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Review
Peer-Review Record

Identification, Computational Examination, Critical Assessment and Future Considerations of Distance Variables to Assess Collective Tactical Behaviour in Team Invasion Sports by Positional Data: A Systematic Review

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17061952
Reviewer 1: Rui Jorge Lopes
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17061952
Received: 4 January 2020 / Revised: 12 March 2020 / Accepted: 14 March 2020 / Published: 17 March 2020

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Detailed comments for the paper “Origin and modifications of the dyads to assess team behaviour: a systematic review”

Paper scope, relevance and contribution

The paper presents a systematic overview of the literature addressing the use of positional dyadic relationships, andassociated metrics, for the characterization of team behaviour in the invasive sports realm. Within this realm the paperhas relevance and it is a valid contribution as a systematic overview of this topics.

The title can chosen for the paper does not reflect entirely and clearly the paper scope as: a) only invasive sports areconsidered and not teams in general; b) “origin and modification” refer to the dyad concept definition and usage and notto the dyads themselves.

Technical contribution and correctness

Being a review paper there is not a significant and novel technical contribution, nor is it expected. The review is notcomprehensive on the one hand because only invasion sports are considered and on the other and due to its time horizon(Nov. 2018). This does not jeopardize the paper’s contribution as it does not aim at being comprehensive but to present anoverview of positional dyadic relationships definitions and metrics.

The main contribution of the paper is found in its tables where the different papers are classified and characterizedaccording to a very clear and relevant set of topics. A very relevant and useful contribution.

There are nonetheless in the text a significant number of issues that should be addressed:  

Insection2 asetof 6 criteriaisidentifiedforinclusionofpapers, fromthetextitisnotclearifapapermustmeetallcriteriaforinclusion. Inthesamesection (lines 99 and 100) a 6th criterion is defined; this criterion seemsto stand out from the rest (see line 110). In the flow diagram in figure 1 this 6th criterion appears only at an“inclusion” stage. The definition and usage of this criterion requires additional clarification. Insection 4 (lines 147 and 162) itisnotcleartheusageofthetermoscillator (itisnotclearofthistermisadequatetometricsthatdonotinvolvephase). Itisnotcleariflines 235 and 236 representarecommendationfromtheauthors. Insection 1 (lines 57 to 59), section 4 (lines 157 and 158) andsection 5 (lines 371 and 372) indicatealackofconsensusandthusoptimizationintherelativephaseandentropybasedmetrics; thisrequiresfurtherexplanationfromtheauthors, notablyifthismetricsareactuallyaimingatmeasuringthesamepropertyandwhatisunderstoodasoptimization. Paper organization.

The paper is organized in five sections that follow a common structure for this type of papers. Section 4 would benefit ifdivided in subsections following the dyad type as in table 1. A few paragraphs before line 278 should introduce the“secondary” metrics (or applications as described in table 3) obtained from distances and that are related to entropy andsynchronization.

Formatting and editing.

Regarding the paper formatting and editing there is a significant number of issues that strongly reduce the paper clarityand should be corrected:

Lines 117 to 119 appeartobetakenfromthejournalcallandshouldberemoved. Infigure 1 “Wok” shouldbe “WoS”. Intable 2 SoccerandFootballareused, auniformdesignationshouldbeused. Thenotationforthedifferentdyadsinline 149 shouldbesimplified. Inline 154 anitemb) ismentionedbutthereisnoitema) Thereisaneditingproblemwiththelistinginline InlineMaçasshouldbeMaçãs. Manyacronymsorabbreviationsarenotdefinedthefirsttimetheyareused, e.g., EPTS, SSG, ApEn, AMI. Final recommendation

Given the above comments my recommendation is that the paper should not be accepted from publication on its currentstatus. It should be re-submitted only after major review.

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 1 Comments

Paper scope, relevance and contribution

The paper presents a systematic overview of the literature addressing the use of positional dyadic relationships, and associated metrics, for the characterization of team behaviour in the invasive sports realm. Within this realm the paper has relevance and it is a valid contribution as a systematic overview of this topics.

Response: Thank you very much for your acknowledgement.

