Sports Office systems are the “perfect fit” for World Rugby load management recommendations

A new study by one of the world’s largest sports federations has underlined that effective load management is critical to injury prevention for elite performers. The extensive monitoring and measurement recommended in the study can be readily implemented, via the dedicated module within Sports Office performance management systems.

World Rugby, which works with 120 member Unions and oversees 6.7 million players worldwide, commissioned the study. It examined the management of game and training load for elite players and was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study examined “loads (activity levels) encountered by professional rugby players” in order to “better understand the impact on physical and mental health, with the objective of determining potential recommendations for injury prevention.” Findings from the study have been released to increase awareness of injury-prevention throughout the game.

The Sports Office load management module is capable of generating a range of detailed reports.

The Sports Office load management module is capable of generating a range of detailed reports.

Among these are that “loads should be individually managed” as some players “may be at higher risk of injury such as those returning from injury, inexperienced players or those who have taken a step-up in competition level.“ The study also recommended that “coaches/team personnel look closely at managing load via planning and adapting training sessions” with “clear communication regarding short and long term load monitoring and management goals.”

“Having reviewed the World Rugby study, we believe the load management module within our performance management systems is the perfect fit for any elite rugby organisation seeking to implement these recommendations or any elite sports organisation seeking to use a similar approach to injury prevention and performance optimisation.”, commented The Sports Office Managing Director Phil Clarke.

“The module offers users a powerful and accurate means of quickly and effectively evaluating the impact of ALL training and preparation activities. It also offers the efficient communication opportunities described in the research. ”

Clarke added: “We believe this World Rugby study is a highly important and beneficial development for the global game. The power and capacity of our Sports Office load management functionality will support those who seek to adopt its findings.”

Using data for load management

The Sports Office “load management” module dynamically brings together data held in the Preparation and Sports Science areas of the system. A player/athlete tracker is also at the heart of the load management functionality. This provides an array of user defined options for personalised monitoring, including the ability to see individual and team information. Also included is the capability to monitor both acute and chronic loads and to manage training stress balance.

The module – which also offers a more visually engaging overview of information – will create further improvements in the performance workflow via dedicated areas which display data for staff with specific roles. The ability of The Sports Office online performance management systems to offer instant access to accurate reports, based on load management readings, are also central to the module as is the capability to send “alerts” to staff opting to receive them.

  • You can read more about the development of The Sports Office “load management” module here.
  • Full details of the World Rugby study ‘Managing player load in professional rugby union: a review of current knowledge and practices’,can be found here.

Leading club praise The Sports Office system for elite rugby

Super League club Warrington Wolves has praised The Sports Office’ rugby platform, The Rugby Squad.

The Wolves use the system across their entire rugby operations, including first team and scholarship players. The club consistently competes for major honours. and recently appeared in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, with a squad featuring 14 home-grown players. And now a senior member of Warrington’s team management and coaching staff – who is a former Super League player and Ireland international – has underlined the Rugby Squad’s benefits.

“The Rugby Squad is a powerful tool which delivers great benefits to our organisation, across many key areas”, said Head of Rugby Operations, Karl Fitzpatrick.

“The system enhances our ability to monitor training load, manage our performance data and communicate effectively. It has increased the effectiveness and efficiency of our coaching and preparation activities across all grades.”

Karl Fitzpatrick added: “The support we received from The Sports Office Client Management team meant the implementation of the system into our coaching and performance processes was very smooth. The ongoing support they provide also enables us to maximise our use of the platform.”

The Rugby Squad supports many members of the Wolves backroom staff. This includes coaches as well as staff involved in strength and conditioning, sports science, sports medicine, performance analysis and youth development. The system is also used by operations and administration teams and club commercial staff.

Performance Management Software

The Sports Office provides Performance Management Software for many elite sporting organisations.

The system allows staff to quickly and efficiently arrange all team activities, collate all data, monitor and analyse that data and thus allow evidence based decision making on vital performance issues. Reports and information generated within the system are also provided directly to the club’s Board on a regular basis.

The Sports Office provides online performance management systems for elite sport, which offer a range of functionality. The systems support key performance processes including athlete monitoring and training load management, injury prevention, sports science, sports medicine, administration, coaching and sports analytics.

Among the company’s varied client base, are many elite rugby organisations. These include teams in SANZAR’s Super Rugby competition, the Australian NRL and many other Rugby League Super League clubs.

Elite sports federations and NGBs choose The Sports Office athlete management systems

The Sports Office athlete management systems are used by a growing number of national governing bodies (NGBs) and elite sports federations. Many of these organisations face the dual challenge of optimising performance of national and representative teams or athletes; and managing factors such as long-term athlete development, welfare issues and injury surveillance.

