A Dartfish Revolution

ACANS News & Information Center

A Dartfish Revolution

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.

–Herbert Otto

Dating back to 1997, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland began developing an interactive, image and video processing software program called Dartfish.   Dartfish records the movements and speed of sports-related positions.  It provides “instant or delayed visual feedback,” so that an in-depth analysis of the movement can be studied and potentially refined by the student and/or athlete performing the movement(s). It is software developed for both athletes and physical education students, so that the kinesiology (the science dealing with the human body’s anatomy and movement), speed, and technique can be more easily captured and evaluated.  After footage is captured, Dartfish provides easier management of the obtained video footage in any game/movement, thus a more controllable way to provide replay, which fosters a more technical understanding.

Image of ...Dartfish continues to reel in stardom.

Dartfish was first globally seen in the 1999 World Skiing Championships as athletes were able to record their movements during training, thus revealing a heightened level of talent.  Their ability to closely examine their own movements allowed the individual athletes to become more aware or what they could do in order to enhance their already distinguished skill level.   

Today, Dartfish is now heralded as “the most advanced technology available on the market.”  In the latest Winter Olympic Games (Torino 2006) over half of all athletes used the Dartfish software bringing in 138 medals.  Not only are athletes and coaches devouring this software, TV channels around the world are using the software in order to create a more detailed game for their viewers; Dartfish is becoming a necessity in order to remain competitive in the world of sports and broadcasting.  Clearly there is something special about this software program that records and ultimately refines one’s movements.

Image of ...Dartfish allows for close examination of movement and measurement.

Recently New Mexico State University introduced Dartfish into their own athletic programs and physical education curriculum in order stay advanced and competitive in both technology and athletics.  According to Dr. Cheryl Coker, professor in the Department of Physical Education, Dartfish replaced the “harder to use,” and slightly outdated program called NEAT.  To add to its performance, recent NMSU kinesiology graduate (December 2006) and track and field athlete, Erin Streater found it contributive as it aided both her academic and athletic endeavors: “it’s great to use…it allows you to get a better visual of what your athlete is doing or not doing.”  Streater, who is now head coach for the women’s track and field at Las Cruces High School, will use her new knowledge to help her own athletes. With a greater awareness of measurement and movement it is possible to enhance performance along with potentially avoiding overuse injuries that stem from improper form.

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