Grassroots to International Rugby

Using a GPS Player Vest in Rugby

Introduction

A GPS Player Vest for rugby can be a game-changer.

Are you a club, school or university? This is how to up your game. Discover performance data for every player every time.

By wearing a GPS tracker vest, rugby players learn their speed, stamina and positioning. 

GPS trackers record a variety of metrics to help coaches. Far more than how much ground your prop covers on a Saturday.

Go faster and further for when it really matters. Crush your personal best and learn as a squad.

Monitor how you perform in training and matches. Use the tech professional rugby teams use to get ahead.

Let’s explain what PitcheroGPS trackers do and how to use them.

What does GPS mean in rugby?

GPS is common in our cars, phones and watches. For rugby, it shows your exact location and tracks your movement.

But location is just the start. A GPS tracker in a vest shows speed, distance, impacts and so much more.

Find out how fast your winger can sprint. How far your centres can run in training. Where your number eight spent the first half. Coaches can adapt a training session and set future goals.

Player welfare is a valuable use of GPS in rugby. Understanding collisions in contact sports keeps players safe. It can help prevent injuries so everyone performs at their best.

We’ve designed a GPS system for grassroots rugby. Whatever standard you play at. Why shouldn’t you have the same tech as professional teams?

PitcheroGPS is World-Rugby approved which means it has been independently tested and meets strict criteria. The governing body has given its seal of approval around accuracy and reliability.

Our Team Bundle has GPS trackers and GPS sports vests for 20 players. Enough for a rugby squad to train or play together.

It includes a protective case that charges the trackers and transfers data in minutes.

How are rugby players tracked?

A GPS tracker is worn in a GPS vest. It sits between the shoulder blades and won’t affect movement.

Our PitcheroGPS tracker weighs just 37g. Inside, its 100Hz accelerometer logs all movements. It can be charged in under an hour, with unlimited storage as well as being water-resistant.

Total Distance

Tracking your distance is a key measurement. Understand stamina, fatigue and when to recover. Clocking up kilometres can drive up your fitness.

Log how far you run. Then, compare speeds and intensity in a session to get the full picture.

Rugby coaches will blend types of running and exercise. Total distance is vital to know as the starting point.

Your training aims might be speed trials or stamina. Either way, distance helps to explain a player’s workload.

It can be adapted for different purposes. Or, compared over time to get a broader picture.

Total Active Time

Total active time shows how long a rugby player spends exercising. Coaches can see how active their squad is during training.

A 60-minute session might only be 45 minutes of active time. There could be rest periods. Or setting up drills. Or a pause to highlight a coaching point.

Knowing total active time can be mapped to a player’s output. It won’t be the same for all players. Your second row trained for 10 minutes longer than your scrum half. But your scrum half exercised at a higher tempo.

It all depends on the goals of each session. By knowing these metrics, coaches track workload and perhaps make changes.

Understanding how your players train is an exciting development. 

Gather data and offer bespoke training to get the results you want.

Top Speed

Who are the fastest players in your rugby team? A GPS tracker ends that debate. It livens up training and adds friendly competition.

Clubs using PitcheroGPS tell us their players always want their GPS stats. How did they do? How did they compare to their team-mates?

Speed is about winning key moments in a match. Chasing the kick-off. A sprint to the try line. Tracking back for a game-saving tackle.

Top speed helps your rugby team find their edge. 

Plus, PitcheroGPS wants to discover the fastest players in grassroots and semi-pro rugby!

Check out our #HERO Speed Challenge to get ranked.

High Speed Running

High speed running defines the level of exercise your players reach.

With PitcheroGPS, you can identify standing, walking, jogging or sprinting. View the amount of time spent doing each.

Training becomes more precise with specific outcomes. Coaches can set up custom speed zones for their rugby players. This measures the intensity of exercise. Periods of recovery or more demanding drills can be built in.