The title can chosen for the paper does not reflect entirely and clearly the paper scope as: a) only invasive sports are considered and not teams in general; b) “origin and modification” refer to the dyad concept definition and usage and not to the dyads themselves.

The title has been modified: “Identification, computational examination, critical assessment and future considerations of distance variables to assess collective tactical behaviour in team invasion sports by positional data: a systematic review”.

Technical contribution and correctness Being a review paper there is not a significant and novel technical contribution, nor is it expected. The review is not comprehensive on the one hand because only invasion sports are considered and on the other and due to its time horizon(Nov. 2018). This does not jeopardize the paper’s contribution as it does not aim at being comprehensive but to present an overview of positional dyadic relationships definitions and metrics.

Response: We have specified within the study that the review was carried out on team invasion sports. Response: Because review papers are long difficult projects, it is common to find articles published a year and four months after the search date or even later than that. For example:

1- Sarmento H, Marcelino R, Anguera MT, CampaniÇo J, Matos N, LeitÃo JC. Match analysis in football: a systematic review. J Sports Sci. 2014 Dec;32(20):1831-1843. 2014 May 1.

2- Sarmento H, Anguera MT3, Pereira A, Araújo D. Talent Identification and Development in Male Football: A Systematic Review. Sports Med. 2018 Apr;48(4):907-931. doi: 10.1007/s40279-017-0851-7.

The main contribution of the paper is found in its tables where the different papers are classified and characterized according to a very clear and relevant set of topics. A very relevant and useful contribution.

Response: Thank you very much for your acknowledgement.

There are nonetheless in the text a significant number of issues that should be addressed: In section 2 a set of 6 criteria is identified for inclusion of papers, from the text it Is not clear if a paper must meet all criteria for inclusion. In the same section (lines 99 and 100) a 6th criterion is defined; this criterion seems to stand out from the rest (see line 110). In the flow diagram in figure 1 this 6th criterion appears only at an “inclusion” stage. The definition and usage of this criterion requires additional clarification.

Modified: “Subsequently, the same authors screened the remaining records to verify the inclusion-exclusion criteria, using a hierarchical approach in two phases: Phase 1, titles and abstracts were screened and excluded by two authors (MR, ALA) against criteria 1-5 where possible; Phase 2, full texts of the remaining papers were then accessed and screened against inclusion criteria 1-5 by the same authors (MR, ALA). The papers that were included after these phases and met the 6th inclusion criteria were included in the systematic review. The inclusion criteria were: (1) Team sports in which the use of the mobile (e.g., ball, puck) is simultaneous (e.g. soccer, hockey); (2) The main objective of the study is to assess tactical performance or dimension in team players; (3) Studies that include a tactical variable regarding the position of the players using Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS); (4) Studies that aim to measure a tactical variable; (5) Studies that aim to analyze the position of more than one player, whether they are rivals or not; (6) Studies that measured the distance variables or modified this variable, and provided their computational criteria. The studies included in the review met all inclusion criteria.”

“A total of 3,973 documents were initially retrieved, of which 1,779 were duplicates. A total of 2,178 articles were screened. Next, the titles and abstracts were verified against criteria 1-5 and studies were excluded where possible. The full texts and abstracts of the remaining articles were screened and the inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied, leading to the exclusion of 2,142 articles. Therefore, 36 articles were initially included in this review having met the inclusion criteria 1-5. In addition, the authors found and added 36 articles that met inclusion criteria 1-5. Finally, 72 works were analyzed and 26 articles were included in the systematic review after meeting the 6th inclusion criterion (Figure 1). Among them, eighteen were originals or showed modification of distance variables (Table 2) and twelve were originals or proposed modifications of non-linear techniques (Table 3).

In section 4 (lines 147 and 162) it is not clear the usage of the termoscillator (it is not clear of this term is adequate to metrics that do not involve phase).

Response: We have replaced dyad variables by “distance variables” in the manuscript. In addition, we have used the terms oscillators or points according to the type of distance variable.

