibit poor reliability in measuring lower-limb loading. In racket sports, IMUs have been placed in a number of positions on the upper body, lower body and racket in a research setting. A potential limitation to the concurrent use of multiple IMUs is that coaches may be reluctant to allow their athletes to wear the units during training and competition due to concerns that the units would interfere with athlete movement. This study seeks to understand the perceptions of racket sports coaches towards the use of IMUs in training and competition. A total of 58 racket sport coaches responded to a survey on the use of IMUs during training and competition. Based on the responses, 96.6% (56 out of 58) of coaches indicated that they would allow their athletes to wear IMUs in training, while 65.5% (38 out of 58) would allow their athletes to wear IMUs during competition. For use in training, 9 of the 14 suggested IMU placements received significant positive responses. However, none of the suggested IMU placements received significant positive responses for use during competition and 11 of the 14 received significant negative responses. This suggests that while coaches understand the benefits of collecting data from IMUs during competition. Despite this, for use in training, a number of upper and lower body-mounted IMUs placements have the potential to be part of regular monitoring in racket sports.


Abdullahi, Y., Coetzee, B and Van Dan Berg, L. (2019). Relationships between results of an internal and external match load determining method in male, singles Badminton players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 33(4), 1111-1118. DOI: 10.1519/ JSC.0000000000002115.

Ahmadi, A., Rowlands, D. and James, D.A. (2009). Towards a wearable device for skill assessment and skill acqusition of a Tennis player during the first serve. Sports Technology, 2, 129-136.

Anand, A., Sharma, M., Srivastava, R., Kaligounder, L., Prakash, D. (2017). Wearable motion sensor based analysis of swing sports. 16th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, 261-267.

Anik, M.I.A., Hassan, M., Mahmud, H., Hasan, M.K. (2016). Activity recognition of a Badminton game through accelerometer and gyroscope. 19th International Conference on Computer and Information Technology (ICCIT).

Baca, A., Dabnichki, P., Heller, M. and Kornfiend, P. (2009). Ubiquitous computing in sports: A review and analysis. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27, 1335-1346.

Bampouras, M.T., Colum Cronin, C. and Miller, K.P. (2012). Performance analytic processes in elite sport practice: An exploratory investigation of the perspectives of a sport scientist, coach and athlete. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 12(2), 468-483. DOI: 10.1080/24748668.2012.11868611.

Barris, S. and Button, C. (2008). A review of vision-based motion analysis in sport. Sports Med, 38, 1025-1043.

Blank, P., Hoßbach, J., Schuldhaus, D. and Eskofier, B.M. (2015). Sensor-based stroke detection and stroke type classification in Table Tennis. Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, 93-100. DOI: 10.1145/2802083.2802087.

Boyd, L.J., Ball, K. and Aughey, R.J. (2011). The reliability of MinimaxX accelrometers for measuring physical activity in Australian Football. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 6, 311-321.

Boyer, E., Bevilacque, F., Phal, F. and Hanneton, S. (2013). Low-cost motion sensing of Table Tennis players for real time feedback. 13th ITTF Sports Science Congress May 11-12, 2013, Paris, France.

Burland, J.P., Outerleys, J.B., Lattermann, C and and Davis, I.S. (2021). Reliability of wearable sensors to assess impact metrics during sport-specific tasks. Journal of Sports Sciences, 39(4), 406-411, DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2020.1823131.

Chambers, R., Gabbett, T.J., Cole, M.H. and Bread, A. (2015). The use of wearable microsensors to quantify sport-specific movements. Sports Med, DOI 10.1007/s40279-015-0332-9.

Chang, T.K., Chan, K.Y. and Spowage, A. (2009). Local sensor system for Badminton smash analysis. International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference.

Chew, Z.S., Sim, L.S., Yeong, C.F. and Su, E.L.M. (2015). Investigation of sensor-based quantitative model for Badminton skill analysis and assessment. Jurnal Teknologi, 72(2), 93-96.

