BMVC 2004, Kingston, 7th-9th Sept, 2004

Real-time 3D Football Ball Tracking from Multiple Cameras
J. Ren, J. Orwell, G.A. Jones and M. Xu (Kingston University)

A novel model for 3D soccer ball tracking is proposed, using multiple fixed
cameras as input. The main problems are: successfully filtering false alarms,
tracking through missing observations and estimating 3D positions from
single or multiple camera inputs. The key innovation is to categorise all
motion of the ball into four possible phases: rolling, flying, in possession,
and out of play, and in different phases the ball trajectory is further modelled
as linear or curve segments. Then, triangulations and phase-specific models
are employed to estimate 3D ball positions. The system accuracy is evaluated
by comparing the estimated ball phases and positions with manual ground-
truth, over several minutes of real data sequences. Unlike existing systems
using shadows and manual assistance, our approach demonstrates fully
automatic ball tracking with the potential for accurate and robust results.
(pdf article)