Modified: The aim the study was the identification, computational examination, critical assessment and future considerations of distance variables to assess collective tactical behaviour in team invasion sports by positional data. According to the nature of the oscillators or points, the distance variables can be classified into player-player (i.e. player-opponent, player-teammate), player-space, player-ball, and geometrical centre (GC)-GC-GC/player/space/goal. Player-opponent distances are of special interest in those team invasion sports in which man-marking is commonly used and in the micro-structure close to scoring situations in all team invasion sports.

It is not clear if lines 235 and 236 represent are commendation from the authors.

Modified: “Maybe further studies should consider and add the influence (i.e. distance) of the goalkeeper in this type of analysis”

In section 1 (lines 57 to 59), section 4 (lines 157 and 158) and section 5 (lines 371 and 372) indicate a lack of consensus and thus optimization in the relative phase and entropy based metrics; this requires further explanation from the authors, not ably if this metrics are actually aiming at measuring the same property and what is understood as optimization.

Response: We have deleted the term “optimization”.

Modified:”it is necessary to review the origin, application [31], and different mathematical concepts and computations applied [18,28] to identify the differences in the measurement of the relative phase and entropy in the distance variables”.

Paper organization.

The paper is organized in five sections that follow a common structure for this type of papers. Section 4 would benefit if divided in subsections following the dyad type as in table 1. A few paragraphs before line 278 should introduce the “secondary” metrics (or applications as described in table 3) obtained from distances and that are related to entropy and synchronization.

Response: The suggestions have been followed. In line 278 we have added “Non-linear analysis techniques” instead of secondary metrics.

Formatting and editing.

Regarding the paper formatting and editing there is a significant number of issues that strongly reduce the paper clarity and should be corrected:

Lines 117 to 119 appear to be taken from the journal call and should be removed.

Response: your suggestion has been followed.

In figure 1 “Wok” should be “WoS”.

Response: the figure 1 has been modified.

In table 2 Soccer and Football are used, a uniform designation should be used.

Response: your suggestion has been followed. “Soccer”

The notation for the different dyads in line 149 should be simplified.

Modified: “player-player, player-space, player-ball, and GC-GC/player/space/goal”

In line 154 an item b) is mentioned but there is no item a)

Removed: “b)“ has been removed.

There is an editing problem with the listing in line

In line Maças should be Maçãs.

Response: “Maças” has been replaced by “Maçãs”

Many acronyms or abbreviations are not defined the first time they are used, e.g., EPTS, SSG, ApEn, AMI.

Response: your suggestion has been followed.

  • In section 2.2.: Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS). EPTS was mentioned the first time as a key word of the search strategy. For this reason, it has been specified the second time that it was mentioned.
  • Section 4. Discussion: “in order to assess their uncertainty during soccer small-sided games (SSG)”
  • Section 4. Discussion: ApEn was mentioned the first time in Table 3, and was defined in the legend. Despite that, we added in the text: “To our knowledge, Passos et al. [18] used Approximate Entropy (ApEn)”.
  • Section 4. Discussion: “the complexity and regularity or predictability (various approximate entropies, sample entropy, cross-sample entropy and average mutual information (AMI)) of the distances in team invasion sports, revealing the lack of consensus among researchers”.

