© 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.Over recent decades, the use of player tracking technology to monitor physical work output has become established practice in many team sports. Early tracking systems were manual in nature, relying on subjective assessments and arbitrary classifications of movement intensity. Poor spatial and temporal resolution meant that only gross displacement measures could be used to infer energy demands. However, the advent and evolution of automated systems, with higher sampling rates and improved accuracy, have enabled data collection to occur on a mass scale, and served as a catalyst for extensive research into the demands of team sport activity, including comparisons between different groups of athletes, and the effects of various interventions on performance. The inherent assumption with this research is that, based on steady-state models where energy cost is independent of speed, total distance and average speed are indicative of the amount and rate of work done, respectively. This assumption could be justified if the activity was performed at a constant speed in a straight line. However, team sport movement involves continual changes in both speed and direction, both of which increase energy cost. Accordingly, new models have emerged that incorporate both speed and acceleration to determine metabolic power. This provides a more complete measure of energy expenditure in intermittent activity, and is potentially more suitable than displacement variables for research into the demands of team sports.