Chew, Z.S., Su, E.L.M., Rahman H.A. and Yeong, C.F. (2015). Investigation of upper limb movement during Badminton smash. Control Conference (ASCC) 2015 10th Asian, 1-6.

Connaghan, D., Kelly, P., O’Conner, N.E., Gaffney, M., Walsh, M. and O’Mathuna. (2011). Multi-sensor classification of Tennis strokes. Sensors, 2011 IEEE.

Dellaserra, C.L., Yong, G. and Ransdell, L. (2014). Use of integrated technology in team sports: A review of the opportunities, challenges, and future directions for athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28, 556-573.

Dobson, B.P. and Keogh, J.W.L. (2007). Methodological issues for the application of time-motion analysis research. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 29, 48-55.

Dieu, O., Blondeau, T., Vanhelst, J., Fardy, P.S., Bui-Xuân. G. and Mikulovic, J. (2014). Relationship between tactics and energy expenditure according to level of experience in Badminton. Perceptual and Motor Skills: Moter Sills and Ergonomics, 199, 455-467.

Duffield, R., Reid, M., Baker, J. and Spratford, W. (2010). Accuracy and reliability of GPS devices for measurement of movement patterns in confined spaces for court-based sports. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 13, 523-525.

Edwards, S., White, S., Humphreys, S., Robergs, R. and O'Dwyer, N. (2018). Caution using data from triaxial accelerometers housed in player tracking units during running. Journal of Sports Sciences, 37(7), 810-818.

Fox, J. L., Stanton, R., Sargent C., Wintour S-A. and Scanlan A.T. (2018). The association between training load and performance in team sports: A systematic review. Sports Med, 48(12), 2743-2774.

Gale-Ansodi, C., Castellano, J. and Usabiaga, O. (2017). Effects of different surfaces in time-motion characteristics in youth elite tennis players. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 16(3), 860-870.

Giblin, G., Tor, E. and Parrington, L. (2016). The impact of technology on elite sports performance. Sensoria: A Journal of Mind, Brain & Culture, 12(2), 3-9.

Glassbrook, D.J., Fuller, J.T., Alderson, J.A. and Doyle, T.L.A. (2020a). Foot accelerations are larger than tibia accelerations during sprinting when measured with inertial measurement units. Journal of Sports Sciences, 38(3), 248-255. DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2019.1692997.

Glassbrook, D.J., Fuller, J.T., Alderson, J.A. and Doyle, T.L.A. (2020b). Measurement of lower-limb asymmetry in professional Rugby League: a technical note describing the use of inertial measurement units. PeerJ, DOI: 10.7717/peerj.9366.

Goh S. L., Mokhtar A. H. and Mohamad Ali M. R. (2013). Badminton injuries in youth competitive players. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 53(1), 65-70

Guo, Y.W., Liu, G.Z., Huang, B.Y., Zhao, G.R., Mei, Z.Y. Wang, L. (2010). A pilot study on quantitative analysis for Table Tennis block using a 3D accelerometer. Proceedings of the 10th IEEE International Conference on Information Technology and Applications in Biomedicine.

Hughes, M. D. and Bartlett, R. (2002), The use of performance indicators in performance analysis, Journal of Sports Sciences, 20, 739-754.

Jacob, A., Wan Zakaria, W.N., and Md Tokari, M.R. (2016). Implementation of IMU sensor for elbow movement measurement of Badminton players. 2nd IEEE International Symposium on Robotics and Manufacturing Automation (ROMA).

Jaswal, R. S. (2020). High-performance coaches attitudes and beliefs regarding technology adoption (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.

Koon, K.T., Kim, W.D., Tan, J. and Fuss, K.F. (2005). Using dual euler angles for the analysis of arm movement during the Badminton smash. Sports Engineering, 8, 171-178.