Default speed zones are below (in kilometres per hour)

Walking is <6 kmph

Jogging is 6-12 kmph

Running is 12-18 kmph

Sprinting is >18 kmph

Accelerations / Decelerations

It’s not all about how fast or far you run. You can work on speeding up and slowing down over short distances too.

Rugby is a very stop-start sport. Scrums, lineouts and breaks in play are an opportunity. How you chase a kick. Or, launch into a tackle from a standing position.

Become quicker off the blocks. Work on agility to slow, turn and pivot. These moments give a rugby team momentum, front-foot ball and line breaks.

It helps with monitoring player fatigue and injury risks too.

Decide the limits for accelerations and decelerations in advance (metres per second squared m/s²). This can be altered before future training.

Log how often players exceed that figure (accelerations) or go below it (decelerations).

Positioning Heatmaps

Use GPS to track exactly where your players are positioned. Review scenarios from matches or tactics after training.

It’s one thing having a tactical plan and another delivering it.

Both in defence and attack, heatmaps show how players are reacting at any time.

It’s where a GPS vest for rugby comes into its own.

At line-outs, penalties or scrums, how does your team react? What can be improved?

Coaches get to see how plans actually unfold after game-time. It's also a visual aid for players to see their successes and mistakes.

Injury Prevention

A GPS tracker show how much a player is doing, effort exerted and levels reached.

It’s useful when an individual is returning to rugby after injury. Or, coaches are assessing workloads to prevent over-training.

Look at a player's training schedule and compare it over weeks or longer.

Rugby union is an impact-heavy sport in terms of tackles, rucks, mauls and scrums.

PitcheroGPS can measure ‘impacts’ or forceful blows to the head or body. Head injuries need monitoring at grassroots, as well as professional rugby.

Sure, injuries happen all of the time and for many reasons. But GPS helps flag up the warning signs to take action early.

Impacts

Measuring force is a major benefit of PitcheroGPS, particularly with contact sports.

Anyone wearing a GPS vest can see the number of 'impacts’ or collisions.

A GPS tracker will show exactly how hard and often a player is being hit. It’s a vital metric to consider player safety.

The coach can define the impact, based on age and standard. A tracker will register when the g-force exceeds that.

Rugby coaches can make informed decisions confidently about player safety.

How PitcheroGPS can help your club

Clubs (like Cambridge RFU and West Bromwich Albion Women) are using PitcheroGPS to aid performances and cut down the risk of injuries.

With PitcheroGPS, you have the tools to learn more about your squad. Personalised data right after training.

Mansfield Town FC's Academy coaches review the GPS player data regularly. They can then modify training for the group or certain players.

Cambridge RUFC told us what they think

We’ve found using the PitcheroGPS has been massively beneficial for us as a club. It’s cost-effective compared to other brands that are currently available. It’s something I would recommend to any clubs at our level, the National Leagues below and community clubs to purchase.

Which is the best GPS tracker for rugby?

You should review the features, price and feedback from clubs. You’re looking for one that combines all of these positives.

Our GPS system has been rigorously tested by coaches. You don’t need a PhD or maths degree to understand your team metrics. No confusion or complexity, just absolute pinpoint accuracy. 

Cameron Wilson is the Strength and Conditioning Coach of West Bromwich Albion Women’s FC. 

His feedback was: ‘The PitcheroGPS system is brilliant. It’s one that us, as coaches, understand really well. The players understand it well too. It uploads really quickly, it’s easy, it’s a really good system to use.’

The PitcheroGPS Team Bundle includes:

20 x GPS Player Trackers

20 x Player Vests

1 x Charging Case

1 x 2-yr Software Subscription


Register for Priority Access

Just register your interest if your rugby club, academy, school, college or university is interested in the new PitcheroGPS Team Bundle.

You will be the first to be notified when the new GPS Team Bundle becomes available in 2023.

LAUNCHING July 2023

GPS Team Bundle

Original Team Bundle

Approved by World Rugby & FIFA

Launched in 2021, the original PitcheroGPS Player Vest is approved by FIFA and quickly sold out to football and rugby customers across the UK.