The Sports Theme in iMovie ‘11 can be easily overlooked but with it you could turn your weekly five-a-side games or kid’s school matches into slick sporting events. If you capture the action with a video camera, you can use a little-known feature in iMovie ’11 that allows you to build a database of team members (of any sport) for creating highlight videos, with sports graphics and transitions, and dynamic animated titles, such as game score, team face-off and player stats.

Step 1: Create a team

First, build a team in iMovie’s Sports Team Editor. Choose Window > Sports Team Editor to open the editor. A sample team appears in the Teams list (the Leopards), but you’ll want to create your own.

Click the + button at the lower-left corner of the Teams list to create a new team, and then rename it. To track a different sport, click the Sport pop-up menu to choose Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, or Volleyball.

You can add a logo by clicking the + button in the Team Logo field and locating the correct image file from your hard drive. Next, move the zoom slider to change the size of the logo in the preview window, and then drag the image itself to adjust its placement.

Step 2: Add player information

You’ll next need to fill out your roster. Select your team, and in the Players list click the + button to add a new member. Fill out their name and other details, and add a photo.

Other than the Player Name field, you can customise the columns. For example, you may want to display a player’s goal average or other stats that get updated over time. To change the column labels, click the expansion triangle next to Sports at the bottom of the window and edit the labels.

If you already track player info and stats elsewhere, such as in a spreadsheet, you can add this by saving your data as a tab-delimited text file. Click the Import Player List button in the Sports Team Editor to import the data, then Done when you’re finished entering team info.

Step 3: Create a sports project

In iMovie, you can create a new project and apply the Sports theme. Doing so unlocks the theme’s titles, which take advantage of information in the Sports Team Editor. If you’ve already started a project, choose File > Project Theme to change the theme.

Using the footage you shot, start building your movie by dragging clips from the Event browser to the Project browser.

Step 4: Add and edit titles

Click the Titles Browser button in the toolbar to view a theme’s available titles. To add a title, drag it onto a clip in your project.

Depending on the title you use, pop-up windows appear in the Viewer that let you choose teams and players. In the Player Stats title, for example, pick a team and a player to view that person’s name, photo, and statistics. Other options include a scoreboard that pops down from the top of the screen, a title displaying the two opposing teams, and a title below that for text or a logo.

You can update stats in the Sports Team Editor. When you do, the current project displays a yellow warning triangle icon. Click Update Project in the editor to display the most recent data in the titles you added.

Whether you’re a player, a coach, or a parent, iMovie ’11’s Sports Team Editor makes it easy to track and show important information for the entire season.