Convolutional Neural Networks Based Ball Detection in Tennis Games

Vito Reno, Nicola Mosca, Roberto Marani, Massimiliano Nitti, Tiziana D'Orazio, Ettore Stella; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Workshops, 2018, pp. 1758-1764


In recent years sport video research has gained a steady interest among the scientific community. The large amount of video data available from broadcast transmissions and from dedicated camera setups, and the need of extracting meaningful information from data, pose significant research challenges. Hence, computer vision and machine learning are essential for enabling automated or semi-automated processing of big data in sports. Although sports are diverse enough to present unique challenges on their own, most of them share the need to identify active entities such as ball or players. In this paper, an innovative deep learning approach to the identification of the ball in tennis context is presented. The work exploits the potential of a convolutional neural network classifier to decide whether a ball is being observed in a single frame, overcoming the typical issues that can occur dealing with classical approaches on long video sequences (e.g. illumination changes and flickering issues). Experiments on real data confirm the validity of the proposed approach that achieves 98.77 % accuracy and suggest its implementation and integration at a larger scale in more complex vision systems.

Related Material

author = {Reno, Vito and Mosca, Nicola and Marani, Roberto and Nitti, Massimiliano and D'Orazio, Tiziana and Stella, Ettore},
title = {Convolutional Neural Networks Based Ball Detection in Tennis Games},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Workshops},
month = {June},
year = {2018}