Recent technological developments have led to the production of inexpensive, non-invasive, miniature magneto-inertial sensors, ideal for obtaining sport performance measures during training or competition. This systematic review evaluates current evidence and the future potential of their use in sport performance evaluation. Articles published in English (April 2017) were searched in Web-of-Science, Scopus, Pubmed, and Sport-Discus databases. A keyword search of titles, abstracts and keywords which included studies using accelerometers, gyroscopes and/or magnetometers to analyse sport motor-tasks performed by athletes (excluding risk of injury, physical activity, and energy expenditure) resulted in 2040 papers. Papers and reference list screening led to the selection of 286 studies and 23 reviews. Information on sport, motor-tasks, participants, device characteristics, sensor position and fixing, experimental setting and performance indicators was extracted. The selected papers dealt with motor capacity assessment (51 papers), technique analysis (163), activity classification (19), and physical demands assessment (61). Focus was placed mainly on elite and sub-elite athletes (59%) performing their sport in-field during training (62%) and competition (7%). Measuring movement outdoors created opportunities in winter sports (8%), water sports (16%), team sports (25%), and other outdoor activities (27%). Indications on the reliability of sensor-based performance indicators are provided, together with critical considerations and future trends.
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