The RFU was among the first group of NGBs to work with the The Sports Office. They have used our system to create a comprehensive electronic medical record covering their elite domestic players and every international squad. The system also provides extensive athlete monitoring functionality, which the RFU has deployed as part of their ground-breaking ‘English Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project’. They describe this as “the most comprehensive injury dataset in Professional Rugby Union” and it provides objective analysis of trends in injury risk in the English professional game.

RFU Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Simon Kemp, commented: ”The Sports Office system provides a whole league comprehensive electronic medical record with an integrated injury surveillance function. It’s fundamental to the delivery of sports medicine care to our Premiership and England representative team players. Our players, medical staff and performance teams all derive significant benefits.”

Athlete Management Systems

This image shows aspects of The Sports Office Athlete Management Systems.


The Scottish Football Association is also an NGB client of The Sports Office. They required an online performance management system, to help support the development of players aged 11- 16, in the association’s seven national performance schools, situated in different regions as well as programmes for their adult national teams. The Sports Office system allows Scottish FA coaches to share and deliver programmes between these sites. Players and staff can also access the system from anywhere by logging in on any device or by using the system’s dedicated app.

David Stevenson, the Scottish Football Association’s Head of Performance Analysis, said: “The Sports Office is a hugely powerful tool allowing us to quickly and easily manage our key performance processes. It helps us give the best possible preparation.”

The Sports Office was also selected to supply the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) with an online performance management system (PMS), to support its Jockey Coaching Programme, managed by the British Racing School and Northern Racing College.

Performance Management Software

The Sports Office provides Performance Management Software for many elite sporting organisations.

And The Sports Office Business Development Manager Tom Leather added: “We are seeing a growing demand for our athlete management systems from elite sports federations and NGBs. These organisations wish to use them for programmes such as long term injury surveillance and related athlete welfare projects, as well as maximising the performance of teams and athletes in their representative structures.

“We believe our sport specific systems have proven themselves highly capable of meeting these complex needs and they provide extensive functionality to support a broad range of performance management and athlete monitoring activity.”

You can read a more detailed Case Study relating to the Scottish Football Association’s use of The Sports Office athlete management system here.

You can also read about our work with the British Horseracing Authority here. 

Please contact The Sports Office today to learn more about how our systems can be used to help elite sporting organisations find the winning edge.

PACSMail enhances sports medicine functionality of our systems

The Sports Office has teamed up with leading medical imaging and clinical data company Sybermedica to enhance sports medicine functionality within our performance management systems.

Sybermedica and The Sports Office have agreed a ground-breaking arrangement to link each companies cloud-based sports performance management systems. Sybermedica’s ‘PACSMail’ network is already widely used for diagnostic image sharing and The Sports Office ‘Squad’ platform is used by elite teams, governing bodies and federations in all parts of the sporting world.

Recognising the need for an integrated approach to sports medical management and performance information management, the two companies will now work together to provide multi-disciplinary teams of high-performance sports professionals with seamless browser-based access, to both performance and diagnostic information.

Sybermedica’s ‘PACSMail’, medical diagnostic images, performance management systems for elite sport

‘PACSMail’ – used for sharing medical diagnostic images – is now integrated into The Sports Office performance management systems for elite sport.

Sybermedica’s CEO, Stephen Gatley and Sports Office MD Andy Clarke commented in a joint statement. They said:“The huge pressure to deliver results has led to elite sport becoming a leader in the use of IT to support the work of multi-site, multi-disciplinary teams of medical and performance professionals.

“Our companies’ role is to make sure that they can easily access the information they need and we are delighted to be working together to make this happen.”

PACSMail is a secure medical data communications network enabling sports medicine practitioners and, more broadly, other clinicians to collaborate online. It is used in the delivery of a range of ‘virtual’ clinical services, allowing those with hands-on responsibility for patient care to gain remote access to the expertise of clinical colleagues.

The Sports Office provides online performance management systems for elite sport, which offer a range of functionality. The systems support key performance processes including athlete monitoring and training load management, injury prevention, sports science, sports medicine, administration, coaching, scouting and sports analytics.

North American presence bolstered by client management visit

The Sports Office presence in the North American market has been bolstered following a visit to the territory by its client management team, during which meetings with current and potential new clients were staged.

Clubs in Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League are already using The Sports Office performance management systems and key staff from these and other organisations were involved in the gatherings, which took place in both Canada and USA.

As part of its commitment to the highest possible standards of ongoing support and service, the Sports Office team also delivered further training in the system’s latest functionality. The aim is to ensure all clients maximise usage and gain full value from the system, in areas including coaching, sports medicine, sport science, performance analysis, administration and recruitment.

“The visit was highly productive and we very much enjoyed meeting with our current clients in North American sport”, said Client Manager Carl Pomfret. “It was also pleasing to meet with organisations who are considering using our performance management systems for elite sport, to meet the challenges they face.”

