Handball World Championship highlights Qatar’s cutting-edge sport tech



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Handball World Championship highlights

The recently held 24th Men’s Handball World Championship (Jan 15 – Feb 1) provided Qatar to showcase cutting-edge technology solutions and a world-class network as it hosted thousands of visitors in Doha during the event.

Under the direction of H E Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al Thani, President of the Qatar 2015 Organising Committee and Dr Thani Abdulrahman al Kuwari, Director General, Qatar 2015, the IT Committee had developed an entirely new infrastructure for the three venues used for Qatar 2015, that built upon and improves the systems deployed for earlier major sporting events in Qatar.

A full sports information system was installed to provide instant updates and information to referees; and also to capture, broadcast all results from the Championship, in-line with the requirements of the International Handball Federation (IHF).

In addition, the Committee had developed a world-class network connecting the Media Centre, Volunteer Centre, and ticketing booths, as well as linking Qatar 2015 areas at the supporting hotels and Hamid International Airport to deliver a fully interconnected championship. During the Championship, a dedicated team of 54 IT experts were deployed throughout competition and non-competition venues to provide technical support.

One of the new innovations deployed at Qatar 2015 was a pioneering example of ‘smart stadium’ technology. A core Network Operation Centre (NOC) was in place to connect all three venues through a centrally- managed system, operated by a dedicated team. The NOC was used to monitor the networks in all the venues, identifying issues before they happen and centrally detecting when any device or cable has a problem.

Each of the participating teams were provided iPads equipped with a special system for recording matches, so that they could review and examine each game without the need for DVDs. The availability of this information within 30 minutes of the close of every match was incredibly useful for athletes keen to review their performance – and is a major step forward for sport in Qatar.

Both innovations were trialled and tested during the IHF Super Globe Championship 2014 and the 17th Asian Club League Championship held in Doha in 2014. The feedback from players and visitors has been universally positive.

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