The NHL is planning to use puck and player tracking for the 2019-2020 season, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced Friday during the All-Star weekend in San Jose, California.
The NHL joins the NFL as the only major North American professional sports league with wearable tracking technology.
When the league will do a full roll out with the technology is unknown. The NHL is testing it and receiving feedback from players, teams and others. The data is collected through mircochips created by German company Jogmo World Corp. that are inserted into pucks and players’ shoulder pads.
“The Puck and Player Tracking system can track pucks at a rate of 2,000 times per second in real-time with inch-level accuracy,” Bettman said. “We’ll instantaneously detect passes, shots, and positioning precisely. It will be equally accurate in tracking players — their movement, speed, time on ice — you name it.
“Being on the forefront of innovation is good for our game, and most especially our fans.”
Bettman said the league has tested the technology dating back to 1996 and the glow puck, which he stressed will not be brought back. The tracking has also been done at the 2015 and 2018 All-Star games and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The most recent data tracking on players and pucks was done during two regular-season games in Las Vegas.
Mathieu Schneider with NHLPA says one protection players were given re: player tracking is that none of the data will be used in salary negotiations or arbitration.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) January 25, 2019
Player and puck tracking is here! #HiTechHockey— NHL (@NHL) January 25, 2019
Get to see this @SAP technology live during tomorrow night's @Honda #NHLAllStar Game at 8:00p ET on @nbc, @CBC, @Sportsnet & @TVASports! pic.twitter.com/uPD8vSSYBM
The technology will also be used during this year’s All-Star game at 7 p.m. Central time Saturday on NBC.