Welcome to the Decawave forum.
Your use-case is pretty interesting, but indeed human bodies can mess up the line of sight and thus UWB ranging since they are mostly composed of water, and water blocks most radio waves.
Note that the radio performance will be heavily impacted by the antenna, PCB design and firmware. Since you seem to be using your own design, we don’t know what could be impacting you the most.
At the risk of sounding like a sales person: I suggest having a look at our MDEK1001 Development Kit. This kit comes complete with multiple nodes and the PANS 2 software stack, providing an advanced RTLS solution based on TWR. The PANS system allows to send tag positions over UWB, so WiFi would not be needed and battery life can be improved. The tag locations can be retrieved using a “bridge” based on a Raspberry Pi and can be sent to your own system over e.g MQTT.
Some other remarks that might help:
- You might just be seeing interference. Having multiple tags ranging at the same time won’t work, this is why we implemented a TDMA system in PANS. I don’t know how you solved this problem, but having multiple UWB radios operating at the same time on the same channel won’t work.
- Try to add more anchors. I believe we recommend an anchor every ~35m but I ca’t seem to find where this is mentioned.
- Place the anchors above the head of the players and place the UWB antennas as high as possible on the players
- Note that the driver you mentioned is not officially supported by Decawave (and seems to be even not actively maintained by the creator). The performance of this driver and the TWR implemetation might be worse
- You can have a look at TN006, Effects of Reflections from Distant Objects and APS006 Part 2 NLOS Operation and Optimizations and Part 3 DW1000 Diagnostics for NLOS Channels for more information on interference and NLOS (Non-Line Of Sight). For a full list of application notes see the application notes overview page, there might be more relevant info.