Author Response File: Author Response.doc

Reviewer 2 Report

  • L16, please write team’s behaviour.
  • L23-26, please clarify the type of technique (e.g., statistical models, variability analysis, classification analyses, etc.). The readers should have clear in mind the statistical approach used.
  • L28, please use the term isolated instead of independently.
  • Introduction, the authors should improve this section with a better description of macro-, meso-, micro- and nano-levels of performance during team sports competition. I suggest the following references to improve that meaning:Duarte, R., Araújo, D., Correia, V., & Davids, K. (2012). Sports teams as superorganisms. Sports medicine, 42(8), 633-642.Lebed, F., & Bar-Eli, M. (2013). Complexity and control in team sports: Dialectics in contesting human systems. Routledge.Ribeiro, J., Silva, P., Duarte, R., Davids, K., & Garganta, J. (2017). Team sports performance analysed through the lens of social network theory: implications for research and practice. Sports medicine, 47(9), 1689-1696.
  • Travassos, B., Davids, K., Araújo, D., & Esteves, T. P. (2013). Performance analysis in team sports: Advances from an Ecological Dynamics approach. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 13(1), 83-95.
  • Memmert, D., Lemmink, K. A., & Sampaio, J. (2017). Current approaches to tactical performance analyses in soccer using position data. Sports Medicine, 47(1), 1-10.
  • Garganta, J. (2009). Trends of tactical performance analysis in team sports: bridging the gap between research, training and competition. Revista Portuguesa de Ciências do Desporto, 9(1), 81-89.
  • Araújo, D., & Davids, K. (2016). Team synergies in sport: theory and measures. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1449.
  • L50-59, please rewrite and better organize the introduction. The authors skip from levels of complexity to coordination. Probably, the authors should use the levels above to improve the rationale and sequence of ideas.
  • L50-59, please do not mix up the variability-noise analysis (Entropy) with coordination or statistical models. I would suggest to explain them in different sentences/paragraphs and a better order. Please, use some specific references to improve/ justify the issue:Silva, P., Duarte, R., Esteves, P., Travassos, B., & Vilar, L. (2016). Application of entropy measures to analysis of performance in team sports. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 16(2), 753-768.
  • Lopes, A. M., & Tenreiro Machado, J. A. (2019). Entropy analysis of soccer dynamics. Entropy, 21(2), 187.
  • L62, please write team’s behaviour.
  • Results section is unclear because the authors presented the tables without any description or explanation. Then, the section must be better presented and clarified.
  • Results section, the authors need to add the assessment of quality for each study as required by the PRISMA procedure. Please add a table with that information. Please check some examples:Sarmento, H., Marcelino, R., Anguera, M. T., CampaniÇo, J., Matos, N., & LeitÃo, J. C. (2014). Match analysis in football: a systematic review. Journal of sports sciences, 32(20), 1831-1843.
  • Sarmento, H., Clemente, F. M., Araújo, D., Davids, K., McRobert, A., & Figueiredo, A. (2018). What performance analysts need to know about research trends in association football (2012–2016): A systematic review. Sports medicine, 48(4), 799-836.
  • Discussion section must be improved using subsections to clarify the categories of analysis from all the studies. The authors wrote the section jumping from one to another idea without a linear flow. Please complete results section and then improve the discussions section.
  • Discussion: why did the authors write sub-sections of relative phase and entropy? Again, the aim of the study, rationale of analyses and results are unclear. Probably the authors need to address the importance to analyse micro-performances of 1 on 1 situations, and then argue which statistical or analytical models are useful to check the counterparts’ performances via variability (Entropy), coordination (Hilbert Transform), relationships (clustering) or prediction (regression).

Author Response

Response to Reviewer 2 Comments

L16, please write team’s behaviour.

Response: This sentence has been deleted.

L23-26, please clarify the type of technique (e.g., statistical models, variability analysis, classification analyses, etc.). The readers should have clear in mind the statistical approach used.

Added: “The distance variables can be classified into player-player, player-space, player-ball, and GC-GC/player/space/goal. In addition, several nonlinear techniques have been used to analyse the synchronisation and predictability of the distance variables in team invasion sports.”

L28, please use the term isolated instead of independently.

Response: your suggestion has been followed.

Introduction, the authors should improve this section with a better description of macro-, meso-, micro- and nano-levels of performance during team sports competition. I suggest the following references to improve that meaning:

  • Duarte, R., Araújo, D., Correia, V., & Davids, K. (2012). Sports teams as superorganisms. Sports medicine, 42(8), 633-642.
  • Lebed, F., & Bar-Eli, M. (2013). Complexity and control in team sports: Dialectics in contesting human systems. Routledge.
  • Ribeiro, J., Silva, P., Duarte, R., Davids, K., & Garganta, J. (2017). Team sports performance analysed through the lens of social network theory: implications for research and practice. Sports medicine, 47(9), 1689-1696.
  • Travassos, B., Davids, K., Araújo, D., & Esteves, T. P. (2013). Performance analysis in team sports: Advances from an Ecological Dynamics approach. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 13(1), 83-95.
  • Memmert, D., Lemmink, K. A., & Sampaio, J. (2017). Current approaches to tactical performance analyses in soccer using position data. Sports Medicine, 47(1), 1-10.
  • Garganta, J. (2009). Trends of tactical performance analysis in team sports: bridging the gap between research, training and competition. Revista Portuguesa de Ciências do Desporto, 9(1), 81-89.
  • Araújo, D., & Davids, K. (2016). Team synergies in sport: theory and measures. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1449.

