Antonio Ojeda, IT Manager at the FIBA Europe Techno Centre, was invited to Norway and Denmark for EHF EURO 2010 as part of the ongoing collaboration between the members of the Association of European Team Sports (ETS), which includes the EHF, FIRA, UEFA, IIHF, CEV and FIBA Europe.
His visit follows on from FIBA Referee Coordinator Miguel Betancors' visit to the EHF HQ in Vienna last month and Richard Stokes', FIBA Men´s Competitions Administrator/Referee Development, workshop for the EHF EURO 2010 officials which he delivered at the beginning of the tournament.
Antonio is working at EHF EURO 2010 in conjunction with the EHF Competence Academy and Network (CAN).
The purpose of the EHF CAN is the exchange of knowledge between the EHF and other sporting organisations, whilst providing an educational service for the EHF Member Federations and EHF officials through the use of national and international handball experts as well as external lecturers from sport science, medicine, economy (marketing, equipment suppliers) and media (press, TV, Internet).
ehf-euro.com: Why are you here at EHF EURO 2010?
Antonio Ojeda: I am here to try and help and support handball as I have worked closely with FIBA Europe, FIBA America, EuroLeague and FIFA - the EHF invited me along to work here with them.
Our project here is to mix all the statistics and data coming in from the matches and then mix it into the video footage to enable real-time, live, video footage to be used.
So, for example, you can look at the play situations that a particular player had from a particular time immediately.
There are a lot of software programmes on the market, so we are looking at the best software to use in a game situation that can live up to the technical standards required because when the game is over you don´t want to have to spend any more time doing work at the end - with the software we are using you only need a computer with one add-on piece of hardware.
The idea is that we take all the information, feedback and findings here back to the FIBA Europe office and see what we can learn from it and how we can continue to improve both handball and basketball.
ehf-euro.com: How can the work you are doing in basketball be used in handball?
Antonio Ojeda: Well I haven´t been a referee or player, but I do know that there is a lot of different information and feedback coming in from the game of handball which is very rich and we can use this to further aid the development of basketball.
This data is very important for the referees, as we can arrange anything they need to look at immediately.
Of course, it is interesting for the journalists, their colleagues and other people who may be interested but this is something for the future as it is in a live context and, essentially, you are analysing the referee, which isn´t for the public.
ehf-euro.com: Why is the partnership between the EHF and FIBA important?
Antonio Ojeda: You can never know everything and to know as much as you can about any sport is great.
We are looking at helping the referees in handball and I look forward to working and training with them a lot.
I´m not coming in to tell them what to do and put into practice lots of ideas. We are working step-by-step, graudally improving with information and suggestions going backwards and forwards between the EHF and FIBA Europe as well as between the ETS organisations.
ehf-euro.com: What has your experience been like at EHF EURO 2010?
Antonio Ojeda: This is the first major handball tournament I have been to and it is very fast - much faster than basketball.
I have been to Larvik, Lillehammer and now Herning, but I didn't get to see Spain play!
The EHF EURO 2010 has been great, and there have been a lot of people here. I am very impressed with all the venues, and is quite evident that a lot of time and money has been invested in both Norway and Demark into the game to further their knowledge and it is quite clear that you can see the evidence and results here at EHF EURO 2010.
ehf-euro.com: What are your impressions of handball in general?
Antonio Ojeda: I love the language of the sport and the technical side is very advanced, but what I really like is seeing the family of handball here. It´s a big family, but it´s so close and very open which is the best thing for me.
This closeness, without any politics makes it very easy to work in and information can be shared very easily - I like this kind of group and it´s easy to work with them.
Everyone I have met is very open, eager to help, and they are not afraid to ask for help or advice.