Red, Amber, or Green? Athlete Monitoring in Team Sport: The Need for Decision-Support Systems

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

Decision-support systems are used in team sport for a variety of purposes including evaluating individual performance and informing athlete selection. A particularly common form of decision support is the traffic-light system, where color coding is used to indicate a given status of an athlete with respect to performance or training availability. However, despite relatively widespread use, there remains a lack of standardization with respect to how traffic-light systems are operationalized. This paper addresses a range of pertinent issues for practitioners relating to the practice of traffic-light monitoring in team sports. Specifically, the types and formats of data incorporated in such systems are discussed, along with the various analysis approaches available. Considerations relating to the visualization and communication of results to key stakeholders in the team-sport environment are also presented. In order for the efficacy of traffic-light systems to be improved, future iterations should look to incorporate the recommendations made here.

Robertson and Bartlett are with the Inst of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. Gastin is with the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Sam Robertson at