Use of a virtual world system in sports coach education for reproducing team handball movements

Antonio Lopes, Bruno Pires, Marcio Cardoso, Arnaldo Santos, Filipe Peixinho, Pedro Sequeira , Leonel Morgado, Hugo Paredes, Oleguer Camerino Foguet


The continuous need for education and the significant changes in European policies and regulations overseeing sports coaching and training require the adjustment of teaching models and methods to the needs and potential of teachers, students, and technology.
In educational and training programmes for team sports coaching, it is common to use a group of athletes or video to demonstrate physical, technical, and tactical procedures. This requires significant human resources, both while developing the procedures and to reproduce them. Furthermore, both cases (live execution by athletes or video recording) are limited in visual perspective and detail. For this reason, specific software for demonstrating tactical procedures is sometimes used. But existing software presents significant limitations, for instance, when one cannot change procedures in real time nor can one interact with the audience.
This article focus on the development of a new resource: a software system combining tri-dimensional automated avatars in the Second Life world, an external control server, and an helper desktop application. Using this system, coaches enrolled in education/training programs can more easily be involved, even taking a player’s role, and analyze movements from various points of view. This system aims to contribute to the improvement of the team handball coach education programs by supporting the understanding of the dynamics between defensive and offensive players in the organized phase of a handball game, using shared 3-D simulations with avatars.


Second Life; team handball; simulation; coaching; coaches; bots.

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