Pomfret added: ”The Leagues and organisations which make up the North American sports market are some of the most progressive and forward thinking in the world and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them as they strive to maximise all aspects of their performance and preparation.“

Sports organisations in North America use The Sports Office performance management systems.

MLS team Toronto FC (pictured) are among the organisations in North American sport to use The Sports Office performance management systems.

In addition to meetings with current clients in both the US and Canada, the Sports Office team also met with potential new clients, who operate in the MLS and the NBA. During the visit, a new client agreement was also reached with a leading franchise in the Canadian Football League.

The Sports Office provides online performance management systems for elite sport, which offer a range of functionality. The systems support key performance processes including athlete monitoring and training load management, injury prevention, sports science, sports medicine, administration, coaching and sports analytics.

Among the company’s current clients are many elite sports organisations in other parts of the world. These include teams in SANZAR’s Super Rugby competition, the Australian NRL and European teams competing in the UEFA Champions League.

The Sports Office’s dedicated software for elite football is currently also used by leading clubs in the Barclay’s Premier League, the Sky Bet Championship, the MLS and Australia’s A-League, as well as major football governing bodies, including the Scottish FA.

Elsewhere in the world of elite sport, clients include the RFU, Aviva Premiership rugby clubs, leading equestrian organisations including the BHA, high-ranking professional tennis players, clubs in Rugby League’s Super League and professional cycling teams.

Case Study – Macabi Tel Aviv Football Club

Client: Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club

Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club

Juan Torrijo, Head Fitness Coach, Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club: “The Football Squad system has improved the efficiency of our data management. We have also optimised our time by improving the speed and efficiency of individual training load analysis. Other improvements include our inter-departmental communication.”

Client Requirements: The client required an online, performance management solution for the first team and reserve team with the view to implementing this throughout the club’s younger age groups. The client needed a system that would be well structured and easy to use, due to English being the second language of the majority of staff; but a system that still provided the necessary tools required to monitor and enhance the performance of elite football players, competing within the UEFA Champions League. The system would need to cater to the specific requirements of all members of staff including the following departments: Administration, Coaching, Medical, Sports Science, Recruitment, Analysis, Sporting Director, Chief Executive, Players.

Solution and Benefits: The system enables highly effective interaction throughout the football club; facilitating the successful cross-communication between all staff and players. During a 5-day implementation period a Sports Office Client Manager met with each department on multiple occasions to set up the system in the way that worked best for Maccabi and to deliver full training. Now the system is fully functional, key benefits to the Maccabi Tel Aviv staff include:

  • Manager and Assistant use the system to review, plan and deliver all element of coaching sessions.
  • The integration of GPS into the system allowing for a greater depth of reporting and load monitoring.
  • All first team players use the player app to submit monitoring, wellbeing and nutritional information, daily. This has freed an extensive amount of time for the medical and sports science staff, allowing them to be much more time efficient.
  • The sporting director is heavily involved within the recruitment process of first team and academy players. The system has given him a database that is being utilised by scouts across different continents and then allows him to make informed decisions based on the information collected by his scouts.
  • The Chief Executive has a live dashboard that allows him to see precisely the KPIs and key information relating to each department.
  • Streamlined processes throughout the medical team. Injury information, scans, x-rays, tests are logged against individualised player profiles allowing instant reports to be run.

Case Study – Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club

Client: Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club

Tony Daley, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Head of Sport Science and Conditioning: “The Sports Office has been a resourceful addition to the day to day running of the sport science department at Wolves. We currently monitor the wellbeing of all players with the information automatically transferred into the system via the players app. Once registered they are assessed and if there any warnings they are acted upon. Such monitoring is key to ensure players are training/playing at their optimum loads and via an easy importing system, key GPS metrics can be instantly analysed (traffic light system) and acted upon relatively.

“Building reports via the Analysis tab is also easy but provides very comprehensive information. The Gym session tab is excellent. Once the session is put onto PMA it allows the players to seamlessly input their own reps and weights via the player app allowing them to be more proactive and provide accurate input of data.”

Client Requirements: Wolverhampton Wanderers required a system to fully incorporate their academy and first team squad. The ability to share Medical and Sport Science data was extremely important for younger players breaking through to the elite squad. Tracking training loads for example when players are interchanging between U21’s and 1st team can be problematic if the whole organisation are using different systems and software. A further requirement for Wolves was the ability for players to quickly and easily complete custom Wellbeing questionnaires, view training schedules and log Gym training loads from prescribed programmes.

