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Decision making algorithm wins Manchester City hackathon


An algorithm which tracks players’ in-game decision-making took the main prize at Manchester City’s first data hackathon.

More than 60 people took part in the event, which was to develop new systems which could help player performance.

The club opened up its performance analysis systems and detailed match and player data to see what could be done with the figures.

The winner was a team made up of Ben Low, Ben Blackmore, Steven Hassall, Paul Robinson and Lasse Folkersen. They developed a machine learning algorithm which tracked decision making during matches. Judges said they could see its potential for future implementation.

“HackMCFC is a truly unique event. Several of us have been to hackathons in the past, but nothing like this. The quality of the data sets we had access to were unparalleled and the amazing facilities at the City Football Academy made this the ideal environment to innovate in,” they said.

“There was an incredible buzz across the whole weekend and having the opportunity to meet and work with new people who had completely different backgrounds allowed us to really push our boundaries.”

They walk away with a £7000 prize.

“The skills and talents this weekend’s participants demonstrated have opened up several insightful concepts and ideas and we look forward to exploring some of these further,” added Edward Sulley, head of research and innovation for City Football Services.

“Going forward, we want to continue exploring opportunities using this method of open innovation, both here in Manchester and at our sister clubs in New York, Melbourne and Japan.”

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