Response: Thank you very much. As you suggested the introduction has been considerably modified. We have used several references: Duarte et al (2012), Travassos et al. (2013) and Araújo (2016).

L50-59, please rewrite and better organize the introduction. The authors skip from levels of complexity to coordination. Probably, the authors should use the levels above to improve the rationale and sequence of ideas.

Response: As you suggested the introduction has been modified considerably.

L50-59, please do not mix up the variability-noise analysis (Entropy) with coordination or statistical models. I would suggest to explain them in different sentences/paragraphs and a better order. Please, use some specific references to improve/ justify the issue:

  • Silva, P., Duarte, R., Esteves, P., Travassos, B., & Vilar, L. (2016). Application of entropy measures to analysis of performance in team sports. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 16(2), 753-768.
  • Lopes, A. M., & Tenreiro Machado, J. A. (2019). Entropy analysis of soccer dynamics. Entropy, 21(2), 187.

Response: Thank you very much. As you suggested the introduction has been modified considerably. We have used a reference: Silva et al (2016)

L62, please write team’s behaviour.

Response: this sentence has been modified.

Results section is unclear because the authors presented the tables without any description or explanation. Then, the section must be better presented and clarified.

Added: “26 articles were included in the systematic review after meeting the 6th inclusion criterion (Figure 1). Among them, eighteen were originals or showed modification of distance variables (Table 2) and twelve were originals or proposed modifications of non-linear techniques (Table 3)”.

Results section, the authors need to add the assessment of quality for each study as required by the PRISMA procedure. Please add a table with that information. Please check some examples:

  • Sarmento, H., Marcelino, R., Anguera, M. T., CampaniÇo, J., Matos, N., & LeitÃo, J. C. (2014). Match analysis in football: a systematic review. Journal of sports sciences, 32(20), 1831-1843.
  • Sarmento, H., Clemente, F. M., Araújo, D., Davids, K., McRobert, A., & Figueiredo, A. (2018). What performance analysts need to know about research trends in association football (2012–2016): A systematic review. Sports medicine, 48(4), 799-836.

Response: We appreciate your suggestion but we did not consider the assessment of quality for each study because our aim was to identify theoretical proposes (i.e. the first of each distance variable) instead of comparing the results of each study. We hope that you will understand our argument.

Discussion section must be improved using subsections to clarify the categories of analysis from all the studies. The authors wrote the section jumping from one to another idea without a linear flow. Please complete results section and then improve the discussions section.

Response: your response has been followed (in the manuscript).

Discussion: why did the authors write sub-sections of relative phase and entropy? Again, the aim of the study, rationale of analyses and results are unclear. Probably the authors need to address the importance to analyse micro-performances of 1 on 1 situations, and then argue which statistical or analytical models are useful to check the counterparts’ performances via variability (Entropy), coordination (Hilbert Transform), relationships (clustering) or prediction (regression).

Response: Thank you very much. We have modified the titles of the sub-sections: synchronization instead of relative phase, and predictability instead of entropy.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

The authors addressed satisfactorily most of the reviewer's comments with the excepton of quality assessment of articles. I consider that if the authors used the PRISMA procedure, they must include the quality assessment of each article. Without that information the authors are masking the scientific relevance of those articles that are discussing to. This process does not take too much time but increases the review quality and improves the meaning of those studies considered as relevant.

Author Response

Answer to the reviewer:

The authors addressed satisfactorily most of the reviewer's comments with the excepton of quality assessment of articles. I consider that if the authors used the PRISMA procedure, they must include the quality assessment of each article. Without that information the authors are masking the scientific relevance of those articles that are discussing to. This process does not take too much time but increases the review quality and improves the meaning of those studies considered as relevant.

Response: your suggestion has been followed in the tables (Table 2 and 3).

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

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