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Krossover Equips School Sports With Pro Film Study

Mashable

The most successful athletes and coaches spend hours studying game film, both of themselves and of their opponents. All professional-level and most high-level college teams employ entire crews of specialists to film and break down footage of games.

For high schools and smaller college programs, however, video capabilities vary from team to team. A New York startup is trying to level the playing field.

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Krossover offers its service for basketball, football and lacrosse teams of all levels. In essence, it is an outsourced video crew. Coaches can send game footage and roster information to Krossover.

"What they get back from us the next day is the equivalent of what a NBA or NFL team gets from their ocean of video coordinators," Krossover CEO Vasu Kulkarni tells Mashable.

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Krossover's analysts break the game footage into individual plays, then catalogue each one by type. Coaches and players can sort through the plays, separating them by any number of categories.

Another feature allows a coach or player to build compilations of selected plays, making it easy for players to send highlight reels to colleges during the recruiting process, and for coaches to aggregate certain types of plays for teaching purposes.

"Now you've gone, as a coach or a kid, from having raw footage to having your own highlight reel in about 30 seconds," Kulkarni says.

The service also produces a statistics sheet that includes advanced metrics. For instance, a basketball team's Krossover stat sheet would show all the normal figures, such as points, rebounds and assists, in addition to advanced stats, such as charges and deflections.

Sean McInnis has been coaching high school basketball for more than 20 years. He became Krossover's first customer after meeting Kulkarni, who was promoting a demo version of the product at a Las Vegas coaching clinic in 2010. McInnis had recently taken over as the coach of the varsity boys basketball team at King Philip Regional High School in Massachusetts. The team had not won a game in more than three seasons, losing more than 60 consecutively.

"When I show it to other coaches, they can't believe what it does," McInnis tells Mashable. "We absolutely love it."

McInnis was so enthusiastic about Krossover that he paid for the service using his own money. King Philip improved its record to 14-8 during the 2010-11 season, and made it within one game of the state championship. As you might expect, McInnis has continued paying for the service, using his own money, each year since.

The University of Kentucky mens basketball team, last year's NCAA National Champion, also uses Krossover.

"Coach [John] Calipari loved it," Kulkarni says.

Most high-level programs like Kentucky employ video teams to analyze their own games and even most opponents' games. Kulkarni says teams like Kentucky may find Krossover to be a useful tool to scout lesser-known opponents.

"We can, overnight, have 10 games broken down," he says. "That's where we add a lot of value to larger programs."

As far as pro teams, it is unlikely any of them are going to trade in their video crews for Krossover's anytime soon. The company is currently pursuing other inroads into the professional market.

For instance, Krossover is working on apps that use the sports equivalent of big data to help players improve their "basketball IQ." It keeps a database of every single play from every game it has broken down. That database currently has more than 10 million clips.

"We can repurpose all of this content as a teaching and a training tool," Kulkarni says.

Though he cannot indicate which, Kulkarni says several NBA teams are currently testing beta versions of these training apps.

As for its film parsing services, Krossover has grown from just one client in the summer of 2010 to more than 1,000 today. About 75% of its business comes from high school basketball teams, and 20% comes from high school football teams and college basketball teams. The remaining 10% is comprised of lacrosse teams.

For more information on Krossover and to see a demonstration of the app, check out the video above.

Thumbnail images courtesy of Flickr, cliff1066™ and hharryus

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This story originally published on Mashable here.

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