Kos, M., Zenko, J., Vlaj, D. and Kramberger, I. (2016). Tennis stroke detection and classification using miniature wearable IMU device. 2016 International Conference on Systems, Signals and Image Processing (IWSSIP).

Low, C.Y., Wylde, M.J., Choong, G.C.W. and Lim-Prasad, D. (2015). Activity profiles in adolescent Netball: a combination of global positioning system technology and time-motion analysis. Jounal of Human Sport and Exercise, 10, S707-711.

Lucas-Cuevas, A.G., Encarnación-Martínez, A., Camacho-García, A., Llana-Belloch, S. and Perez-Soriano, P. (2017). The location of the tibial accelerometer does influence impact acceleration parameters during running. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(17), 1734-1738, DOI 10.1080/02640414.2016.1235792.

Luczak, T., Burch, R., Lewis, E., Chander, H. and Bell, E. (2020). State-of-the-art review of athletic wearable technology: What 113 strength and conditioning coaches and athletic trainers from the USA said about technology in sports. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 15(1), 26-40.

Picerno, P., Camomilla, V. and Capranica, L. (2011). Countermovement jump performance assessment using a wearable 3D inertial measurement unit. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29, 139-146.

Raina, A., Lakshmi, T.G. and Murthy, S. (2017). CoMBaT: Wearable technology based training system for novice Badminton players. IEEE 17th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, 153- 157.

Rogers, E.M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.

Rusydi, M.I., Sasaki, M., Sucipto, M.H., Zaini and Windasari, N. (2015). Local euler angle pattern recognition for smash and backhand in Badminton based on arm position. Procedia Manufacuting, 3, 898-903.

Sasaki, S., Nagano, Y. and Ichikawa, H. (2018). Loading differences in single-leg landing in the forehand- and backhand-side courts after an overhead stroke in Badminton: A novel tri-axial accelerometer research. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36(24), 2794-2801.

Senington, B., Lee, R.Y. and Williams, J.M. (2020). Biomechanical risk factors of lower back pain in cricket fast bowlers using inertial measurement units: a prospective and retrospective investigation. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2020-000818.

Shariff, A. H., George, J., and Ramlan, A. A. (2009). Musculoskeletal injuries among Malaysian badminton players. Singapore Medical Journal, 50(11), 1095–1097.

Taha, Z., Hassan, M.S.S., Yap, H.J. and Wee, K.Y. (2016). Preliminary investigation of an innovative digital motion analysis device for Badminton athlete performance evaluation. Procedia Engineering, 147, 461-465.

Wang, Z., Guo, M. and Zhao, C. (2016). Badminton stroke recognition based on body sensor networks. IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine System, 46(5), 769-775.

Whiteside, D., Cant, O., Connolly, M. and Reid, M. (2016). Monitoring hitting load in Tennis using inertial sensors and machine learning. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12(9), 1212-1217.

Wylde, M.J., Kumar, B., Low, C.Y. and Callaway, A.J. (2019). Axis specific player load to quantify lower limb biomechanical loading in adolescent Badminton players. International Journal of Racket Sports Science, 1(1), 37-44.

Yu, J. and Zhao, G. (2013). Study on Badminton smash for training based on sensor. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Green Communications and Networks (GCN 2012), Vol 2, 377-384.

Yung, P.S.H., Chan, R.H.K., Wong, F.C.Y. Cheuk, P.W.L. and Fong, D.T.P. (2007). Epidemiology of injuries in Hong Kong elite Badminton athletes. Research in Sports Medicine, 15(2), 133-146, DOI:10.1080/15438620701405263.

Zak, M. (2014). Inertial sensors are changing the games. International Symposium on Inertial Sensors and Systems (ISISS), 25-26 Feb.
How to Cite
Wylde, M. J., Masismadi, N. A., Chee Yong, L., Callaway, A. J., & Williams, J. M. (2021). Placement of inertial measurement units in Racket Sports: Perceptions of coaches for IMU use during training and competition. International Journal of Racket Sports Science, 3(1), 45-55.