Solution and Benefits: The Sports Office worked with Wolverhampton to configure the following functionality:

  • Custom Dashboards –to show users key metrics and data.
  • Training loads, Wellbeing and Medical data can now all be quickly accessed on a daily basis to facilitate planning of future training programmes.
  • Medical and Sports Science Profile – Automatic output page that display current and previous injuries, Training and Game time and testing results against that players average.
  • Reporting solutions – Data is available regardless of what team a player was playing/training with at the time. This allows for a more accurate reflection of loads on fringe players as well as the ability to track player progression through his time at the club.
  • Player App – This is now used by the first team and academy to feed data into the custom dashboards. Tony Daley (Head of Sport Science and Conditioning) and his team can now easily view and use the data pushed to them without the need to collect/record it themselves.

Case Study – British Horse Racing Authority

Client: British Horseracing Authority (BHA) / British Racing School

British Horse Racing Authority

Gill Greeves, BHA Vocational Training Manager: “This initiative is a great move forward in our provision of training and development for jockeys who are Racing’s elite athletes. BHA is grateful for the guidance and support offered by The Sports Office in developing this unique system and to the BRS team and Gemma Waterhouse who have managed the project.”

Client Requirements: Creation and implementation of bespoke online Performance Management system for The British Racing School – Jockey Coaching Programme. The programme involves over 200 Apprentice and Conditional Jockeys who receive one-to one or group coaching for up to four hours per month. They also ride in the development events, ‘Racing Excellence Series’. The system is to be used by jockey coaches, jockeys, trainers and administrators of the programme.

Solution and Benefits: The system enables highly-effective interaction between jockeys and coaches for communication, planning and reflection on all coaching and development work. Key benefits include:

  • Effective management of all jockey information.
  • Logging and monitoring of all Coaching sessions and related interventions.
  • Performance reviews for RES races including production of data including leaderboards.
  • Production of jockey performance stats via API feed from the BHA.
  • Effective online process for Jockey competency reviews.
  • Flexible and robust video analysis system to support jockey coaching and development.
  • Improved communication – sharing of jockey training and race schedules.

Case Study – The Scottish Football Association

Client: The Scottish Football Association

Scottish FA

David Stevenson, Head of Performance Anaylsis, Scottish Football Association: “The Sports Office is a hugely powerful tool allowing us to quickly and easily manage our key performance processes. It helps us give the best possible preparation.”

Client Requirements: Implementation of a web based performance management system, to help support the development of players aged 11- 16, in the association’s seven national performance schools situated in different regions of Scotland and the national teams programme

Solution and Benefits: The Sports Office football specific system The Football Squad allows Scottish FA coaches to share and deliver their coaching programme between national performance schools. Each player selected by the Scottish FA to attend these schools, receives one hour a day of coaching from a Scottish FA coach. By using The Football Squad to create and store their sessions, the coaches can share session plans and help ensure a consistent approach to programme delivery. Players and staff can access the system from anywhere by logging in on any device or by using the App to:

  • Create and share Coaching sessions between coaches and with the players.
  • Player evaluation and self-refection via performance reviews.
  • Two-way player and coach interaction.
  • Upload and share video footage to support the development of players, watch and review matches or best practice.
  • Effective Player information management, administration of contact and personal details.
  • Make important documents between staff and players available to view and download.
  • Input testing results to allow national benchmarking and analysis to help with talent identification for national teams.
  • Daily wellbeing questionnaires completed by players to monitor player welfare and physical condition.

Case Study – St. Helens Rugby League

Client: St Helens Rugby League

St Helens Rugby League

Matt Daniels, St Helens, Head of Strength and Conditioning: “We collect reams of data on our players via daily wellbeing questions, physical marker scores, strength testing, RPEs and GPS. To do this in one central system allows us to collate, monitor and analyse the demands and workloads of our players and to alter training accordingly. The data collected from the strength and conditioning staff supports our medical team who document and record all injuries, notes and fitness tests within the system. This allows us to take objective information to our coaches on the state of players so we can support them to perform at elite level”.

Mike Rush, St Helens, Chief Executive: “The Sports Office rugby-specific system The Rugby Squad has proved an invaluable tool for us. To have one centralized system that has information on all of players from scholarship to first team allows me to see what has happened and what it is going to happen. It allows me to access information away from the training ground and feedback precise and important messages to our owner and board members to maintain and continue to develop elite rugby league players for our club.”

Client Requirements: Club require the capability to capture, monitor and analyse data on players on a daily, seasonal and long term basis.

Solution and Benefits: St Helens Rugby League Club was one of the first to adopt The Sports Office performance management solutions. Over the years they have collected millions of data points on their players, which has proved invaluable in recent times. St Helens make comprehensive use of The Rugby Squad throughout their organisation, including:

  • The identification and reporting of junior grass root players.
  • Educational feedback to academy players.
  • Delivery of post-game videos.
  • Daily capture of physical markers.